John Thomas Ammons
November 30, 1944 – October 30, 2019
Tom Ammons, age 74 passed away Wednesday, October 30, 2019 following a 5 1/2 month illness involving a broken hip, impaired kidney function, end stage COPD/Emphysema, and an inoperable coronary artery blockage.
Born in Knoxville November 30, 1944, Tom graduated from Rule High School then served in the U.S. Army. He was first sent to Korea, then his unit, a division of the 1st Cavalry Regiment, was quickly shipped to Vietnam becoming the first fully committed division in country. The "First Team" rode their helicopters into numerous battles there. Upon returning from Vietnam, Tom attended the University of Tennessee while working as an orderly at Baptist Hospital. Afterwards, he served on the police force in Knoxville and later for the police force in Treasure Island, Florida. While living in Florida, in addition to his law enforcement duties, he owned and operated a large deep sea charter fishing vessel and supplied the daily catch to several area restaurants. Tom also became a Certified Master Diver and taught numerous students to dive. For years, he arranged and spearheaded group excursions to premier diving sites throughout the U.S. and Bahamas. His parents' declining health prompted him to return to Tennessee where he worked for Martin-Marietta (Y-12 Oak Ridge). He retired in 1999 from the gun range there as a Federal Firearms Instructor.
In September 2002, a drunk driver struck Tom from behind totaling his Harley Davidson Motorcycle and leaving him severely injured. After eleven surgeries and over a year of intense physical therapy he made a miraculous recovery.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Fred A. Ammons and Beatrice Price Ammons and his brother, Frederick D. Ammons who served in the U.S. Coast Guard during Vietnam.
He is survived by Yvette Hagy, his significant other of 15 years; adopted daughter, Paula Denise Suchomski of Knoxville and his other daughter Tamara Dawn Longworth, also of Knoxville. As requested by Tom, there will be a Celebration of Life planned for a future date and his cremains will be interred in his family cemetery plot by Berry Highland West, Knoxville, TN. Officiating will be Rev. Don Acton of Mount Carmel Presbyterian Church in Coalfield, TN where Tom and Yvette often attended.
Tom was a proud member of the Vietnam Veterans of America organization and it was his wish that memorial donations be made to the VVA, Capt. Bill Robinson, Chapter 1078, P.O. Box 50054, Knoxville, TN 37950.
- Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1078