Colonel, Thomas “T.C.” Thompson, USAF (ret), 89, of Callaway/Panama City Beach, passed away May 2, 2019 at his home. T.C. was born November 10, 1929 in Anaheim, CA to Thomas Cooper and Helen (Kershaw) Thompson, III.
T.C. earned his BS Degree from University of Southern California, where he played Football for USC and was president of his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
T.C. is a retired Colonel with the United States Air Force with over twenty-six years of service to his country. T.C. was a Fighter Pilot, with over 4,450 flight hours in aircraft F-86, F-102, F-106, and F-4, including flying 100 missions over North Vietnam, earning numerous awards and citations including the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Meritorious Service Medal and lifelong Member in the Order of Dandelions. T.C. served as the Squadron Commander of the 57th FIS at Keflavik, Iceland, the Vice Base Commander for Tyndall Air Force Base, Commander at the 12th Missile Warning Group, Thule Air Base in Thule, Greenland and Deputy for Operations of the 20th NORAD Region headquartered in Fort Lee Air Force Station, Virginia. T.C. retired on January 1, 1980.
T.C. moved to Panama City in 1975. After retirement, T.C. proudly served for over 18 years as president of the “River Rats”, the Red River Fighter Pilot Association. He also enjoyed Florida surf fishing and loved his annual salmon fishing trips to Alaska.
T.C. will be remembered by his family as a kind, loving husband and devoted father and grandfather. He always had time to tell a story, share a smile, and lend a hand – he was a role model of what it means to be a truly good person. T.C. was united in marriage on August 27, 1960 to the love of his life, Alice. He is survived by his wife Alice (Brosz); his children, Linda (Greg) Keenan of Callaway, FL; Tom (Kristi) Thompson of Warrenville, IL; his grandchildren, Chris, Travis (Kaitlyn), Allison and Shaun (Julie) Keenan; and his great-grandchildren, Della Vest, Kyle and Sam Keenan.
The family welcomes friends for a reception celebrating T.C.’s life on Wednesday, May 8, from 3-5 pm at the Kent-Forest Lawn Funeral Home. Air Force Military Honors will render services at 5pm that afternoon. Interment will take place privately in Arlington National Cemetery.