William Dubb "Tommy" Thomas

William Dubb Tommy Thomas LAMESA-William Dubb Tommy Thomas died on Aug. 24, 2008, at the Songbird Lodge in Brownwood, Texas, after a short courageous battle with colon cancer. Dubb had lived the last few years of his life next door to his brother, Lewis, in Lake Ivie, Texas. Dubb was 70 years old at the time of his death. Left to mourn Dubb's passing are his two children, son, Martin Dubb Marty Thomas of St. Cloud, Minn., and daughter, Valarie Catania Mahmud of Raleigh, N.C.; grandchildren, Issac, Elizabeth and Kamran; sister, Lajean Ann Thomas of Granbury, Texas; and nieces, nephews and several friends in the Lamesa and San Angelo areas. Dubb also kept in touch throughout the last 25 years with old navy buddies, and many friends he made in his world travels, including his first girlfriend, Faven Taney of Enoch, Utah. Dubb, named after his two grandfathers, William Lewis Thomas and J.T. Dub Middleton, was born to Lewis and June Thomas of Plainview, Texas, on June 3, 1938. Dubb attended schools in California, Lubbock, O'Donnell, and Welch, Texas. In 1955, barely 17, Dubb joined the navy in Albuquerque, N.M. Dubb obtained his GED in the navy. He also received special training in electrical engineering, electrician's mate, combat training, and damage control at Pearl Harbor. Dubb was stationed at many bases around the world, including Guantanamo Bay, Thailand, Japan, Italy, Hawaii and Viet Nam. Dubb served aboard several different ships, including the USS Rathburne, USS Essex, USS OCallahan and the USS Samuel Gompers. Dubb served two tours of duty in Viet Nam, in 1967 and 1968. Medals and awards included the Viet Nam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon Bar, Commendation Service Medal of Da Nang, a meritorious unit citation, Republic of Viet Nam meritorious unit citation, and the combat action ribbon. As is true of many Viet Nam vets, Dubb would not discuss his valiant service to his country in Viet Nam. In 1968, William Dubb married Jean Carol Mathis of St. Cloud, Minn. Two children were born to Dubb and Jean, Martin Dubb Marty Thomas in 1969 and Valarie Catania Thomas in 1973. Lewis and June Thomas, Dubb's parents, would make a rare trip off the farm near Lamesa, Texas, and visit Dubb and Jean in Hawaii in 1973. Dubb was married to Audrey from Oklahoma. Dubb was also married to Dee of Michigan. In 1978, Dubb was discharged from the Navy in San Diego, Calif., where his naval career had begun in the summer of 1955. In 1978, when his father was gravely ill, Dubb's brother, Lewis Wayne, would drive to California and bring Dubb home to Texas. Dubb had lived in Big Springs, Abilene, Lubbock and Lamesa before moving to Lake Ivie in the late 90s, where he lived until his death on Aug. 24, 2008. Dubb will be remembered and honored on Oct. 20 at 11:11 a.m. in Lamesa Memorial Park in Lamesa, Texas. A special farewell is planned for the two brothers who shared their first days and their last days together on this earth. Dubb's favorite pastimes were crossword puzzles, reading science fiction, and taking care of his vintage 1974 Ford truck. Dubb's dogs throughout the years were all named Sam. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to any local, state, or national Viet Nam Veterans Association or Disabled Veterans of America. The family can be reached via email at jdrobinson46@frontier.com. Funeral arrangements were coordinated through Heartland Funeral Home in Early, Texas. Special thanks to National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Mo.; the Naval Center in Quantico, Va.; Billy Murphy with Brown County Veterans Service Office; and David Griffin of Heartland Funeral Home.

Published in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Oct. 14, 2012