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Thomas George Gavorcik

Staff Writer
The Star
The Star

Thomas George Gavorcik, 72, walked into the arms of Jesus on April 5, 2020, at his home in St. Joe Beach, FL as he conquered his battle with ALS. Tom was the youngest son born (1947) to Sophie Pobolish Gavorcik and Joseph Gavorcik of Adena, Ohio. Tom grew up enjoying his Polish heritage with a brother, James Gavorcik, and a sister, Mary Ann (Bob) Sawders. Tom married Anita Gayle Legge Gavorcik in 2008 and often referred to her as the love of his life. Tom and Gayle shared their families together including a daughter, Erin Marie Gavorcik, and sons Mark Thomas (Amy), Chad Joseph, and Todd Robert Gavorcik. A grandson, Bailey, would have made Tom a proud great-grandfather this summer with the birth of a baby girl, Daisy. Family especially close to Tom included Brian and Susan Massie and grandchildren, Kayla Medlen (Shane), Benjamin, Tyler, Spencer, Mattie, and Bode Massie. Nephews and nieces close to Tom’s heart are Kenny Sawders (Terri), Debbie Robenstine (Kevin), Chris Gavorcik (Anne), Steve Gavorcik (Marcia) and Rene Porchowsky (Michael). Brothers and sisters-in-laws special to Tom are Frank Legge (Pattie), Jerry Legge (Diana), Ed Legge (Jeanne), and Garry Legge.

Tom loved The Lord and was a member of The First United Methodist Church of Mexico Beach in Mexico Beach, Florida, where he founded and was dedicated to The Heavenly Hammers Ministry. The ministry served those in the community to help them stay safely in their homes. He also enjoyed a mission trip with the Labor of Love Ministry while his health allowed. His church family was priceless to Tom. His smile when he was in their presence was beautiful. Tom was so appreciative of and loved the leadership and friendship of Pastor Jerry Arhelger who he knew loved him without limits.

The family would like to express appreciation for the care and support by Earnest Hill with PVA and by the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System and Dr. Maria Muller. In addition, the family would like to thank Chrystal Cox, Joanna Gilmore, and Daniel Arhelger for the loving and dedicated care they provided, and Dr. Rachel Bixler for being the person Tom always knew would be in his corner along with his ALS Clinic Team at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.

Retiring as Chief Master Sargeant, Tom proudly served his country with over 32 years in the U.S. Air Force, including four years active duty and over 28 years with the Air Force Reserve. He retired as the Chief Flight Engineer of the 758th Airlift Squadron, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to his leadership duties, Tom’s performance as Flight Examiner and Instructor on C130-H aircraft earned him The Air Force Meritorious Service Medal and the Aerial Achievement Medal.

In addition, Tom served as a U.S. Government employee for 40 years. Upon retirement he was Facility Manager for The US Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District, working in the Muskegum Area in flood control.

Tom loved fishing, hunting, music and traveling. His favorite place to be was the farm where he grew up. He was most at peace there and will be resting there soon.

The greatest friendship ever witnessed by the family is Tom’s friendship with Bruce Bair (Ginger). The level of dedication to Tom has been and continues to be beyond expression. So much would have been different for Tom during his illness without Bruce’s love for him. The family has found no words to express how much this meant to Tom and now to the family. Tom knew there were no boundaries in his friendship with Bruce.

Tom once shared that his advice to young Christians would be, “Stay true to your faith. Let it guide you daily in your activities and decisions.” He also shared that he would like his legacy to be that he was always there for his friends and used his talents to help those in need.

Due to the Pandemic services with be held at a later date both in St. Joe Beach, FL and Adena, Ohio.

The family request that gifts be made in memory of Thomas Gavorcik to Mayo Clinic ALS Research Donations can be made by phone, online or by mail.

• By phone – call 1-855-852-8129 to talk with a Gift Processing Associates who can take a donation securely over the telephone.

• Online –