Thomas James “Tommy” Despain, 90, of Corpus Christi, Texas passed away un-expectantly at his residence Wednesday, April 26th. He was born May 23rd. 1926 in Roxton, Texas.
Tommy graduated Salutatorian from Roxton High School, whereupon he immediately joined the U.S. Navy. He served in World War II aboard the Carrier USS Franklin, and was honorably discharged in November of 1945.
Thomas worked as a lineman and electrician prior to joining the Corpus Christi Police Department in 1950. Over his 35-year career at CCPD, Tommy progressed through the ranks from Patrolman to Commander, the rank at which he retired in 1985. He served in numerous positions including Chief of Detectives, and Commander of Special Services. He attended several law enforcement training programs hosted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas A&M University, and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
When the Corpus Christi Police Department established the rank of Commander in 1968, Tommy was in the first class of officers who reached that level, and he was the last surviving member.
Thomas was a member of the Corpus Christi Police Officer’s Association. Upon his retirement from CCPD, Tommy joined the Nueces County Sheriff’s Department where he served as Deputy.
Tommy was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Joann Eaton Despain.
He leaves behind two sons, Roger (Mary Kay) of Tike Island, Texas and Reagan (Lisa) of Olive Branch, Mississippi; five grandchildren, Sean (Leah) De Spain, John De Spain, James De Spain, Alex DeSpain and Alina DeSpain; and a great granddaughter, Charlie DeSpain.
Visitation will be from 5 P.M. until 7 P.M. Monday May 1st, and services will be conducted at 9:30 A.M. Tuesday, May 2nd, both at Sawyer-George Funeral Home Chapel.
Graveside services and burial will follow at 11A.M. at the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers please make contributions to St. Michaels Police Officers Memorial Fund.