PEKIN - Thomas H. "Tommy" Pyeatte, 66, of Quincy, formerly of Peoria and Pekin, passed away Saturday, July 13, 2013, at Blessing Hospital in Quincy.
Born Jan. 18, 1947, in Fayetteville, Ark., to Howard and Madge (Sullins) McCoullough Jr., he married Patricia Spellings in Pensacola, Fla.
Surviving are three daughters, Ann Laura (Jeff) Cole of Ellensburg, Wash., Becky (Charles) Johnson of Milton, Fla., and Tracy (Mark) Gober of Decatur, Ala.; seven grandchildren; two brothers, Robert (Glenna) Pyeatte of Peoria and Michael Pyeatte of Washington; three sisters, Judy (Dan) Reed of Houston, Texas, Margaret Lowrey of Pekin and Debra (David) Pyeatte of Topeka, Ill.; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother-in-law, Jerry Lowrey.
A member of the United States Army, Tom had served as a helicopter tail gunner during the Vietnam War, where he had won the Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters. He earned the award for meritorious service as a crew chief on a helicopter during missions in support of the ground troops. His job was primarily to pick up the dead and wounded. He had completed over 35 missions.
He had worked for Caterpillar Inc. as a core maker at the Mapleton Facility, retiring in 2001. After his retirement, he drove a school bus for three years.
Tom had been a life member of the Roy L. King VFW Post 1232.
He loved his family, his home and being in it. He also enjoyed traveling and he was "the life of any party."
His graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Monday, July 22, 2013, at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, where military honors will be accorded. Pastor Steve Weber will officiate. Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.
To express condolences online, visit www.preston-hanley.com.
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