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Thomas Tolbert Tackett 78yrs. Thomas Tolbert Tackett, September 1, 1934 to June 2, 2013. Tom was the middle of three children, born to Tolbert and Dorothy Jenkins Tackett. His older sister, Ann, died when she was eleven. Johnny, Tom's younger brother lives in the Dallas area. The early years were spent moving from town to town in central Texas. Tom's father worked as a construction engineer for the Texas Highway Department. The family had lived in Waco, Gatesville, Hamilton, Ft. Worth, and Texarkana by the time Tom began the fourth grade in Stephenville High School in 1952 and it was a good year. Tom entered Tarleton State College in the fall of 1952, then dropped out in the spring of 1954 to volunteer for the draft. That stint took him to Ft. Bliss, Ft. Lee, and finally Baumholder, Germany, with the Second Armored Division. After having spent the required two years in military service, he re-entered Tarleton in the fall of 1956, then transferred to Texas Technological College in September of 1957. In May of 1960 Tom was graduated with a B.B.A. in Marketing, and went to work in the family's business in Stephenville, Tackett Manufacturing Company. The product was women's sports wear, sold mostly to Penny's and Sears. This lasted until moving to El Paso in June of 1963 to begin a teaching career spanning Alta Vista Elementary, Bassett Junior High, and Austin High School over an eleven year period. In 1974 Tom left teaching to enter federal service for the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission, and stayed there for twenty-one years, seventeen of which were in Human Resources. Retirement came in December of 1994, the year he beat colon cancer. The retirement years made more time available to serve as deacon in the Episcopal Church, the ordination having been in June 29, 1992. Many volunteer hours were spent at St. Francis on the Hill Episcopal Church before being transferred in August of 1999 to St. Luke's outside of Canutillo. In October of 2001 Tom left the active ministry for a few years, then returned upon the request of the new priest at St. Luke's. Again retiring in early 2007, Tom, at the age of 74, was subsequently asked to reenter the active ministry in December of 2008 for the purpose of reestablishing an Episcopal presence on the west side of El Paso. That initiative resulted in a renewal of the St. Francis on the Hill Episcopal church. The book closed on Tom with a remaining strong interest in the welfare of others, and of responsible leadership within Christian congregations. Difficult times involve difficult choices, but in the end we all stand alone before our Maker. The Jacksons: Gregg, Becky, Ryan & Kayla Our family's friendship with Tom spanned over 30 years, and we are grateful to have shared life with him. He offered a helping hand, comfort in a time of need, and a perspective that could only belong to Tom. He was a dear friend and someone with whom you could talk openly, for hours at a time. Tom Tackett touched many lives, and he will be missed. Tom's love of God was celebrated in his daily life. He practiced what he preached, and was always available with a warm welcome and a gently worded encouragement. Over the years, we had many conversations with him about matters of faith, and about our culture's persistent struggles with the Christian world view. He provided helpful spiritual guidance to our family. Our talks at the house, or the Greenery, or Village Inn always ended with a good laugh and the satisfaction of time well spent. They also ended with greater clarity and a better understanding of life's true purpose. Praise God for loving Tom first, and for the overflow of that love that was so evident in Tom's life. Sure, there were times when Tom may have ruffled a few feathers, but his heart was always in the right place. Now Tom is in that right place, worshiping and seeing God face-to-face, doing the Lord's work in new and unimaginable ways. We have no doubt that Tom will go on and on with that unforgettable, reassuring smile. Memorial Service to be held on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, La Union, New Mexico at 11 am.

Published in El Paso Times from June 8 to June 20, 2013
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