Obituary: Wayne Kay ‘Corky’ Thorn 1938 – May 30, 2021

WAYNE KAY ‘CORKY’ THORN 1938 – May 30, 2021

Wayne Kay “Corky” Thorn (1938-2021) passed away peacefully May 30, 2021, surrounded by close family.

Corky lived a happy and adventurous life. He was born in Raton, NM and moved to Los Alamos, NM at age 14 before graduating from Los Alamos High School in the class of 1956.

During his time at LAHS, he proudly ran track, pole vaulted, and was the star fullback for the mighty Hilltopper football team. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as an electrician’s mate aboard destroyers on western Pacific cruises from 1956 to 1960.

He returned to New Mexico where he soon met the love of his life, Versave Mary Romero then of Lyden, NM, on a blind date set up by friends. Corky must have impressed Versave, to say the least, as they eloped to Las Vegas a few months later and began their 60 year marriage together in Los Alamos.

In 1967, they moved to White Rock where they raised two children, Arleen (Stephen) and Chris (Deidre). Corky shared his love of sports by coaching several local youth sports teams, including YAFL and Little League. He loved the outdoors and spent much of his free time camping, boating and fishing with his kids and brothers.

Corky and Versave then relocated to Eldorado of Santa Fe in 1987 where they resided for over 30 years, hosting many memorable family events where Corky’s creativity shone through. He made magnificent Christmas pinatas for the grandkids (Alyssa, Dylan, Molly, Tyler, and Katelynn). He set up elaborate treasure hunts, played the guitar, and was famous for putting a little too much frosting on the chocolate eclairs. In 2020, Corky and Versave returned to White Rock to be closer to family.

Corky worked for 41 years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He began as a truck driver, hauling explosives around tech sites, then, much to Versave’s relief, he hung up his dangerous driving gloves, and became a designer/draftsman at multiple sites and a variety of technical organizations until his retirement in 2000 when he focused on his bowling and golfing among many other activities.

Corky was well loved by his family and friends. His love of life and appreciation of the small things inspired everyone around him. Anyone who ever met Corky remembers the sparkle of his turquoise eyes, his kindness and compassion, his quiet laugh, and his firm handshake. He is greatly missed, but has undoubtedly already moved on to his next adventure and is charming all those around him.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the COPD Foundation or the American Cancer Society.

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