Tom David Elder
Tom David Elder died peacefully on March 26, 2016 after a prolonged battle with Emphysema at Conway Regional Medical Center. He was 65.
Tom David was born in Visalia, California on September 19th, 1950 to Tom and Dorceal Elder. In May 1970, Tom joined the United States Navy and married his wife, Beverly Ann. Tom qualified as an Aircraft Welder and soon became known as "Elder the Welder." As a young sailor, Tom embraced his true Adventurer Spirit and volunteered to be a C-130 Flight Engineer. As a Naval Aircrewman, he deployed with ANTARCTIC DEVRON SIX (VXE-6) and loved the opportunities to fly in Antarctica. In 1980, Tom was promoted to Chief Petty Officer. As a Chief, Tom loved mentoring and supporting young Sailors while still flying. Tom was a member of the Masonic Lodge. He achieved the level of 32nd degree Scottish Rite.
Tom David returned to Conway in 1999 to help care for his father. During this time, he reestablished relationships with friends and family in Arkansas, trained his grandchildren, Kristen and Joshua to be insubordinate to their parents and collect guns and golf carts for Beverly.
Tom David leaves behind his adoring wife Beverly; his daughter Amanda and her husband Chris; his grandchildren Kristen George and Joshua George; his mother Dorceal Elder; his brother Bill Elder; his sisters Verda Sue Dillard, Donna Horton and Deyon Hamilton; and his best buddy Johnny Hoelzeman. He is predeceased by his beloved father, Tom A. Elder; his best friends Doug and William Brown and a Crew of Shipmates taken from this world too soon.
Services will be conducted by Reverend Patrick Saveall, first cousin.
Visitation Wednesday, March 30 5-7 p.m. at Thornton Funeral Home.
Graveside service will be held Thursday, March 31 10:00 a.m. at Rocky Cemetery in Sims.
Pallbearers: AC1 Kristen George, Joshua George, Christopher George, Johnny Hoelzeman, Peter Underwood and James Tidwell.
Honorary Pallbearers: Terry Kinsey, Steve Goodner, James Stewart, Eston Elder Jr., Andrew Hamilton, Michael Hamilton, Edward Roller, Stan Boler and Sean Gentry.
Arrangements were made under the direction of Thornton Funeral Home of Mount Ida. Arkansas.
Guest register at www.thorntonfh.com.