FOULK, Colonel Tom B., 89, of Lake Charles, LA, formerly of Wheeling and Morgantown, WV, died Friday, January 28, 2011, in the comfort of his daughter Judy’s home in Morgantown, WV.
Tom was born in Wheeling, WV, the son of the late Tom B. Foulk and Alice McClure Foulk on January 23, 1922.
He attended public schools in Wheeling then Millard Prep School and Bethany College before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.
Tom graduated from USMA in June 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and qualified as an Army Aviator in the US Army Air Corps in just three years.
After graduation, Tom qualified as a fighter pilot and instructor pilot in P-40, P-51, P-36, and P-47 aircraft. He was assigned to multiple bases throughout the US as a fighter pilot before being transferred to the Pacific Theater of Operations in the latter years of World War II. Following further service in Hawaii from 1945 to 1948 as a fighter pilot, Tom transferred to the newly established US Air Force and was assigned to various bases in the US before being deployed to Misawa AFB in Japan. Following service in Japan and Korea, Tom was assigned back to the US in several different positions. In 1960, he was assigned to Clark AFB, Philippines, where he commanded the 605th Tactical Communications Squardron, which he later deployed to Danang, Republic of Viet Nam. He also commanded the 1961st Communication Group at Clark AFB as commander of the Air Command at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. Tom’s last assignment was back to Clark AFB as commander of the 1st Mobil Communications Group, which had units stationed throughout South East Asia, including Viet Nam. Tom returned to Wheeling, WV and retired as a Colonel with 29 plus years of service. During his career, Tom was awarded the Legion of Merit (two awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device. Additionally, he was awarded service and campaign awards from World War II, Korea and Viet Nam. Tom was a Command Pilot with over 3,600 flying hours in fighters, bombers, utility, and cargo aircraft. One of the highlights of his flying career was flying in a UH-1H helicopter with his son, Tom III, an Army Aviator then stationed at Wheeler Army Airfield with the 25th Infantry Division.
Tom was appointed to the West Virginia Parole Board and served for approximately five years. He was then appointed to the Ohio County Housing Authority as the Executive Director and served for five years before fully retiring in 1981 to enjoy stamp collecting, golf, tennis, and travel. He was an avid lifelong fan of the West Virginia University Mountaineer Football team.
His loving wife of 68 years, Mary Jane Hare Foulk, survived Tom when he passed away in 2011. She most recently passed away on January 11, 2013.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by three sisters, Katherine Belle Mazure, Elizabeth Hopkins and Mary Louise Clarke and a daughter, Judy Polansky.
Surviving are three children, Susan Foulk Graves and her husband, Dr. Robert Graves of Morgantown, WV, Colonel U. S. Army retired Tom B. Foulk, III and his wife, Judi of Alexandria, VA and Dr. Julie Foulk Nash and her husband, Dr. James Nash of Exeter, NH; a son-in-law, John Polansky of Lake Charles, LA; ten grandchildren, Andrea Graves Hinerman and her husband, William, Erica Graves Todd and her husband, Chris, Jenn J. Foulk Hare and her husband, Jeffrey, Christopher Bond Foulk and his wife, Lisa, John “Trey” Polansky, III and his wife, Erin, Ryan Polansky and his fiancee, Lindsey Aguillard, Matthew and Alex Polansky and Jessica and David Nash; eight great-grandchildren, Abigail, Samuel and Jacob Todd, Emma, Jack and Kate Hare, and Rylan and Samatha Polansky and many nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received from 11 a.m. until the time of service at 12 p.m. on Friday, January 25, 2013 at the Kepner Funeral Home, 900 National Rd, Wheeling (304-232-2732) with the Reverend Richard Skaggs officiating.
Interment in Greenwood Cemetery, Wheeling where the Moundsville Veteran Honor Guard will conduct military graveside services.
The family of Colonel Foulk wishes to extend sincere gratitude to the nurses and staff of Brighton Bridge Hospice and special care takers, Ola Richard, Valerie Wideman, Debbie Thomas, and Alice Chapman for their excellence in care and compassion.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Brighton Bridge Hospice, 616 Court St, Oberlin, LA 70655 or the Wounded Warrior Project, 7020 AC Skinner Pkwy, Ste. 100, Jacksonville, FL 32256.
Personal condolences may be offered to the family at www.kepnerfuneral.com.