Thomas L. Guess Jr. was born March 16, 1928, and died Oct. 31, 2011, in his home. He was born in Grenada, Miss., but had been a member of the Big Spring Community for 43 years.
He is survived by his best friend and partner, Mary Gressett of Forsan, Texas, and her family; his daughters, Amanda Jane Roberts of Kansas City, Mo., Theresa Susan Roberts of the Virgin Islands and Mary Ellen Walls of Carrollton, Texas; sons-in-law, Jackson Roberts, Randy Walls and Leo Davendish; grandchildren, Jason and Matthew Bicknell, Aaron Roberts, Alex and Abbi Walls; and nieces and nephews from North Carolina to Alaska.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Ralda Lucille Guess; his aunt, Augusta Peacock; and his mother (the inspiration of his life), Ralda Bailey Guess.
Thomas started his working career as a brakeman for the Illinois Central Railroad in 1943 and then joined the Air Force and retired in 1967 after 21 years of service. He served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Tom saw the world during his 21 years in the military, but having served at Webb Air Force Base during the early 1950s, he returned to Big Spring after his retirement and lived here longer than anywhere else.
After moving to Big Spring, he became involved in a number of retail businesses, including Margaretâ€™s Dress Shop, The Guy Next Door, Happy Camping and Places & Pleasures Travel Agency. He also had two approved U.S. Patents.
Tom attended Howard County Junior College in order to continue his education, and as it turned out, the class he most excelled in was western dancing, a skill which he put to good use later in life.
He was always a very active member of the community and served as President of the Permian Basin Recreation Vehicle Association. He was on the board of directors of the State of Texas Recreational Vehicle Association and Board of Directors of Resort Air.
He served on the city council of Big Spring and was on the Industrial Development Committee of the Big Spring Chamber of Commerce. He loved West Texas and Big Spring and remained active in community service well into his 80s. He was a volunteer in the establishment of the Hangar 25 Museum at the former Webb AFB.
Daddy always felt he had a wonderful life and had accomplished a great number of things. The one accomplishment he was most proud of was raising his four daughters and we loved him for it.
There will be a private memorial service for family members at a later date and the family requests that any contributions go to the Alzheimerâ€™s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave. 7th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001.
Arrangements are by Myers & Smith Funeral Home. Pay your respects online at www.myersandsmith.com