Thomas D. Edmonds

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Deacon Tom Edmonds passed away peacefully April 29, 2012 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Tom was born May 31, 1941 in Concord, MA and was always proud of his heritage in the spirit of the shot heard round the world and that of Henry David Thoreau. He was the second son of James and Rita Edmonds, and he and his older brother Billy grew together as two musketeers always searching for mischief and fun in the simpler age of the 1940s & 50s. Following high school graduation, Tom joined the Marine Corps and served for 27 months as a Signalman on Navy amphibious ships. His military career continued with 17 years in the Air Force, during which he was assigned as a student to the University of Oklahoma (B.S. Aerospace Engineering) and to the Air Force Institute of Technology (M.S. Astronautics). On graduation, he was assigned to Air Force Intelligence Services, however, that assignment ended in the early 1970s with the collapse of U.S. intelligence activities in Europe, at which time he was assigned to Vandenberg AFB CA as a Launch Control Officer with Atlas E/F space launch vehicles. Over the next ten years, he was the launch site manager and launch controller for numerous launch operations, and he could proudly say at the end of his career that he never launched a bomb although two operations failed with bomb-like results in the near vicinity of the launch pad. Upon retirement from the military, he was employed by General Dynamics in San Diego as integration manager for unique payload missions designated for Space Shuttle operations, an activity terminated in 1986 with loss of Challenger, but the payload missions continued on alternative launch vehicles (including renewed design and production of Atlas II, Atlas III, and the current Atlas V launch vehicles). Tom met his future wife in a San Diego elevator in 1984 and they were married in 1985. Tom joined Kays church and together and they became active in the RCIA program designed to assist adults in determination of the faith they should like to follow. In 1993, Tom decided to investigate the Roman Catholic Permanent Diaconate and he enrolled for the first year of studies; he enrolled for the second year in 1994 but that was cut short by his transfer to Vandenberg AFB to participate in the activation of a launch complex to support Alas III. Toms rocket career came to a close in 1998 with his retirement and focus on the diaconate program in 1999; Tom was ordained in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and was assigned to active ministry in his home town of Lompoc, CA. Kay and Tom worked closely together for five years with the Los Angeles Catholic Worker ministry and with the Federal Prison system in Lompoc. In 2004, they relocated to Plymouth, MA to be closer to Toms brothers and sister, at which time Tom was accepted by Cardinal OMalley for service in the Archdiocese of Boston with assignment to St. Mary Parish in Plymouth. Tom is survived by his wife of 26 years, Kayanne; their children Karen Edmonds, Terri Kurczewski and her husband Keith; grandchildren James McCool, Vera Kurczewski, Trent and Toriana Beale. His sister Suzanne Garden, brothers Peter and his wife Linda, and Paul. He was a loving uncle to Rita Edmonds, Leah and Larry Garden, Jennifer Edmonds and Emily and James Edmonds. Tom was predeceased by his brother William. There will be a celebration of Toms life beginning with a memorial Mass Saturday, May 26 at 10 a.m., St. Marys Catholic Church, Court St., Plymouth, continued with a gathering of family and friends from 12 noon until 3 p.m. at the Overlook Club, 149 Great Island Rd., Plymouth MA 02360 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Plymouth Public Library or the Cranberry Hospice. Arrangements in care of Cartmell Funeral Home, Plymouth, MA. For directions and online guestbook, see www.cartmellfuneralhome.com.

Published in The Patriot Ledger on May 1, 2012
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