Thomas (Tom) Mathis Crowder Sr., 80 of Fieldale, Virginia, passed away peacefully after a brief struggle with cancer on Wednesday, 18 September 2013, at the Rockingham Hospice Care Facility in Wentworth, NC.
Tom was born in Kensington, GA on 29 November 1932, son of the late William (Tom) Maurice and Vera Quinn Crowder. He was also preceded in death by a son, Thomas (Tommy) Mathis Crowder Jr. in 2011.
He was a 1950 graduate of Gordon Lee High School in Chickamauga, GA and a 1955 graduate of the University of Chattanooga, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. Among the many things he enjoyed outside his family and military career was the time he played professional baseball at the farm league level, golfing and his work in the car service/sales industry.
Tom retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army after a twenty year active service military career. Among his many achievements, he earned both peacetime and combat awards. Upon retirement from his last duty station at the Pentagon, he earned his highest award, the Legion of Merit and the Army's General Staff Identification Badge for his contributions in managing the Army's tactical worldwide communications-electronics program. He also received the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and the Combat Infantryman's Badge for meritorious service in support of U.S. objectives in Vietnam from June, 1965, to May, 1966. Known as a consummate Combat Arms Officer, he commanded a field artillery battery for three years in Germany at the height of the Cold War, served as an Infantry Advisor to the South Vietnamese Army, and commanded an Air Defense Artillery Battalion consisting of over 600 soldiers. Even though he loved the Army, he loved his family more. At the end of his career, he turned down promotion to Colonel and a key follow on assignment in order to tend to family matters and spend more time with the people he loved.
He is survived by the love of his life of 55 years, Corinne Via Crowder, a daughter Robin Crowder Bailey, a son Charles William Crowder, loving son and daughter in law David L. Bailey and Maureen Anne Crowder, and eight grandchildren: Brittany and Kellie Brooke Crowder, Chase and Jordan Bailey, and Savannah, Warren, Ooch, and Makenna Crowder.
The family would like to express endless gratitude to the care providers at Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden, NC and at the Rockingham Hospice Facility. You made it a very peaceful and dignified ending
He had a sincere love for Christ and his church family at Stanleytown Amazing Grace Baptist Church. A funeral service will be conducted at 1100 am, 21 Saturday 2013, at the church with fellowship to follow. Dr. Greg Hodges and Pastor Clay Bower will be officiating. Burial will follow at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery. Collins Funeral Home in Bassett, VA is serving the Crowder Family.
To express condolences on line, please visit www.collinsmckeestonebassett.com.