Thomas Blue McCaskill

August 21, 1938November 1, 2019
Obituary of Thomas Blue McCaskill
Thomas B. McCaskill, 81, of Unionville passed away at 1:10 p.m. on Friday, November 1, 2019 at Atrium Health Union in Monroe, NC. Tom was born on August 21, 1938 in Lee County, NC, the second child of Clinton and Audrey McKenzie McCaskill. He graduated from Carthage High School in 1956 and received an Associate of Arts degree from Wingate Junior College (now Wingate University) in 1958 and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mathematics (honors) from NC State University in 1960. Tom’s professional life included 42 years (1960-2002) as a mathematician and research physicist for the Space Applications Branch of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington DC. In 1964 he was selected to participate in the NRL Edison Memorial Training Program and completed all required courses for a Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Maryland. In 1977 he was reclassified as a Research Physicist. As an NRL scientist, he made key contributions to the design of GPS (Global Positioning System), including the first solution of the instantaneous positioning problem, determination of the optimal inclination for the GPS constellation, and verification of the effects of relativity on an orbiting cesium atomic clock. Tom received five NRL Research Publication Awards, one Patent Award and retired from NRL in 2002 after 42 years of service. Tom was a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and member of the Institute of Navigation (ION). In 2003, he was selected by the Institute of Navigation to serve as a Congressional Fellow and in 2005, he became a candidate for U.S. Senator in the Maryland primary election with the Campaign Motto: “GPS Saves Lives.” Tom is survived by his wife of 58 years, Helen Jane Latham of Unionville. From this union there were four children Scot Alexander McCaskill of Unionville, Helen Elizabeth McCaskill (died in infancy), Latham Glenn McCaskill and his wife, Felicia Kantis of St. Louis, MO, David Thomas McCaskill and his wife Lisa Sypula of Alexandria, VA; two grandchildren,Carver Kade McCaskill of Effingham, IL and Matthew Thomas MCCaskill of Alexandria, VA. He is also survived by his five siblings, Robert Hugh McCaskill of Columbia, MD, Frances Elizabeth McCaskill Ward of Edenton, NC, Lydia Alice McCaskill Parker of Little River, SC, James Clinton McCaskill of Pinehurst, NC and John Worthy McCaskill of Greenville, SC. Tom will be remembered by his personal and professional friends from Washington DC and his dear family and friends in NC and surrounding states. The family will receive friends from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Friday, November 8, 2019 at McEwen Funeral Home, 204 S. Main Street, Monroe, NC 28112. A Service of Remembrance will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Union Presbyterian Church, 2000 Union Church Road, Cameron, NC 28326 with The Reverend Dr. R. Shane Owens officiating followed by Interment in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall after the interment. Memorials may be made to Union Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 898, Carthage, NC 28327.

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Friday, November 08, 2019


Saturday, November 09, 2019

Funeral Service

Saturday, November 09, 2019

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