Thomas Gavin Profile Photo
1926 Thomas 2020

Thomas Gavin

September 12, 1926 — May 30, 2020

Lt. Colonel Thomas J. Gavin passed away on May 30, 2020 at the age of 93.\r\n\r\nA retired USAF World War II Veteran, Tom was born September 12, 1926 in Queens, New York to Thomas A. and Lillian E. Gavin. \r\n\r\nHis early years were spent in Binghamton, New York where he left high school in 1944 to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He spent two years on active duty, 18 months of which were spent at sea in the Pacific Theater of Operations. He was in Okinawa when the war ended, and Hiroshima, Japan soon after its destruction by the atomic bomb; an experience he would never forget.\r\n\r\nUpon returning home, Tom attended Syracuse University. An officer at Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and a commission in the U.S. Air Force. Upon Graduation he was called to active duty due to the Korean War. It was then that he decided on a military career.\r\n\r\nWhile in the military, Tom served in a variety of training and administrative positions both home and abroad. With extensive experience in personnel, he spent four years at the USAF Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and eventually retired in 1974 as Chief of the Advanced Systems Design Branch in Directorate of Personnel Data Systems out of Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.\r\n\r\nHis total military service spanned 28 years and three wars. He was rewarded ten service medals along the way, including the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Accommodation Medal on two occasions.\r\n\r\nTom met and married Bernice R. Van Houte in 1953 while on his first military assignment at Sampson Air Force Base in New York, and their 68-year love affair ensued.\r\n\r\nTom's interests outside the military primarily involved home construction and remodeling. He formed the San Antonio-based firm "Executive Builders," building custom homes for several years in San Antonio and surrounding areas.\r\n\r\nA sports addict who loved the game of golf, Tom would often recount having carded a hole in one on two different occasions and bragged of shooting his age three times while in his late 70s.\r\n\r\nTom and Bernice moved to Riverhill in 2003. Devout Catholics who have actively been members of the parish of Notre Dame Catholic Church here in Kerrville.\r\n\r\nTom was predeceased by his parents and older brother Edward M. Gavin. He is survived by his loving wife Bernice, and their three sons and families, multiple nieces and nephews and his furry friend Callie, the cat.\r\n\r\nThe Family would like to thank Dr. Barrington and her staff for the guidance and care they gave Tom over the past few years, and Peterson Hospice for their comfort and support in his final days.\r\n\r\nPrivate family grave side services will be held. Memorial Mass will be announced at a later date. \r\n\r\nFuneral arrangements are entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville.\r\n

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