Thomas Hovey served multiple tours in Vietnam, practiced anesthesia

Saturday, November 23, 2013 | 6:30 p.m. CST; updated 7:26 p.m. CST, Sunday, November 24, 2013

COLUMBIA — Col. Thomas C. Hovey of Columbia died Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. He was 82.

Mr. Hovey was born Dec. 17, 1930, in Pittsfield, Mass., to Clarence and Hilda Hovey.

After graduating from Pittsfield High School in 1948, he obtained a license to become a registered nurse from McClean Hospital in Waverly, Mass., his anesthesia certificate from Milwaukee County Hospital, a bachelor's degree in Education from Drury College in Springfield and his master's degree from Webster College in St. Louis. In 1953, he married Jane Corliss, whom he divorced in 1987.

He entered the army in 1953, being discharged to the active reserve as an infantry staff sergeant in 1955.

Mr. Hovey received his commission as a first lieutenant in 1959 and returned to active duty and was promoted to captain in 1964. From 1966 to 1967, he did his first tour in Vietnam.

In 1971, Mr. Hovey returned to Vietnam and then to Fort Devens, where he attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. In 1976, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and transferred to active reserve and taught anesthesia at Eastern Maine Medical Center. He was promoted to colonel in 1979.

Mr. Hovey moved to Columbia to practice anesthesia at Truman Veterans Hospital. He was also chief nurse at the 5503 U.S. Army Hospital in Columbia.

Mr. Hovey retired from the veterans hospital in 1993 and retired from the Army in 1997 after more than 34 years of combined military service.

He is survived by his brother Roy Hovey; his daughter, Kathryn Rangel, who is a school teacher in Jacksonville, N.C.; a son, Thomas Hovey, Jr., who is a nurse in Boston; a son, Theodore Hovey, who is a funeral assistant in San Diego; a step-son, Barnard Ray Boucher; a step-daughter, Julie M. Boucher, and her two children; three grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. 

His parents, brother and two sisters died earlier.

Visitation will be from 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will immediately follow. The interment, including full military honors, will immediately follow at Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville at 1479 County Road 1675.

Memorial contributions can be made to the V.F.W. Color Guard, 1509 Ashley St., Columbia, MO 65201, or Central Missouri Humane Society, 616 Big Bear Blvd., Columbia, MO 65202.

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