Thomas Oliver “Tommy” Wakeman, 91, died Thursday, May 1, 2014 at his Starkville, MS home.
Services will be held on Thursday, May 8 at the Church of the Resurrection in Starkville, MS. Visitation will be at 1:00 PM followed by the memorial service at 2:00 PM. The service will conclude with a procession to the Church's Columbarium for inurnment. Rev. Lee Winter will officiate.
Tommy was born February 13, 1923 in New Orleans, LA to Thomas Augustus and Marie Louise Wakeman. He gained advanced degrees from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. There, he earned Bachelor of Science in Physics, a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and a Master of Architecture degrees.
In 1949, Tommy married Mary Jeanne Walker in Starkville, MS. They celebrated 65 years of marriage on April 16.
Tommy served in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve where he was stationed in Panama and the South Pacific during World War II. While in the South Pacific, he served on the U.S.S. Crowley under Admiral William “Bull” Halsey and survived Typhoon Cobra, also known as the Typhoon of 1944 or Halsey’s Typhoon. The typhoon's destruction included presents Tommy had been saving for Christmas. After that, he opened every gift immediately saying playfully, “You never know when there might be a typhoon.”
Tommy was a Starkville based architect. The work of his firm, Thomas O. Wakeman, AIA, is evidenced in numerous buildings and homes throughout Northeast Mississippi, as well as on the campus of Mississippi State University. Some of his architectural achievements include the MSU Simrall Electrical Engineering Building; the MSU Forest Products Lab, for which he won a Southern Pine Design Award. He also served on the design committee for the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection Columbarium where he will be entombed.
Tommy was a long-standing member of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection where he served both as Junior and Senior Warden.
Tommy is survived by his wife, Jeanne; daughters, Nancy Louise Wakeman (Richard A. Smith) of Alameda, CA, Mary Jeanne “Gigi” Gibson (Charles E. Gibson, III) of Madison, MS and Olivia Van Horn Wakeman of Austin, TX; grandchildren, Justin Wakeman “Will” Van Den Berg (Anna-Marissa Van Den Berg), Olivia Louise Dodson Lowrey (Mathew C. Lowrey), Robert Thomas Dodson; and great grandchildren, Charlotte Louise Van Den Berg, Paul Richard Van Den Berg, Maxwell Allan Van Den Berg, Oliver Pierson Lowrey and Lucinda Jane Lowrey.
Arrangements are made with Welch Funeral Home in Starkville, MS. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to: Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, 105 S. Montgomery St., Starkville, MS 39759, 662-323-3483; ALSA LA-MS Chapter, 1350 East Woodrow Wilson Avenue, Jackson, MS 39216; Friends of Mississippi Veterans,
FBO Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board, P.O. Box 1265, Meridian, MS 39302, www.friendsofmsveterans.org/index.html;  French Camp Academy, 1 Fine Pl, French Camp, MS 39745, 662-547-6482 or the charity of your choice.
You may go online and sign the guest register at: www.welchfuneralhomes.com .