Tom Erskine, 96, gained his flight wings & passed from this earthly life on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2019. Tom was born in Marlin, Texas, the youngest of six kids. A child of the depression, he left home at 17 to work in the aircraft factories in California prior to the start of World War II, sending money back home to his family in Marlin. After Pearl Harbor, he was drafted into the Army Air Corps & served with the 498th Bomb Group of B-29 Superfortresses on Saipan, where he had a front row seat to all the activities leading up to the end of the war. He made it back home just in time to celebrate Christmas with family in 1945. Starting a new life, he moved to Corpus Christi to work for Halliburton. He had countless stories of the “fun” early days of the oilfield in South Texas. There he met Lockie Jane Garner, & they were married on June 26, 1949. They moved to Pecos, Texas in 1957 where he bought & ran the Dairy Mart for the next 20+ years. Many tall tales were told there as well. But Tom’s favorite times were spent horseback with the cowboys & ranchers around West Texas. These were the liveliest tales of all, & the best of times as he chronicled in his book “Thirty Years West of the Pecos”. Finally, with the kids raised & the business sold, Tom & Lockie decided to retire to the old Erskine farm near Groesbeck that his dad had bought in 1906. They built a house & made a beautiful place out of it. They came “full circle” & moved to Corpus Christi in the early 90’s when Lockie needed greater medical care. They were happy there as well, always blooming where they were planted.
Tom loved life & laughing, & we will miss him. Veteran, Master Mason, Cowboy, loving husband, father, & faithful friend – the world is a better place because Tom Erskine lived in it. Predeceased by Lockie & his beloved grandson Dustin, he is survived by his daughter Jane & fiancé Allen Redding of Houston, son John & wife Kathy of Wink, grandson Derek & wife Brittany of Monahans & their daughters Luka, Kallyn & Oaklyn. Also cousin Bobbie Jean Muhlinghause of Groesbeck & numerous nieces & nephews. A memorial service will be held at a later date. If desired, donations may be made in Tom’s memory to the West of the Pecos Museum, where his old cowboy hat & an eclipse windmill he donated along with buddy Joe Gillespie are on display. Mailing address is P.O.Box 1784, Pecos, Texas, 79772 or www.westofthepecosmuseum.com. Or just drink a toast to the good times. He would be honored by either.