Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Roger Dale Tome

Firefighter Roger Dale Tome, 71, of Windermere, was out on his regular afternoon run on February 10, 2014 when he stepped into eternity. An active-duty firefighter for the last 52 years, Roger was an Assistant Fire Chief at NASA/Kennedy Space Center where served since December 1971. Roger began his career on the Orlando Fire Department in 1961 and served under Chief Paul Pennington and Chief Melvin Rivenbark. His friend G. Calvin Bookhardt, who died on duty in 1972, was possibly one of his greatest mentors, teaching him how to live a life worth living.  

Roger faithfully served his country as a medic in the Ranger Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserves during the Vietnam Era. A graduate of Edgewater High School C/O 1960, he studied Political Science at Rollins while beginning his career in the fire service.  

Named to the list of Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Program LEGENDS, he is one of the few people to have worked at the Space Center during the entire Shuttle Transport System history. Roger bravely served on the first Astronaut Emergency Rescue team and served as its team leader for the shuttle program. Additional achievements include serving on Apollo, Space Lab, and all shuttle missions by heading emergency rescue operations at contingency landing sites in North Africa.

Roger was known to all for his smile, laughter and warmth. He never knew a stranger and treated every person as if they were the most important person on earth. He fell in love with the Magic Kingdom from the beginning. It was his favorite date destination with Judi  Underwood Tome and the place where he knew he had fallen in love. He delighted in providing his children and grandchildren with annual passes and continued to enjoy Disney World throughout his life. 

A long time resident of Windermere, Roger grew up fishing the Butler Chain of Lakes and made up his mind to raise his family there. He loved running along Main Street and his end of the run reward was a stop at Allen’s Creamery for coffee, also the place he enjoyed the grandchildren from his favorite bench. 

He grew up at Miller Memorial Baptist Church and later joined First Baptist Church of Central Florida (formerly FBC-Pine Hills) where he met the love of his life, Judi. He taught first grade Sunday School for many years and in recent years kept an eye on his elderly friends and loved his choir and pastors. 

Roger devoted his life to the service of others and saving lives. He was a man of honor, courage, and kindness, who loved His Lord above all else. He leaves behind his wife Judi of 40 years, his two daughters, Kristin and Karin, and his two grandchildren. 

Services will be held at First Baptist Church of Central Florida, 700 Good Homes Road, on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM with a graveside service at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to Gideon’s International or First Baptist Church of Central Florida (student missions).

9 comments:

KO said...

I love you, Daddy!

~A~ said...

Thank you, Mr. Tome, for all of the wonderful memories. I'll miss your infectious laugh and kind spirit. I'll miss how you always greeted me with a huge hug as if you had not seen me in years even if it had only been a couple of days.
With love from one of your "buddies",
Andrea

Bill said...

Roger, I've never met a more kindhearted person than you! Always good for a laugh and eager to share, whether it was a compliment, a wave, your smile, or just a little time...you will be missed! -Bill

Mattie Jones said...

I am sorry for the passing of your loved one; please accept my sincere sympathy. While you are
grieving your loss, I hope you can find some comfort in Jesus’ promise of the resurrection(Acts
24:15) when those who have fallen asleep in death, will be raised up and restored back to life, with
the hope of eternal life, on the renewed Paradise earth.-John 5:28,29; Luke 23:43. Until that blessed promise is fulfilled and you are reunited with your loved one again, may Jehovah God grant you peace and comfort now, during this time of sorrow.-Matthew 5:4.

SharonBaron said...
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Victoria youngblood Kreigh said...

I am so sorry for you and your families loss. My sister and I grew up down the road from Mr Rogers house. Everyday we'd run or ride our bikes down his block and expect to see Mr.Roger swinging away under his big oak tree, with a friendly smile and a " hey girls, how are you?" It's amazing how little you might know someone but how amazingly sweet they could be. My sister and I still living in Windermere would always see your father at Allen's ice cream. We'd roll down our windows to wave and say hello, I'm sure he didn't remember us because we are older now but we always will remember his kindness. Your family is in our prayers and we again are so sorry for your loss
The Youngblood Kreigh family

Butch and Donna said...

Words to describe Roger Tome: Laughter, loyalty, integrity, and all around loveable! We will miss everything about him. Our heart, love and prayers go out to the family!

zombieblaster said...

Roger was a real Pro, he was always calm and took things as they came. His sense of humor was infectious and he always had a story to tell.He could find something funny in every event and retell it even funnier. He remembered people he served with and had a story for each. Working a shift with him was always a positive experience,no matter how tired you were he would come up with a quip to make you laugh. To his family, I am so sorry for your loss, and for all that knew him we have lost a good friend and the Fire Service has lost one of it's best. Terry Dickerson

Lara Ibarra said...

Sitting on the front porch swing talking life, consulting outside the Town Hall on which amendment or judge to vote for, waiting under the pavilion at Windermere Elementary for the kids to come out after school, Roger was such a part of our lives in Windermere I am feeling such a hole without him here, yet I pass by the house and it feels like he is right there on the swing. I know he is! We lived next door to Roger and Judy for 10 years and once there was a dog fight out front and I remember Roger running out of the house what seemed like 100 miles an hour and jumped in and grabbed the aggressive dog and threw him off the other dog and I saw a Hero that day. Only a glimpse into the lives he touched and saved. I am honored to have known Roger and will feel his presence every day in Windermere, thank you for sharing him with all of us Judi, Karin, Kristin. God Bless. Lara and Rod Lucas and Michael