He was born Oct. 12, 1929, in Portageville, Mo., to Nebraska Brasco and Matilda Ann Harrington Key. He and Roberta Grover were married Feb. 2, 1954, in Folkston, Ga. She preceded him in death Oct. 18, 2005.
Thomas was a graduate of Central High School. He was an electrical engineer at McDonnell-Douglas, which became Boeing, in St. Louis and Florida.
He served in the Air Force.
Survivors include six daughters, Carol Ann Martin (Allen) and Linda Kaye Key of Marshfield, Mo., Donna Sue Russell (James) of Cape Girardeau, S. Lynne Holloway (Lance) of Jackson, Peggy Gail Rawls (Marvin) of Green Cove Springs, Fla., Wendy Louise Santiago of Middleburg; a sister, Sylvania "Sook" Poole of Marshfield; 14 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; a son, Thomas Archie Key Jr. on Aug. 18, 1968; two brothers; and three sisters.
Friends may call from 10 a.m. to service time Friday at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Donny Ford officiating. Burial will be in Mounds Park Cemetery in New Madrid, Mo. Graveside military rites will be provided by Missouri Honors Team.
Memorial contributions may be given to St. Louis Children's Hospital, One Children's Place, St. Louis, MO 63110.
Online condolences may be made at www.fordandsonsfuneralhome.com.