God saw that the battle was becoming too intense for his precious child despite his courageous and valiant efforts. So, on July 20, 2019, God cradled him in a loving embrace to take him to the heavens to dwell with Him for all eternity, saying Well done, my good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:23)
Born February 27, 1925 in Meridian, Mississippi Tommie Joe Anderson was the second of six children birthed by Clara Anderson. Losing his mother at the tender age of eight, Tommie quickly developed a strong sense of family, responsibility, and a steel-like work ethic by working alongside his maternal grandmother doing odd jobs to contribute toward the support of himself and his siblings. Tommie credited his grandmother for his devout faith in God.
At age 18, he found a way to financially support his grandmother and his younger siblings by enlisting in the United States Army Air Corps (1943) where he served as a combat medic during WWII. When the war ended and the U. S. Air Force became a separate branch of the military, Tommie was one of thousands to become the founding Airmen of the United States Air Force in 1947. Being in the military also put Tommie on the trajectory which led him to his wife of over 30 years, Olivia C. Booker Anderson. Their meeting was happenstance. As a new airman, Tommie was receiving training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. During one weekend when Tommie and several of his buddies were traveling to Houston, Texas he met a woman working in her mother’s roadside café. Their waitress, Olivia C. Booker caught his eye and captured his heart. The two wed on November 6, 1949 and to this union were born two children: Odalee “Redia” Anderson and Regina C. Anderson.
Tommie had a distinguished military career that spanned over 32 years during which he additionally served in the Korean and Vietnam Era wars and earned the Bronze Star during one of his five Vietnam tours. After a combined military and civilian service career of 47 years he proudly cared for both Olivia who had suffered several strokes and later Olivia’s mother (Oddie Lee Booker Palmer) and he continued to care for his youngest daughter Regina until he was no longer able to do so. Tommie also represented a superb father figure and male role model in the lives of his two grandchildren, Jarred and Taylor.
Tommie is preceded in death by his five siblings and Olivia. He will be dearly missed by daughters Redia Anderson of Sugar Land, Texas; Regina Anderson of San Antonio, Texas; grandson Jarred R. Payne of Houston, Texas; granddaughter Taylor N. Payne of Austin, Texas; nephew James D. Axel of Pomona California and a host of cousins, friends and all whose lives he touched with his kindness and generosity.
Please consider making a tribute gift in memory of Tommie J. Anderson to the Alzheimer’s Association at:
https://bit.ly/2GrnfPH. OR P. O. Box 96011, Washington, D. C. 20090-6011
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