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THOMAS HARDWICK WILSON Thomas Hardwick Wilson, 86, passed away on September 30, 2012 at Martin Memorial Medical Center in Stuart, Florida. He was born in Macon, Georgia to Malcolm and Margaret Bozeman Wilson. After graduation from North Augusta High School in 1942, he attended Junior College of Augusta, GA for 3 semesters before enlisting in the US Navy. As an Enlisted man he was a Radioman/Aerial Gunner in PB4Y-1's and PB4Y-2's in the Aleutian Islands surviving over 300 hours of combat flying and one PB4Y-2 crash. In 1947 he entered Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA where he obtained a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1949. After graduation he was commissioned as an Ensign and became a Naval Aviator in 1951. During the Korean War he served in US Navy Fighter Squadron Seventy Two on the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard CVA 31 flying Grumann F9F Panther jet fighters and was awarded several Air Medals. In 1960 he transitioned into the Vought F8U Crusader jet fighter, which he continued to fly on assignments for the remainder of his career. He completed 279 carrier landings and was a Life Member of the Tailhook Association. His tours of duty were in various parts of the United States and overseas and included teaching physics at the United States Naval Academy, service with the Seventh Fleet in Taiwan and at the NATO base at Keflavik, Iceland. He earned a MS in Management in 1968. After a 30 year Naval career, he retired as a Commander in 1976 at the age of fifty. Upon retirement, he and his wife lived in Maryland, Florida, Wyoming and New Mexico. He spent his retirement years pursuing whatever caught his interest from learning Spanish and Latin, to woodworking, scuba diving, flying, hiking, horseback riding, renovation projects, volunteering, travel and enjoying time with his family and friends. Three years ago he returned to Stuart where he continued to delight and entertain us with his wit and humor. He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 57 years, his four children, Jonathan (Ana) Wilson of Mountain View, CA; Malcolm (Flor) Wilson of Wake Forest, NC; Rebecca (Kevin) Brown of Jacksonville, FL and Christia Li (Paul) Roberts of Stuart, FL, three grandchildren, Colleen, Mark and Suzanne, five great- grandchildren Shannon, Taylor, Jackson, Michael and Hayden, his brother and sister, Elliott Bozeman (Joyce) Walker of Beech Island, SC and Mary Hutto Walker of Macon, GA, and his cousin Katherine Moore (Jack) Thomas of Macon, GA. He will be especially missed by the Friday Goat Ropers, great-granddaughters Shannon and Taylor, and his vocal cat Oliver. Visitation will be held on Friday, October 5, 2012 from 4 - 7 PM at Aycock Funeral Home in Stuart. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 10 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Stuart, Florida with interment to follow at Fernhill Memorial Gardens in Stuart. Please visit Cdr. Wilson's online guestbook at www.aycockfuneralhome.net Paid Obituary
Published in the TC Palm on Oct. 4, 2012