Thomas Dewitt Langford, Jr., passed away on Friday November 9, 2018 at the Mississippi Veteran’s Home in Jackson, MS following an extended illness.
Graveside services were conducted at 11:30am Tuesday November 13, 2018 at the Harperville Memorial Park with full military rites for this decorated World War II veteran. Dennis Ramsey gave a Eulogy followed by remarks, scripture reading and a prayer by Keith Ramsey. Visitation was held from 10am to 11am at the Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Forest.
We remember the life of Thomas Dewitt Langford, Jr. He was born the son of Thomas Sr. and Mary Eva Pettey on August 3, 1925 in Walnut Grove, Mississippi.
Times were hard when Thomas grew up, and he and his sister Evelyn spent much together. Thomas’ immediate family was expanded to include loving grandparents and a host of awesome uncles, aunts, and cousins that gave him a tremendous family support group. He spent his childhood exploring the many wonders and mysteries of the great state of Mississippi.
On November 1st, 1943, Thomas enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He spent the 18th and 19th year of his life as a member of the 4th Marine Division, fighting gallantly through Roi-Namur, Marshall Islands, Saipan, and Tinian where he was wounded. After recovery, he returned to combat through the Philippines before being seriously wounded in the battle of Iwo Jima in February 1945. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Gold Star and received a Presidential Unit Citation. After spending a year in a military hospital, he was Honorably Discharged in February 1946. Thomas made a tremendous sacrifice for his country, and unfortunately, his injuries left lasting effects.
In October of 1946, Thomas married Martha Dean Hill. In 1947, he enrolled at Mississippi State College and also in 1947 he and Martha were blessed with their first child, Janie. In 1949, their second daughter June was born. Thomas graduated Mississippi State in 1950. Sometime thereafter, he secured a position in the Department of Agriculture with the federal government. There he worked various positions in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
In Thomas’s life, he was presented with many opportunities, blessed in some ways, yet suffered in many ways. He had a loving and gracious family, a wonderful wife, 2 beautiful daughters, 5 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild, some of whom he never knew. I came into the family in 1968. Thomas was always good to me. He separated from Martha in 1970, divorced in 1972, retired and moved back to his beloved Mississippi in 1976. He liked to fish and hunt. He thought his greatest achievement in life was his college education. If you knew Thomas, you knew what kind of a man he was. It is reasonably safe to say that he virtually lived alone for 46 years.
The great Yogi Berra once said: “When you get to a fork in the road, take it”. As we travel through life, we come to many forks in the road. We each live our lives and make choices accordingly. Our choices will take us in many directions and go to places we find happiness and also to places we find sorrow. We all search for peace. Phil. 4:4-17 gives the believer a recipe for peace.
In 2016, Thomas reached out to his daughter Janie. He was able to acquaint his grandson Keith and wife Misty, and his darling little great granddaughter Caroline. Desiring a change in his life, Thomas decided to leave his home. He looked at different places but chose to go to the Veterans Home in Jackson, MS. Fortunately, at the VA Thomas received the medical attention and personal attention that he had needed for many years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister: Evelyn Ros, a daughter: Martha June Elkins and his wife; Martha Langford.
Survivors include his daughter, Janie Ramsey and her husband Dennis of Knoxville, TN. He also leaves behind five grandchildren, six great grand-children and one great-great grandchild.
Services provided by Ott & Lee Funeral Home of Forest.
Telephone: (601) 469-3412