Obituary: Thomas George Semikoski

Services for Thomas George Semikoski, 86, of Athens, Texas are scheduled for Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 11:15 AM at the DFW National Cemetery.

Mr. Semikoski passed away January 8, 2019 in Athens. He was born May 13, 1932 in Capron, Virginia. He devoted his life to his country by serving in both the United States Air Force and Army, at home and abroad. Tom always loved planes, when he enlisted in the Army, he was selected to go to flight school. There he was trained to fly as a recon pilot in the Korean War. While flying on mission his plane was shot down behind enemy lines. He was rescued by the British Army and spent 3 months in a military hospital. After recovery he reenlisted and served 10 years more in active duty with the Army and Air Force. At this time he met Wilma Gross. They were married for 63 years. Tom never lost his love for flying and owned several planes some of which he built himself. Some of his adventures included living in Alaska where he was a bush pilot and flying hunters into remote areas. He enjoyed playing golf and was still playing with friends into his 80’s. For 20 years Tom was a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxillary at Cedar Creek Lake. He was as much at home on the water as in the air. Tom and Julie met and began “whirlwind” courtship. After 2 months Tom Proposed and in 4 months they were married. They sold their homes and bought a house together. It was love at first sight. God blessed them both with a new life together. Soon though, Tom’s health rapidly began failing. He is gone now but will never be forgotten.

He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Margaret Semiklose, and his wife, Wilma Gross Semikoski.

Survivors include his loving wife, Julie Carroll Semikoski of Athens; children, James Thomas Semikoski of Arlington, Denise Joy Shipp of Canyon Lake, and Adrienne Mae Ruggles of Hagerman, Idaho; sisters, Jean Lyles of Mississippi and Dorothy Chirafesi of Lyndon, New Jersey and five grandchildren.

Honorary pallbearers are Mark Carroll, Eddie Doty, Jerry Cozby, Ken Presley, Bill Pizer, and Howard Smith.

Funeral services were entrusted to the Hannigan Smith Funeral Home family.