James Thomas Emanuel "Tom" 92, of Las Cruces, NM went to be with his Lord and Savior on September 18, 2019. He was born in Bentonville, Arkansas on December 19, 1926, to Claibe and Lucy Emanuel. He was an only child who grew up living in Arkansas and California, at times being raised by his grandmother, Nancy Elizabeth Sillin, "Lizzie", who he described as being the most beautiful a...

James Thomas Emanuel "Tom" 92, of Las Cruces, NM went to be with his Lord and Savior on September 18, 2019. He was born in Bentonville, Arkansas on December 19, 1926, to Claibe and Lucy Emanuel. He was an only child who grew up living in Arkansas and California, at times being raised by his grandmother, Nancy Elizabeth Sillin, "Lizzie", who he described as being the most beautiful and hard-working woman he had ever known. The times he lived with his grandma, he lived on a farm. He loved to tell stories of those simpler days he loved so much, and that shaped him into the man he became. Tom left high school at 17 to join the Unites States Navy in WWII where he served as a Seabee. As a Seabee, he went ashore during the battle of Okinawa. Later he served aboard the Mine Sweeper, USS Medrick. During his time on the Medrick, the vessel swept the Bikini Atoll in preparation for the testing of the atomic bomb. After being discharged from the Navy he returned home to finish high school in his hometown, where he met the love his life, Phyllis Patterson. Later he would join the Arkansas Army National Guard. He was mobilized for the Korean War. While training at Camp Carson, CO, he proposed to his bride and the two married alongside two other couples in a triple wedding ceremony prior to his deployment to Korea. All three couples married that day remained married for the rest of their time on earth. He served as an artilleryman in Korea. After returning from the Korean War, he left the service, and had his first-born son, of three. They later moved to New Mexico, where he found his calling as the Wildlife Manager at White Sands Missile Range. He ultimately moved into a different role at White Sands Missile Range as a Range Rider. He retired from this role in 1984. After retirement he spent a short time working on a ranch as a cowboy. He ended his working career as the Sporting Goods Manager at the first Walmart opened in Las Cruces. Tom was a skilled wood worker, enjoyed shooting, loved horses and his dogs, enjoyed reading, and more than anything loved family which included his bride and three sons. Tom was a lifelong Presbyterian and member of Grace Covenant Church. He took his food very seriously. He made the best posole, which was a New Year's Eve event the family all looked forward to. Near the end of his life he lived for Wendy's Dave's burgers and chocolate Frosty's. As a true product of the depression, he never left a crumb on his plate. Tom is survived by his sons, Keith of Las Cruces, David (Katherine) of Rio Rancho, and Brent (Sandy) of Las Cruces, grandchildren Cheryl, Courtney, Alexandra, and Scott, as well as seven great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren, and his beloved dog Sophie, his companion to the end now living with his son Keith. Tom is preceded in death by parents, his wife of 65 years Phyllis, his grandson Jamie, and his beloved dog Muffet, who was his best friend on the range for many years. Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00pm at Getz Funeral Home Thursday, October 3rd, 2019. Service will be held at 10:00am, Friday October 4th,2019 at Grace Covenant Church, 3111 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, NM, burial immediately following at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens. First Visitation
Thursday, October 3, 2019 5:00pm - 7:00pm,
Getz Funeral Home Chapel

1410 E. Bowman Ave
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001






Service Information
Friday, October 4, 2019 10:00am,
Grace Covanent

Address Not Available






Interment Location

Hillcrest Memorial Gardens

5140 W. Picacho Ave.
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88007

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