Berry Highland South

9010 Simpson RD, Knoxville, TN


T.C. Cruise

April 1, 1933July 25, 2020

Cruise, T.C. (Thamo Carlan), 87, was born April 1, 1933, in Vesta, Virginia, to Roy Omer and Iva Jessup Cruise. Beloved husband, revered father, mischievous father-in-law, and cherished grandfather, he was reluctant to leave his family but prepared and eager to meet his Heavenly Father, and he passed away peacefully on July 25, 2020, after a year-long battle with cancer.

T.C. graduated from Tazewell (VA) High School in 1951 and from Virginia Tech in 1955 where he was a proud four-year Air Force Cadet. He moved to Columbus, Ohio, to begin his engineering career with North American Aviation and was a member of the team that designed and developed a jet ejector seat. While in Columbus he met his wife of more than 63 years, Dorothy Ellen Lehman, on a double blind date. They married on January 19, 1957.

They moved to California in 1960 where T.C. worked for Aerojet General on Apollo mission rockets and space shuttle projects and was named in a patent. When the aerospace industry declined, the family moved to Knoxville, and T.C. worked for TVA for 20 years. He later worked as a consultant for Bechtel Corp. before retiring in 1997.

T.C. served as an elder at Rancho Cordova Presbyterian Church in the 1960s, Concord Presbyterian Church in the 1970s, and Fourth Presbyterian Church in the 1990s. He was an avid remote control plane fanatic in his younger years, and later spent many happy hours watching his sons play baseball, football, and other sports. A lifelong camping and fishing enthusiast, he enjoyed many such trips with his family, particularly several with his sons after his retirement. T.C. and Dorothy were members of the Knoxville Good Sams camping club in their golden years where they made many dear friends and wonderful memories.

Preceded in death by his parents, T.C. is survived by his wife; four sons and their wives, Dean and Mary, Tom and Sandy, Paul and Lisa, and Steve and Jamie; grandchildren and families, Chris and Chrissy Cruise, Sarah and Andy Mapes, Taylor Cruise, Kristin Cruise, Natalie and Garrick Cook and daughters Savannah and Parker, Trenton and Megan Cruise, Lehman Cruise, and Zack Beeler; sister Ilena Hileman; many dear cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews; and he was an “American” father to three foreign exchange students, Bjorn Strahle, Ulbe Boersma, and Mauricio Pinzon. T.C. will be especially missed by his faithful and loving furry companion, Bandit.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, July 30 from 1:30-2:30 pm at Berry Highland South Funeral Home. Graveside Service will follow at 3:00 pm and will be officiated by the Reverend Terry Parton. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Online condolences may be made below.


  • Receiving of Friends

    Thursday, July 30, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, July 30, 2020


T.C. Cruise

have a memory or condolence to add?

David Wilson

July 30, 2020

TC gave me a job in piping analysis. Some of my best years at TVA were working with him. He was a good engineer and a good supervisor. Most important he was a great friend. I was saddened to hear of his passing. My wife and I offer our sincere condolences.

Eve Lane

July 29, 2020

Malvin and I wish to express our condolences to the Cruise family. We enjoyed seeing T. C. and Dorothy at camping events with daddy and Judy.

Donald Galbraith

July 27, 2020

We have very fond memories of camping trips with both T.C. and Dorothy. We feel blessed to have shared some fun times with them both. T. C. was a true gentleman in every since of the word.
He will be truly missed.
Don & Debra Galbraith


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