Thomas Edwin Wheat, 93, passed away Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 in Sugar Land. Tom, to his friends, and Edwin, to his family, was preceded in death by his parents George Thomas and Iva Stover Wheat, of Purdon; sister, Frances Arnett of Trinidad; brother, George of Baytown; and wife of 66 years, Amy Ruth Tolbert of Denison.
He is survived by daughter, Sharon Carey of Meadows Place; grandson, Michael Carey and wife Cristin and granddaughter Sutton Carey of Henderson; son, Bruce Wheat and wife Glauce of Hoover, Ala.; and son, Brian Wheat and wife Johanna of Tucker, Ga.
Mr. Wheat was born in 1919 in Purdon, Navarro County as the youngest of three. After losing his father to typhoid in the early days of the Central Texas oil boom in 1923, he went on to pick cotton, play basketball, baseball and football for Purdon High School “before shoulder pads.” His first real job was at K. Wolens clothing store in Corsicana, of which he was very proud. World War II prompted Tom to enter the Army in 1942, taking the option in Basic to cross town to the Army Air Corps at Randolph Field, which led to a 20 year career with the Air Force. On leave home in 1943 he proposed and married a local schoolteacher, Amy Ruth Tolbert of Trinidad.
He received an accounting degree from his beloved TCU, the first in his family to go to college and forever a proud Horned Frog. His first career in the Air Force helped develop his passion for fast-pitch softball, playing on several championship teams, then later coaching his sons' little league baseball teams in Waco and Hoover. Air Force Base hops led to children born in Atlantic City, NJ (Sharon), Fort Worth, (Bruce) and Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico (Brian), then to retirement at James Connally AFB, Waco.
Tom, Amy and the family were charter members of both Borinquen Baptist Church near Ramey AFB and Lake Shore Baptist Church in Waco. Tom entered the field of the insurance business in Waco which led to his second career with Stonewall/Dixie and a move to the home office in Birmingham, Ala. where he took care of the hundreds of agents around the country selling auto insurance to military families. He finally retired at 79 from Infinity Auto Insurance in Homewood, Ala. Tom and Amy were members of Vestavia Country Club, where his regular foursome met early every Saturday for well over 20 years, and Vestavia Baptist Church, where Tom worked the collection offerings and Amy worked the library. Finally moving from their Hoover home to Galleria Woods, then after Amy's passing in 2009 from cancer, to Silverado Senior Living in Sugar Land near his daughter, Sharon.
The kids are most appreciative of the staff and hospice providers at Silverado who made dad's last three years the best they could be. Tom will be laid to rest next to his beloved wife Amy and his parents at Younger Cemetery near his home of Purdon, Texas.
Visitation will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at Corley Funeral Home.
Services will follow at 2 p.m. at Corley Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Dan Rogers officiating. Burial will be held at Younger Cemetery.
An online guestbook is available at www.corleyfuneralhome.com by selecting the Thomas Wheat obituary.