Thomas (Tom) Eugene Bearden, Lt Col, US Army, Ret., passed away on Feb 3, 2022 after a lengthy illness.
Born on Dec 17, 1930 in Cheniere, LA, he was the baby of 3 boys. His brothers, Jay and Charles pre-deceased him.
His mother, Lizzie, died in a car accident when he was 2 and he was raised by his grandmother and aunt
while his two brothers were raised by his father, Emmet, deceased April 1955. In high school,
he was one of two students awarded the Pepsi Cola scholarship which paid for his tuition at college.
He played country music in clubs and on the KWKH Louisiana Hayride on the weekends to help make money.
He wrote and recorded 13 songs himself or for singers like Jim Reeves, Johnny Horton and Webb Pierce.
He also joined the ROTC in college which was the start of his 20 year Army career.
After graduating from NE LA University in 1953 with a BS in Mathematics and minor in Engineering, he entered active
duty the Army in June 1954 as an officer. During his 20 years in the Army, he served in places such as Korea, Viet Nam and Canada.
One of the first Army personnel to achieve the new missile MOS of 51181, the Army also selected him to finish his MS degree
in Nuclear Engineering at GA Tech in 1971. During his Army time, he also studied Aikido and obtained a ranking of 3rd Dan before
a back injury prevented his continued martial arts.
He was awarded the Legion of Merit commendation for developing the solution to a critical battery issue
in the missiles which was causing them to not fire, thus leaving our country possibly defenseless.
Married to his first wife, Margery, in 1953, who had a son, Michael, they later had a daughter, Bonnie Lou, who passed
before 6 months old and a son who was stillborn. In 1957 their daughter, Dana was born. After returning from Korea
about 1963, they were divorced. Margery later passed on in Oct 1999 and Michael passed in Oct 2017.
Tom met his 2nd wife, Doris at his next duty station in Ft. Sill, OK and they were married in 1964. Doris had 2 children,
Diana and David. While stationed in Canada, they had a son who was stillborn. Tom and Doris were married
for 49 years before Doris passed in July 2013.
Tom’s “hobby” was as a physics theorist and he was an accomplished author of many scientific books and papers,
some on defense and even one on Aikido, that are still sought after today. He’s been published in many scientific
journals and even had some articles in magazines such as Omni. He travelled and lectured around the country and
was a guest on many radio and tv shows. His idea of ‘bathroom reading material’ was a book on Quantum Physics!
Having been born literally “dirt poor” with no running water or indoor bathroom, Tom liked to tell his “swamp” stories
of how he grew up fishing and hunting to survive in backwoods Louisiana. Driven by his younger life of being so poor,
he was obsessed to acquire more knowledge and trying to use it to provide a better future for everyone. His ultimate
goal was that he wanted to solve energy demands for the world so that people would be able to have a cleaner and
healthier world to live in.
We hope that his many discoveries and scientific works, will contribute to his lifelong goal.
Survivors include his daughter, Dana O. Bearden-Baldwin (Gene) and stepchildren, Diana K. Hardinge
and David L. Hardinge.
Mr. Bearden was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Doris F. McDonald and stepson, Michael L. Bearden (Marylyn).
Visitation will be Tuesday, February 8th from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Berryhill Funeral Home. Private graveside service
will be held at a later date. Berryhill Funeral Home is assisting the family.
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