DOW, TOMMY E.Tommy E. Dow, age 75, of Roswell passed away on October 30, 2014 in Albuquerque. A Memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Lagrone Funeral Chapel. Rev. Jim Bignell will be officiating.
Tommy was born December 27, 1938 to Gilbert F. and Oncy B. Dow in Roswell. Tommy married Carrol on April 6, 1958 they were married for 56 years. She survives him at their home.
He was preceded in death by both his parents and his daughter Nancy C. Gilbert.
Tommys great grandfather was George W. Peppin, Sheriff of Lincoln County during the Lincoln County War.
Tommy attended elementary school at Mark Howell South Junior High and was in the first class to go all three years to the new Roswell High School, graduating in 1957.
He learned carpentry from his Dad and worked with him as a young man. He farmed alfalfa, corn and cotton in Midway with his Dad as well. He received his pilots license and amateur ham radio operator license before his drivers license. He worked at the Texaco station on Eubank and Candelaria in Albuquerque, while working at Flight Service in the 1960s. Tommy became an amateur radio fan, after studying and learning the code diligently, Dows parents drove him to Los Angeles to take his test to become licensed as a ham radio operator when he turned 15. The sight of the courthouse itself was intimidating, he said. I was scared to death before I even got to take my test, he said. Dow continued his quest to learn everything he could about amateur radio. He held the highest license available, authorizing him to have access to all frequencies and bands available. He has also passed down his interest to his oldest daughter. He remembers his first emergency situation in 1954, when he was first operating a radio in Roswell. The Spring River had flooded after rain poured for three days. One house washed off its foundation and hung up on the 8th street bridge after the house next to it also slipped off its footing. Tommys career has followed the path of aviation, emergency and radio communications. After school, he went to work as a draftsman, drawing maps for the U.S Geological Surveys. He then started working for the Federal Aviation Administration in Albuquerque for the next four years. Tommy transferred back to Roswell to work at the old airport site on College Boulevard, next to Cielo Grande Recreation Area, as a pilot weather briefer for five years. In 1968, when Walker Air Force Base closed, Dow was transferred to the old military tower at the airport and later became an air traffic controller until 1981. Ive been a pilot since I was 15 years old, he said. I got my private license at 17 and my commercial later on. I used to fly wherever. Dow owned his own airplane for a while. He later became commander of the local Civil Air Patrol for some five years. He also flew search and rescue missions and earned some 5,000 hours of flying time. He recalled working as a gas boy at the airport at 17 and always checking out everything we had there, he said. After spending four years in microwave communications towers for four years, he then went to work for the New Mexico State Police as an emergency radio dispatcher in 1985. He spent one year as a dispatcher and then became a supervisor until he retired in 2001. He never stopped enjoying his first hobby. After being an Air Traffic controller, working for MCI and the State Police, Tommy decided to take Math, English and Accounting classes at ENNUR, making the Deans list. Tommy was President of the Pecos Valley Amateur Radio Club, he participated in club events, carried a mobile ham radio in his vehicle, one unit a home and wrote newsletters for the Amateur Radio Club as well as organizing many activities. Tommy was also a Roswell Auxiliary Police Officer.
He truly enjoyed following his grandkids around watching all of their sporting events. Family was very important to Tommy as can be witnessed by the legacy he leaves.
Tommy is survived by his daughters Cheryl A. Martinez and her husband Ernesto, Tammy L. Roe and her husband Arnold. 12 grandchildren Dallas Gilbert, Carrie Anaya, Teresa, Grace, Catherine, Steven, Jacqueline, Michaela Martinez Darci, Abbi, Connor, Kaitlyn Roe, 3 great grandchildren Hudson, Emery Gilbert, Adrianne Vigil, and one Brother Bobby E. Dow and his wife Diana. Special Friends John Montgomery and his wife Sandy, Blade Allen and Mark Valdivia.
A special thanks to the staff of Mission Arch and Dr. Pinon.