Thomas J. DeKay

Published 11:39 am Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thomas J. DeKay, 93, of Camp Creek Rd., Saluda, N.C. died Thursday, May 18, 2017 while on a cruise in the Caribbean Sea.

He was born in Bridgeport, Conn., the son of the late Thomas J. DeKay and Mabel Robinson DeKay.

He was a member of the Army Signal Corps, which actively built communication and transmission towers abroad and was stationed in both Canada and Greenland. He enlisted in the Navy in 1943. During the D-Day invasion he was the radioman on a destroyer, The USS Herndon. He also served on the USS Wyoming.

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During his service in the United States Navy he received three medals, the American Campaign Medal, the European –African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the Victory Medal. His participation in World War II as a radio operator led him to ports in England, France, Malta, Corsica, Italy, and Egypt. After the war he attended Port Arthur College in Texas, and received training in radio technology and went on to be a radio engineer for the Voice of America based in Washington, D.C.

He was a member of Saluda Presbyterian Church and has had a home in Saluda since 1992. He was a member of the Hendersonville Chapter of The National Association for Amateur Radio and received an honorary title from The Quarter Century Wireless Association for maintaining his active license for 75 years (K4BLW), and given a lifetime membership status.

His wife of 52 years, Carol McKeever DeKay, and his daughter, Nancy D. Corbin, are greeting him in the afterlife. He is survived by a loving and compassionate family, his second wife Katherine Buschbacher DeKay, son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Shelley DeKay of Saluda, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A memorial gathering will be held in Saluda on Sunday, June 4. Donations in his honor can be made to The Arbor Day Foundation, 211 N. 12 Street, Lincoln, NE 68508.

Submitted by Shelley DeKay