Thaddeus Albert Paul DeMesme

Following a short illness, our loved one was peacefully called home on December 9, 2011, in Rome, New York.

Mr. Thaddeus Albert Paul DeMesme, affectionalely known as "Ted" or "Thad", was born January 1, 1922, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Charles Paul DeMesme, Sr. and Gweneth Estelle Duncan DeMesme. He was the third of nine children. He began his lifelong love of exploration through learning at an early age. One of his favorite childhood pastimes was reading the encyclopedia. Thaddeus often commented that he taught himself to read at home, prior to attending school, by observing his older sister’s studies. It was obvious early on that he was destined for greatness.

As his name implies, Thaddeus possessed a sweet and gentle nature. A generation of nieces and nephews fondly remember his many exciting visits during which he quietly gave each one special attention, thoughtful gifts, and pocket money. It is said Thaddeus also enjoyed sharing a hearty meal. Stories abound of his legendary ability to consume hefty portions of food. At one family dinner, after arranging servings of each dish high on his plate, he expressed great surprise upon uncovering a separate layer under the first. Both family and friends have observed that Thaddeus "had a few quirks" like a tendency to arrive a "little" late to luncheons, parties, and sometimes golf. Friends recall him arriving just in time for dessert on a few occasions. He may have been counted on to be among the last to arrive, but he definitely was relied upon to be the life of the party.

Thaddeus commenced his formal education at Xavier Primary and Secondary Preparatory School in New Orleans, Louisiana, and went on to earn a degree in Physics from Xavier University. The majority of his career was spent as an electrical engineer at the Rome Air Development Center in Rome, NY, which is now known as the Rome Air Force Research Lab. Thaddeus displayed exceptional talent as a scientist while working in the very complex field of plasma physics. He was considered a knowledgeable group leader capable of preparing detailed and accurate work statements with relative ease. After approximately 40 years of government service, he retired about 20 years ago. His contributions to scientific advancements secure his place as a national treasure.

He was very proud of his role as one of the original members of the Rome Choral Society and often spoke excitedly about their performances. He also enjoyed spending his spare time playing golf with friends in the Griffiss Past Time Golf League. His golf partner of 30 years recalls always having great fun, with many amusing events resulting from their inexpert play. The pair never managed to win any trophies. However, Thaddeus accomplished one of the great feats of golf—sinking a hole in one at the age of 86! The trajectory of that ball went straight from tee-to-hole without deviating an inch.

Thaddeus is survived by his brother Alpheus DeMesme of Bowie, Maryland, and his sister Maria DeMesme of the Bronx, New York. He will also be missed by a host of nieces and nephews, sisters-in-laws, and longtime friends.

As we reflect on his life from birth to his resting place, let us remember and cherish how he lived and loved in between. You were a remarkable man, Thaddeus.

Family and friends are invited to Thaddeus’ Life Celeration on Monday, December 19 from 10 a.m. until Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at St. Columba Catholic Church, 7800 Livingston Rd. Oxon Hill, MD. Interment Resurrection Cemetery.

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