LTC THOMAS EDGELLER, 81
Retired LTC Thomas Allen Edgeller, 81, of Springfield Missouri, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 while sleeping at home. He was born June 11, 1933 in Omaha, Nebraska to John William Edgeller and his wife, Vivian Lilly Edgeller. While Tom was still young, the Edgellers moved to West Plains, Missouri where his father operated the Frisco railroad depot and his parents raised three boys and a daughter.
After graduating from West Plains High School, Tom earned degrees from Southwest Missouri State University in Political Science and ROTC, which allowed him to join the United States Army as an officer. After finishing college he married his sweetheart Frieda Jean Stein at White Church and together they raised four sons. In addition to serving in the Vietnam War and along the Berlin Wall in the Cold War, Tom had tours of duty in Ft. Stewart GA, Germany, Aberdeen MD, Norton KS, Okinawa and St. Louis MO. Tom attained the rank of Major and finished a Master's degree in Education from the University of Missouri before retiring from active duty.
Tom was named the Principal of Koshkonong High School in 1971 and attended St. Mary's Catholic Church in nearby West Plains. Tom accepted a position as Superintendent at Springfield Catholic High School in 1973. In 1976, the military recruited Tom to return to active duty to manage rolling stock for the 5th Army headquartered in San Antonio, Texas where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was subsequently invited to the 6th Army headquartered in Presidio of San Francisco, where Tom helped establish the desert exercise facilities in Barstow, California which was instrumental in preparing our soldiers for future desert conflicts.
After retiring from the military a second time, Tom settled back in Springfield, Missouri where he became a Charter Member of the Knights of Columbus and choir member at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Tom also worked part-time for Northrup Grumman as a defense contractor staging mock war games. Still not able to sit down very long, Tom spent his free-time playing golf, dancing, watching sports and helping out with bingo night at the Knights of Columbus.
Tom is survived by his best friend and companion Jo Dake who has shared his passion for life, travel and the charitable activities of the Knights of Columbus for the past several years. Tom was proceeded by his wife, Frieda who passed away in 1997. Tom will be deeply missed by his four sons and daughter-in-laws: Thomas John and Patricia Edgeller of Houston, TX, James and Beth Edgeller, of Tulsa, OK, Joseph and Valerie McNabb Edgeller, of Tulsa, OK and Charles Edgeller of Overland Park, KS. Tom is also survived by his ten grandchildren: Johnathan, Megan, Andrew, Abby, Grant, Matthew, Sam, Annie, Henry and Erik and was looking forward to Sophia, his first great grandchild due this month. Tom is also survived by his brother John Edgeller and wife Ruth from West Plains, MO, and his only sister Mary, and her husband James Schmidt, from West Plains, MO, and is proceeded by his brother Vincent Edgeller, and his wife Martha. Tom will be missed by his many loving nieces, nephews, members of the Holy Trinity Choir, his fellow Knights and other friends.
The family will gather in prayer on Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 3:00 until 5:00 PM at the Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home, 1947 East Seminole, Springfield, Missouri.
The funeral mass will be at Holy Trinity Catholic Church at 2818 E. Bennett, Springfield, Missouri on Monday, July 7, 2014 at 10 a.m. Graveside services with full military honors will be at 3 p.m. in St. Joseph Cemetery, White Church, Missouri at the corner of State Hwy 17 and Farm Road 1640 near West Plains.
Memorial donations may be made in Tom's name to the Knights of Columbus Council 9533 or to the St. Joseph Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed at www.gormanscharpf.com.
Published in the News-Leader on July 4, 2014
Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home
1947 E. Seminole Springfield, MO 65804