Thomas J. Edmonds, Sr., 89, Leavenworth, Kansas, died 7 November 2012, at the Hospice House in Kansas City, Missouri. Tom was born 4 October 1923, in Jefferson City, Missouri, the son of Hesse and Arzie O. Messamore Edmonds. He married Betty L. Hawkins on 15 May 1943, in Leavenworth. Betty preceded Tom in death on 7 October 1988.
Tom served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945 during World War II, flying 35 combat raids over Europe including seven major battles in Europe. His battles and campaigns consisted of Rome-Arno, Northern Apennines, Southern France, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Air Combat Balkans. His decorations and citations consisted of European-African - Middle Eastern Ribbon w/7 Battle Stars, Good Conduct Medal, Air Medal w/3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Unit Badge with Overseas Bar, and the European Victory Medal.
After the war, Tom went to work at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth on 25 June 1946. During the Korean Conflict, Tom again served his country at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Tom returned to work at the Federal Penitentiary, working there for 30 years. During his career with the Bureau of Prisons, Tom worked at the Youth Institution in Ashland, Kentucky, and the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. Tom returned to Leavenworth in 1970, retiring 1 January 1977, as a Correctional Supervisor.
Tom then worked for 10 years at the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, Kansas, retiring in August 1988 as a Maintenance Supervisor.
Tom was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Leavenworth. He was a proud member of the Masonic Fraternity, King Solomon Lodge #10 of
Leavenworth. In April 2012, he received his 65-year service pin from the Lodge.
Survivors include –His Daughter – Belinda C. Edmonds of the home.
Two Sons – Jeffrey R. Edmonds, and wife Barbara, of Topeka; and Douglas J.
Edmonds, and wife Pam, of Leawood.
Nine Grandchildren – Jennifer, Dennis, James, Michael, Kevin, Benjamin, Patrick, Mark, and Julie; Great-Grandchildren – Aiden, Brady, Kendal, and soon-to-be Olivia. and Brother-in-Law – Raymond A. Brown of Leavenworth.
He was also preceded in death by his Son Thomas J. Edmonds, Jr., on 2 February 1992; Brothers Harvey Edmonds, William Edmonds, and Selden Edmonds; Sisters Sudie Kiley and Hallie Ferguson; and his close and very dear friend Mary Ellen Junk of Leavenworth, who passed away on 20 October 2012.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, 10 November 2012, at the Davis Funeral Chapel, 531 Shawnee Street, Leavenworth, Kansas. The Rev. Bob Atwell of the First United Methodist Church will officiate. Burial will follow in the Mount Muncie Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., on Friday, 9 November 2012, at the Davis Funeral Chapel. A Masonic Service will be held at 7:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to The University of Kansas Hospital – Center for Advanced Heart Care or the National Kidney Foundation.