Thomas Melville Hardgrave, born on April 28, 1931, in Tyler, Texas, went to be with the Lord on Aug. 27, 2013 at the age of 82. He was a graduate of Palestine High School in Palestine, Texas and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas.
Tom was the oldest of three children born to Homer E. Hardgrave and Mary Viola Thompson Hardgrave, Palestine, Texas.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carol Joyce Shelton Hardgrave of Palestine; two daughters, Pamela Burwell and husband Mark of Papillion, N.E., and Cheryl Workman and husband Kelly of San Antonio; four granddaughters, Diana Kempson and husband David of Waldorf, Md., Courtney Flores and husband Adam of San Antonio, Stephanie Burwell of Papillion, and Brittany Workman of San Antonio; three great-grandchildren; one sister, Susan Ingram and husband Leonard of Elgin; one sister-in-law, Vivian Hardgrave of Athens; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by father, Homer E. Hardgrave; mother, Mary Viola Thompson Hardgrave; and brother, Larry Hardgrave.
SMSgt Hardgrave entered active duty in the U.S. Air Force in 1950, retiring after 29 years of service. He was assigned to the USAF Marksmanship School at Lackland Air Force base and was a member of the USAF Pistol Team, earning the coveted Distinguished Pistol Award. After retirement, he was the owner of T.P.W., a jewelry findings and supply company.
His favorite pastimes included fishing and gardening. He served as president of the Christian Bass Club of San Antonio. In 1996, he served as president of the Men’s Garden Club of San Antonio.
Mr. Hardgrave was a longtime member of Lackland Baptist Church and loved the Lord, his family and his church.
Visitation will be on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Castle Ridge Mortuary. Funeral Service will be held at Lackland Baptist Church on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 at 8:45 a.m., with interment to follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lackland Baptist Church or the American Parkinson Disease Association; Parkinson Plaza; 1345 Parkinson Avenue; Staten Island, N.Y.; 10305-1425.