Thomas Shirell Overby, a member of the Greatest Generation and Veteran of World War II, passed away on December 1, 2020 in Waukegan, IL at the age of 98.
Born on a farm in Dixon, KY. Tom was the fifth of six children of Thomas Cosby Overby and Lillie Frances (Hawkins) Overby. A victim of tuberculosis, Tom’s mother passed away when he was 10 years old.
Tom was a graduate of Dixon High School Class of 1942, where he played basketball. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served his country with distinction for 23 years, retiring with the rank of Master Chief. His analytical skills and know-how addressing a myriad of electrical operating requirements assured equipment and ship readiness. An area of specialty was the process of degaussing to ensure the ship’s safety from offensive magnetic weapons.
While stationed in the Washington, DC area, Tom met Dorothy Louella Eastin, a native of Farmington, IA. They were married on October 25, 1947, in a double wedding with a fellow Navy couple, Al & Mary Cerruti at Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, DC. Tom and Dot were devoted to each other and were married 73 years. In 1997, they renewed their 50th wedding anniversary vows in Florida at Al & Mary Cerruti’s home.
While in the Navy, and during a tenure as an instructor at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in 1962, Tom instructed on the ship degaussing readiness process. Tom and his young family put down roots in Gurnee, IL. Upon retirement from the Navy, he joined Outboard Marine Corporation in Plant Maintenance, applying his Navy operational readiness expertise.
Among interests and hobbies, Tom crafted leather goods for family and friends. He was also a fan of the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears.
Tom was predeceased by six siblings: William Charles Overby, Eugene Howard Overby, Jimmie C. Overby, Mary Louise Ohanian, Roger Overby, and Frank B. Overby, who perished in WW II in the Battle of Rome, Italy.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons: Thomas J. Overby (Diane) of Las Vegas, NV and Ray S. Overby (Cynthia) of Lake Villa, IL. A middle son, Frank B. Overby, named in honor of his deceased uncle, passed away in infancy.
He is also survived by four grandchildren: Dawn M. Overby (Pablo Rivera) of Philadelphia, PA, Shaun T. Overby (Kara) of Pittsburgh, PA, Ben Boroski (Stephanie) of Chicago, IL, Ryan Overby of Lake Villa, IL; and two great grandsons, Javier Rivera-Overby and Jackson Overby.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes memorial contributions be made to Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation at their website www.fallenpatriots.org or by mail at 44900 Prentice Dr, Dulles, VA, 20166.
Tom will join his family in his resting place at Townsend Cemetery, Dixon KY. Arrangements entrusted to Gurnee Salata Funeral Home, 4190 Old Grand Ave, Gurnee, IL 60031.Graveside services will be held at 1pm on Saturday September 25, 2021 at Townsend Cemetery in Dixon, KY. Rev. Kerry Smith will officiate. Hopkins County Honor Guard will perform Military Rites at the graveside. Townsend Funeral Home is handling local arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.townsendfuneralhomeinc.com