Lt. Colonel Thomas Carroll Lodge
A lifetime resident of DeLand, Florida, Thomas Carroll Lodge graduated from DeLand High School (1949) and joined the United States Army. Tom married Joyce Woodard Rose in Colorado Spring , Colorado (1955), and raised 2 daughters and 1 son. Tom’s daughters later blessed him with 6 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Throughout his military career, Tom served numerous tours of combat duty: 2 missions to Korea and 5 missions to Vietnam. In his service to the United States of America, Tom earned the following commendations: 1 Legion of Merit, 2 Silver Stars, 4 Bronze Stars, 4 Purple Hearts, and numerous other awards.
In addition to combat tours of duty in Korea and Vietnam, Tom also served 3 years in Germany and 3 years in Okinawa, where his family joined him as well. Prior to his combat duty in Vietnam, Tom was selected for Officers’ Training in the U. S. Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia; he trained as a Special Forces Guerilla Warfare Officer; a Master Parachutist and Jumpmaster. He proudly wore the Green Beret as he conducted multiple Special Forces missions in the Southeast Asian Theater. Later in his career, Tom attended the Command General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and he became one of the first Nuclear Weapons Employment Officers. Throughout his army career, Tom was stationed in Georgia, Colorado, Virginia, Utah, and Maryland where he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland.
In reflecting upon his military service, some of his most memorable experiences include having a cold Christmas dinner of C-rationed beans and franks when his plane was shot down in a Korean rice paddy; parachuting into shark-infested waters in the South China Sea; and living in an Okinawan banana-tree-thatched house with his family. Later, during a grueling campaign in Vietnam, Tom overheard one of his exhausted, sweaty, and thirsty troopers say, “If that old, bald-headed son-of-a bitch can do this, I can too!” And that comment – Tom explained – was “one of highest compliments I [he] ever received.” Ultimately, Tom’s Special Forces combat-service was characterized by the expression: “Everyday a little excitement: do nothing in moderation but in excess.” While advancing through the jungles of Vietnam in his armored carrier Bobcat Units, Tom’s loud speakers simultaneously blared: “The good, the bad, and the ugly.”
While Tom served in Vietnam, his family resided in DeLand, where they had built their home on Lake Talmadge Drive in 1959, and when Tom retired from the U. S. Army in 1973, he and his family settled in DeLand as full-time residents.
Upon his military retirement, Tom attended FTU (now UCF ) where he earned a master’s degree in education and then worked for Volusia County for 16 years. Throughout their life in Florida and retirement years, Tom and his wife Joyce enjoyed spending time with children and grandchildren, traveling, cruising the Caribbean, and living in their home on Flagler Beach. Thomas Lodge will forever be remembered as his children’s hero, a dad who could do anything, fix anything, grow anything, and as a dad who always supported his family in every possible way. Our loving father provided us, with a life full of adventures, world travels, and his “anything’s possible” Spirit.
Thomas Carroll Lodge is survived by:
3 Children: Patricia Lodge Simmons-Cook (Tom Cook), Linda Carol Lodge McKee (Larry McKee), and Thomas Edward Lodge
6 Grandchildren: Angela Simmons Swenson (Jeff Swenson), Christina Simmons Lampitt (Brian Lampitt), Rachel McKee, Larry McKee (Jessica), Shannon McKee, Michael McKee (Jessica Taylor)
11 Great-Grandchildren: Danielle Ashton Meade, Sydney McKay Sackman, Slade Crayton Sackman, Tyler Scott Lampitt, Kaitlyn Anderson, Kiana McKee, Connor McKee, Braydon Long, Mason Tyvela, William Tyvela, Colton McKee
We love you, Dad, and pray that you’re resting now in the loving arms of your beloved wife Joyce and ever-protective Guardian Angel.
Visitation: 10:30 AM, Monday, March 7th, 2022 at Lankford Funeral Home, DeLand
Funeral Service: 11:00 AM, Monday March 7th, 2022 at Lankford Funeral Home followed by a burial at DeLand Memorial Gardens