My friend Tom

Image: Happy Birthday to Tom Little, who is 92 years young today.

Happy Birthday to Tom Little, who is 92 years young today. (Karen Mathiowetz)

I have so much to be thankful for these days. I think it has always been that way, but I never slowed down enough to notice. Now, as I get older, that has changed. I have tried to slow down.

I am so thankful for the people that God has placed in my life, people that love me and even the ones that are not so kind. The latter are teaching me to forgive and for that I am thankful.

Sometimes I realize how much God loves me because He places someone in my life that causes me to be a better person. TOM LITTLE is one of those people. He will not toot his own horn so that job has fallen to me.

The old saying “What you see is what you get” is not true when it comes to my friend Tom. Someone could look at him and see an old guy that is way past his prime with not much worth and nothing to give the world, but I say to that someone, “You are missing the mark!”

My friend Tom has left his mark on the world and made the world a much better place to live. I want everyone to know what he has accomplished so here goes:

  • Graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1942.
  • He joined the U.S. Merchant Marines carrying ammunition fuel, weapons and food for the troops in both the Pacific and Atlantic War Zones.
  • He attended Texas Christian University and Lycoming College.
  • He worked for NCR Co. and then went into the banking business, retiring from Bank of America in 1987.
  • He was an Eagle Scout.
  • He was awarded the Wall of Fame Award of the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce.
  • He was Governor of Rotary International District 587.
  • He was Director of Texas Savings & Loan League.
  • He was made an Honorary Member of the Italy High School FFA in 2000.
  • He was a member of Italy Planning and Zoning Commission for a number of years.
  • He was a very proud member of CBC and a member of the deacon body and a church trustee.
  • He was a member & Chairman of Ellis County Appraisal Board.
  • He was a teacher’s aide at Italy High School and loved interacting with his students.
  • He loved attending Italy Gladiator football games and supporting the athletes.
  • He loved wood working when time would permit.

I think his greatest accomplishment was the day he married Barbara. She is a true gift from God!

Yep, my friend Tom accomplished so much and changed the world one accomplishment at a time.

But, more importantly is not what he has done in the past. The most important things are the ones he is doing now.

Tom never met a stranger and loves to chat about anything and everything. He enjoys reading and sharing time and meals with friends and family. He loves to remember going on vacations and cruises with Barbara and their two sons.

I think I know why God, in his infinite wisdom, blessed me with Tom Little as my friend. He has enriched my life in ways that I would have never thought about. He and I can talk for hours and never repeat anything.

He is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. I love his stories almost as much as I love him. He is my sounding board when I need someone to listen. He gives me sound advice when I ask for it. I have no doubt he has prayed for me more times than I can count.

Tom never fails to encourage me to write articles and stories. He is one of the people that I would rather die that disappoint. I love to see his face light up when I deliver a jar of my homemade plum jelly to him.

I know without hesitation I can depend on him for anything I could possibly need. I hope I never have to ask.

I know there will come a day when I will have to say goodbye to my friend Tom. I can imagine it will feel like someone has forced me to walk on a bed of fire ants. Well, maybe not that bad but almost. But, I also know that there will come a day when heaven will be filled with our laughter as we sit on his porch and visit. Boy, what a day that will be.

I know he will read this article because he reads all of my articles. I want him to read:

HAPPY 92ND BIRTHDAY TOM LITTLE. Thank you for always loving me, tolerating me and encouraging me. Thank you for making me a better person and my world a much better place to exist in. Just not sure what I can do next June 20th to top this birthday surprise. Maybe fried chicken huh?

Love, Karen

– the end for now.