Thomas Charles Bower, who was born on July 14, 1947 in Mason City, Iowa, passed away at the age of 73 on October 6, 2020 at his home in Waukee, IA. A memorial service will be held Monday, October 26, 2020 at 10:45 a.m., at Ernst Funeral Home, Waukee. (masks and social distancing requested). Inurnment and military honors will take place following at Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Adel, Iowa. Thomas’ service will be live-streamed and can be view at service time or anytime thereafter at: www.facebook.com/ernstfuneralcremation.
At the age of 17, Thomas left high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army. On his 18th birthday, he arrived in Vietnam and within days was engaged in combat. Throughout the years, he re-enlisted and spent a total of 12 years faithfully and honorably serving his country. He spent five years overseas as an infantryman and eventually as a green beret instructing other green berets and navy seals parachuting and combat skills. The war took a heavy toll on Thomas and his mental health and he suffered from PTSD which permanently disabled him from living a normal life.
On July 13, 1996, under a gazebo at East Park in Mason City, Iowa, Thomas went on to marry the love of his life, Cynthia Lee Smith and resided in Waukee for over 17 years. Together, they fought and coped with Thomas’ disability. Cynthia was an extraordinary caretaker and was always thinking of Thomas and endlessly trying to get him the care and recognition he deserved.
Thomas loved Cynthia’s home-cooking and all the new creations she would come up with that catered to his dietary needs. He loved spending time cuddling with his cats and watching movies. He adored his family, especially spending time and swimming with his grandchildren. He would light up like a Christmas tree whenever they were around. He had an infectious smile and loved seeing people being happy.
Thomas is survived by his wife Cynthia; children Becky and Belinda and step-daughter (who he considered his own) Lily Grace (Aaron) Ilvess and grandchildren Alexandria, Quinton, Hunter and Oliver and his two beloved cats Chili and Pepper.
A memorial fund has been set-up to assist the family with funeral expenses and family support. Any donation would be greatly appreciated and can be made by visiting www.ernstfuneralhome.com and accessing Thomas’ obituary and clicking on the “Donation” tab or through the go fund me at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/26567tr36o
To send flowers to Thomas' family, please visit our floral store.
Directed to Family, c/o Ernst Funeral Home
PO Box 986, Waukee IA 50263