Colonel Thomas C Garell
August 5, 1942 – February 3, 2016
Colonel Thomas C Garell (Ret.), 73, of Montross, Virginia passed away on February 3, 2016 in Ft Myers, Florida after a long battle from the complications caused by Lyme Disease.
Col Garell was born August 5th, 1942 in Kane, PA to the late Cecil and Elizabeth Garell (Johnson). He married Kari Garell (Rhoads) on May 28th, 1977 in Denver, Colorado.
Colonel Garell proudly served his country, first enlisting in the US Air Force after high school graduation in 1960. He received numerous awards including Outstanding Airman of the Year, an honor given to only 12 enlisted members of the Air Force each year in 1970; Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Bonze Star, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He quickly advanced to the enlisted rank of Master Sargent (E-7) and qualified for the Air Force Boot Strap Program, where he received his commission in 1972, and retired from the Pentagon as a Colonel in 1992, after 23 years in service.
In addition to his military service he also worked as a Federal Civil Servant in several agencies including the US Air Force and Army, Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services. Upon retiring from the Civil Service he went on to consult with a number of organizations on Human Resources and Manpower Planning. In 2000 he and Kari retired to the beautiful Northern Neck area of Montross, Virginia.
Colonel Garell was a member of the Rappahannock Church of Christ in Warsaw, VA and a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post Number 1 in Denver, Colorado. He enjoyed golfing, but his passion was gardening and landscaping.
He is survived by his wife Kari; son Jeff and his wife Melanie of Richmond, VA; two grandchildren, Emma and Elizabeth; daughter Robin and three siblings Kay Garell Hawkinson of Fullerton, CA, Jeanette Damico Fiske of Findley Lake, NY and John Garell of Brea, CA.
A service will be held at the Rappahannock Church of Christ on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 2:00pm. Visitation with the family will be from 1pm-2pm. Col Garell will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on June 20th, 2016 with full honors.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Rappahannock Church of Christ Building Fund: Attn: Tom Garell Memorial, PO Box 1286, Warsaw, VA 22572.