Thomas Edward Shrimplin died of heart failure on January 2, 2018 in Pahrump, Nevada. He was cremated and for the past 18 months, has been in a drawer alongside his beloved soldering iron. He was 91 years old, and spry to his last days.

Thomas aka “Tom”, “Pete”, and “Pedro was born September 3, 1926 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence, Kansas. He claimed he was the only one out of all his brothers and sisters to be born in a hospital, the rest of his siblings came to the family, “when Ole Doc would bring the babies in the doctor’s bag” at each home birth.

Tom grew-up in Western Kansas, graduated high school from Holcomb, Kansas. He served in the Air Force, stationed state-side during the Korean Conflict, then later married his wife, Virginia LeJuan Smith in 1956. They farmed north of Holcomb, had two children, Jay Charles and Charla Jean whom were born in Garden City, Kansas. He insured his young children knew about thermodynamics and irrigation methods, as well as their “A, B, C’s”.

During Tom’s childhood and adult life, he was well-known for his vehicular inventions and experimentations, which usually included pop-rivets, soldering irons, welding, and duct tape. As Tom and LeJuan farmed, Tom also was known to have converted an old army tank to be used in the fields, where one could see a propane tank atop as it powered the converted farming army tank.

After living on the Western Kansas farm, Tom attended Garden City Community College earning his associates degree, then moved to Alta Vista, Kansas where he began to attend Kansas State University. During this period he taught his young children the fine art of vehicular bodywork for better aerodynamics.

In 1968, as Tom attended Kansas State University to pursue a degree in Engineering, he began to work at Institute for Environmental Research. During this era, he developed life-long friendships with engineering students, professors, and staff who pursued similar interests and curiosities. There were lengthy discussions over coffee and cigarettes in Tom’s office, regarding alternative energy, windmills, solar panels, nocturnal cooling. There, he stayed until retirement in 1991.

Upon retirement, Tom began a leg of his journey he never thought he would get to experience. He and his wife, LeJuan began to travel globally, due to LeJuan’s interest in Geneology and WWII history. During their travels, they insured his interests were addressed, the most noted experience of flying in the Concorde turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner from London to New York. Into his last days, Tom reminisced of flying in the Concorde and delight in the details of how many G’s and thermo-differentials between the interior and exterior of the hull.

Tom’s wife, LeJuan, son, Jay and 5 siblings pre-deceased him. Those surviving are his daughter, Charla “Charlie” Shrimplin and her partner, Craig Genovese, Tom’s adult grandchild, Frances Shrimplin and her dog, Britches, his sister, Bonnie June Seavey, and his extended family.

Also surviving is Tom’s legacy of electric and hybrid vehicle, as well as the multiple vehicles he has taken apart, added batteries and bondo, made streamlined, and increased fuel efficiency.


Saturday, September 7th, Barbecue & Picnic, 5:00 PM Garden City, Kansas. Please e-mail for details/RSVP.

Monday, September 9th, 11:00 a.m. Unitarian Universalist of Manhattan, 481 Zeandale Rd. Manhattan, KS 66502.