In Memoriam: Thomas Fletcher Lomenick

by Howard Dickson, CHP*

Thomas Fletcher Lomenick, 83, of Punta Gorda, Florida, passed away Friday, 24 July 2015, in a local hospital.

Tom was a graduate of Central High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and received his BS, MA, and PhD (1968) from the University of Tennessee. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and was a member of the Health Physics Society in the 1960s and 1970s.

Tom spent most of his professional career as a geologist with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), specializing in geologic disposal of radioactive waste. He was one of the pioneers who explored the potential use of hydrofracturing bedded shale to dispose of radioactive waste at ORNL. This is basically the same technology now used to release natural gas from suitable geological formations in the United States and we simply call it "fracking." During his early years at ORNL, Tom published a number of articles in Health Physics, including articles on the occurrence and retention of radionuclides in lake sediment and movement of ruthenium in a lakebed.

Tom was a productive member of the Waste Disposal Section of the Health Physics Division. He worked with such giants in the evolving field of radioactive waste disposal as Harold Abee, Ken Cowser, Donald Jacobs, and Herb Parker. Tom was also a developer of residential and commercial properties in Knoxville and Chattanooga. In fact, he designed and built my home in the Knoxville suburbs in 1985. Following 35 years at ORNL, he retired and relocated to Florida to enjoy the sunshine.

Tom was preceded in death by his first wife, Ann S. Lomenick, in 1988 and his brother, Harold Stanley Lomenick. Survivors include his wife, Muriel Reynolds Lomenick; four children, James R. (Annette) Lomenick, N. Suzanne Lomenick, Patricia J. Lomenick, and Jefferson P. (Jill) Lomenick; four grandchildren, Tuesday West, Rachel Zaramba, Davis Lomenick, and Reece Lomenick; one sister, Jacqueline Lomenick Bookout; and several nieces and nephews.

Tom was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Punta Gorda, where he served as an usher. Memorial contributions may be made to Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 401 West Henry Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.

*Photo and some content provided by Chattanooga Funeral Home