(Spent Childhood Years In Wauseon)
Retired SCPO Thomas S. Dow, aged 86, born in Altoona, PA on May 23,1937, died peacefully at the Hospice CLC on the VA Campus at Bay Pines in St. Petersburg, FL on Thursday, November 23, 2023.
“Steve” as he was affectionately known, spent his childhood years in Wauseon, OH, enlisting in the Army before graduating high school, becoming an E5 Artillery Surveyor; then served in the Navy, first as a Fire Control Tech over various weapons systems and then as supervisor of electronic instruction.
After over 20 years of combined active military service, he then worked for several Defense Contractors including Eprad Inc., where he was Manager of Quality Assurance, and Vitro Corp., where he continued carrying out numerous sea trials for weeks at a time for a few more decades.
Steve was extremely proud of his service to the country. He served on the USS Cone (DD866), USS Grayback (SSG574), USS Menhaden (SS377), USS John Adams (SSBN620), and many subbases and operating offices throughout the country and overseas over his decades of service.
Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident carrying nuclear submarines were his focus. Elevated to Chief Fire Control Tech in 1966, he also received Meritorious Unit Commendations, 4 Good Conduct Awards, a National Defense Service Medal/Bronze Star, and 2 Vietnam Service Medals.
Commander E.H. Mortimer once said: “His guidance and direction in coordinating ship wide evolutions have been efficient and timely. His fine sense of fairness has earned him the respect and admiration of the crew.
CPO Dow’s exceptional professional ability, initiative and loyal dedication to duty have reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Navy.”
Steve was appointed E8 Senior Chief of Boat “COB” by Navy Vice Admiral Charles K. Duncan in 1969.
He received his GED, then attended Capitol Tech University while living in Rockville, MD, and became a teacher/instructor after retirement.
Incredibly handsome, analytical, clever, and remembered by his cheeky grin, love of chess, pistachios, babies, animals, limericks, comedy/laughter, and tinkering- ie. building a TV one year “just because” it was interesting – he was also artistic, and had incredible penmanship and drawing skills, like his mother, Mary Ruth.
And although musically gifted, he was a bit shy about playing his instruments that included: mandolin, ovation guitar, and banjo; but really found joy in playing the harmonica in public late in life, and having an appreciation for several types of music from ABBA to Los Indios Tabajaras, to Nana Mouskouri.
Having moved and traveled for many years, Steve wanted nothing more than to settle into a warm state, and came to FL a few years ago.
He remained a loyal lifelong best friend to Jim Simmons of Archbold, OH, who had the chance to joyfully reunite with Steve in FL before his passing.
Steve is survived by his many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His final private wishes will be carried out at a later date at Arlington Cemetery, where he will be interred with his late wife, Johanna A. Dow (Frank), with military honors due.
The family would like to personally thank the many that helped take care of him while he was in FL, including his fantastic Private Aides, Music Therapists, Palliative and Hospice Teams, and Staff at Veterans Funeral Care.