1919 Thomas 2015

Thomas Moody

August 18, 1919 — February 26, 2015

Thomas William Moody, 95, of Greenville passed away Thursday, February 26, 2015 at his residence. Memorial service is scheduled for 4:00pm Sunday, March 1, 2015 at Westview United Methodist Church with Rev. Carolyn Allbritton officiating. Burial will be 12:30pm Tuesday, March 3, 2015 in the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery under the direction of Peters Funeral Home. Thomas William Moody was born Aug 18, 1919 in Sheridan, Wyoming to Edith Robinson Moody and John Waldron Moody. Tom was the firstborn of three sons, the youngest of whom died as a toddler. He grew up on the family homestead in Powder River County, Montana. For his primary school education, he rode a horse with his younger brother Charles to the one-room Mountain View school a few miles from their homestead. Since there was not a public high school very close by, he attended the St. Labre Indian School, a boarding school 32 miles from the homestead for 2 ½ years . He was not particularly happy there, and so he moved to Ottawa, Kansas in 1937 to live with his uncle, Vern Robinson, to finish his high school education there. Milking cows was one of his daily chores during this period. In 1938, he graduated from Ottawa High School and returned to Montana, where he worked at various ranches, herding sheep and cow punching. Eventually he registered his own T-Bar-M brand with the state of Montana, intending to ranch on his own, but then World War II intruded. He joined the Navy in 1942 and attended a flight prep school in Iowa intending to be a flyer, but his inner ears did not cooperate, and he was transferred to the Great Lakes region for a few months, where he was trained to repair radios and other electrical devices. He worked Shore Patrol briefly in the San Francisco area before shipping out for Maui, Hawaii, where he served as a Special Artificer Devices for the duration of the war. While in Hawaii, he made the acquaintance of a young widow, Phyllis Clawson Lewis, who was also serving in the navy. After they were discharged and returned to their families in Wyoming and Ohio, respectively, he would correspond with her and with some of his other navy friends. Thanks to the GI bill and the interest in electronics that his work in the Navy had given him, he began attending Montana State University in 1946, majoring in Electrical Engineering. During the succeeding summer breaks, he worked at a grain elevator one year and for an electric company the next. His continuing correspondence with Phyllis sparked her to decide to transfer from Bowling Green State University in Ohio to Montana State U in 1948. Tom and Phyllis were married in June 1949, and he graduated that same year. Tom got a job as a test engineer for the General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York. Their next move was to Fort Wayne, Indiana, still with GE. In 1952, the couple moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Tom was employed by Sandia Corporation, which later became Sandia National Laboratories. Their first son, Leland, was born in 1955. It was a difficult birth, and they decided to adopt their second son, William, in 1960. In 1961, the family moved out of Albuquerque proper to the nearby village of Tijeras, where Tom did much of the finishing work on the house they built in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. Tom continued to commute to Sandia Labs until his retirement in 1983. Both before and after his retirement, he kept himself busy with many projects including home maintenance and fixing up cars, chairs, pianos and various other things he picked up cheaply at government auctions. He hated to see anything disposed of that could be fixed up and made useful again. He also served many years in the Tijeras Volunteer Fire Department, and on the board of Trustees of his church. In 2002, he suffered a stroke that put him in rehab for a few weeks, but he recovered almost completely, although his sense of the direction was never quite the same. Because of his age and the risk of other health issues, he and Phyllis were forced to sell their house and move to Greenville to be closer to family. After Phyllis' death in 2005, he moved into an in-laws house next to Leland's house outside Greenville where he lived until his passing. He is survived by his sons Leland and Bill and their wives, Betty and Theresa, respectively; his grandsons Josh, Jake, Joseph, Noah, and Jonathan and his wife, Ashley; his granddaughter Savannah and her husband, Justin. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, and wife.
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