Jimmie Richard “Dick” Tuma, 82, passed unexpectedly March 1, 2021, at his home in Gonzales.
Born Dec. 22, 1938, to James Martin “Dick” Tuma and Nina Beatrice (Edelmon) Tuma, he spent his childhood until the age of 19 in Rockdale.
Following his graduation in 1957, he spent eight months attending Sam Houston State University before enlisting in the United States Air Force where he devoted 20 years as one of the silent warriors of the USAF Security Service, who’s mission was to watch over our country by radio communication analysis. The friendships he forged while in the USAF lasted his lifetime.
Before departing on his first military tour to Fuchu, Japan, he met the love of his life, Madie Ann Young. Throughout his tour in Japan the two remained pen pals and upon his return three years later he told her he was marrying her. His plane landed and they were married four days and 21 hours later and were inseparable ever since. March 17 would have been their 59th wedding anniversary.
Other military assignments took the pair around the world to Germany, Turkey and Okinawa, Japan. His final reenlistment landed him in San Antonio, where he retired out of Kelly Hill with a rank of master sergeant on Dec. 31, 1978.
After the Air Force, he took a supervisory position at The Southland Corporation, overseeing 15-plus 7-11 convenience stores. When a few health issues occurred, he decided to leave that stressful role and manage a single store where he and Madie Ann worked side by side until he retired.
After his second retirement, he helped his friend out at KP Trailer Sales.
His second retirement left time for Jimmie and Madie to hit the road RVing. If they weren’t traveling abroad, they were at JBSA campgrounds in Canyon Lake. Here he was designated JBSA’s “Honorary Mayor.”
He made sure to greet every new arrival and made sure they knew about 5 o’clock happy hour and bonfire “in the middle.” He and his friends laughed every night around those fires and there was never a stranger to be had in his eyes. Here, he often reunited with friends he had previously toured with in the USAF.
Many nights were had with friends that will never be forgotten.
His leadership, friendship and ability to make everyone he knew know that they were important to him will be so missed. People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. That is true of Jim.
He is survived by and was the perfect husband and partner to his wife, Madie Ann (Young) Tuma of San Antonio and Gonzalez; father to Jimmy Wayne Tuma and wife Brenda of Gonzales and Tanya Lynn Daye and husband Dennis of San Antonio; loving grandfather to Kaitlyn Tuma, Erin Archer, Kassidy Tuma, Nash Daye, Bailey Blair and Danni Blair; great-grandfather to Gibson Locke Archer; brother to Wilma (Tuma) Owens and Pud of Rockdale, Gary Don Tuma and wife Patti of Sugar Land; and many cherished nieces and nephews of “The Tuma Bunch.” Oh, how he loved our Tuma reunions!
His sister, Joyce (Key) Skinner of Rockdale passed away Feb. 28, the day before Jim. Her bright smile and loving personality was with no doubt, waiting to greet him with open arms.
Military internment services at Fort Sam Houston Cemetery in San Antonio are scheduled for Friday, April 5.