Cover photo for Lt. Col. Thomas Vines Usaf (Ret.)'s Obituary
Lt. Col. Thomas Vines Usaf (Ret.) Profile Photo
1940 Lt. 2022

Lt. Col. Thomas Vines Usaf (Ret.)

November 3, 1940 — June 27, 2022

Thomas Lesley Vines, 81 of Abilene, TX, passed into the presence of his Lord Jesus on June 27, 2022 after a brief battle with cancer.

Tom was born on November 3, 1940 in Pennville, GA to JT Vines and Annie Ruth Tripp Vines. He graduated from Trion High School in Trion, GA where he met the love of his life, Linda Aaron. They married on July 22, 1961 and spent almost 61 years together. Tom and Linda enjoyed raising their three children together, but they thoroughly enjoyed their 13 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren (the 13th great grandbaby being due on September 13, 2022)! It seems so fitting that Tom's favorite number was always 13!

Throughout his life, Tom distinguished himself in his endeavors. He was a key contributor on his high school football team that won the Georgia state championship his junior year. He graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1962 with an Electrical Engineering Degree and became an officer in the United States Air Force where he served his country with honor and distinction for 20 years. Tom piloted C-123s in Vietnam where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the many medals and citations he received. After Vietnam, he piloted C-141s for the rest of his career. During his time in the Air Force, Tom earned a Master of Business Administration from Abilene Christian University. Subsequent to his Air Force retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel, Tom earned a second retirement as a Captain for American Airlines and then he continued working to serve God and his family for the remainder of his life.

Tom is survived by his wife Linda Aaron Vines, his children; Thomas Lesley Vines, Jr (Les) and his wife Lisa of Dallas, TX, Lauri Johnson and her husband Ray of Bardstown, KY, Lance Vines and his wife Cristy of Abilene, TX, grandchildren; Brandon Vines (Debra), Cory Vines (Natalia), Brittany Bock (Isaiah), Michael Johnson (Rachel), Zachary Vines (Bethany), Cassi Muncy (Shane), Thomas Lesley Vines III, Matthew Shield (Shelly), Jacob Vines, Maggie Shield, Grace Culver (Tyler), Caleb Vines and Sean Johnson, twelve great-grandchildren with one more due in September, and his brother Jerry Vines and wife Carolyn of Murfreesboro, TN, a nephew, J Michael Vines (Leigh) and their 2 sons of Brentwood, TN and a niece, Dana Vines of Duluth, GA.

Tom's life will be celebrated on July 11, 2022 at 1:30 in the chapel at Elmwood Funeral Home in Abilene, TX.

In lieu of flowers, Linda would appreciate memorial gifts to the Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene and/or to Hendrick Hospice Care of Abilene on 1651 Pine Street.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lt. Col. Thomas Vines Usaf (Ret.), please visit our flower store.

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Monday, July 11, 2022

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