Thomas Rockwell Boggs, age 96, passed away July 16th surrounded by his family. He was born in Toledo on March 17, 1923 to Thomas Milton and Opal Boggs. He lost his father at a young age and he helped his mother operate a grocery store at Reynolds Corners for many years.
It was in this area of town that he met his childhood sweetheart, Betty Giha. These two and others were bussed to Woodward High School, where he graduated in 1942. A draft notice quickly followed and a young track and football player volunteered for parachute training incentivized by the Army offering $50 per month extra pay.
He endured rigorous physical training at Camp Toccoa, Camp Mackall and finally at Ft. Benning, Georgia for parachute training. Active duty took him to New Guinea and the Philippine islands for brutal combat on Leyte and Luzon, and a combat jump and subsequent house-to-house fighting in the battle for Manila. After devastating losses, Dad, other members of the Greatest Generation and MacArthur retook the Philippines and WWII was won. A brief stop in Okinawa and the 11th Airborne Division moved onto Japan and were the first Americans to arrive to help with the signing of peace agreement to end WWII.
Thomas came home to Toledo and married Betty Giha on February 9, 1946. Three pretty good kids followed. He retired from the W.W. Grainger, Inc. in 1988. Over the years, they went to many WWII historical events and 11th Airborne reunions, and our Dad was very proud his military service. He enjoyed his lake house, his house in Wapakoneta, his children and grandchildren and playing tennis.
We lost Betty (Mom) in June 2016, and Dad is survived by son, Randall T. Boggs, DDS; daughters, Heather (Bob) Obert and Becky (Tom) Gundy. Much loved grandchildren, Lindsay Boggs, Erin (Jeff) Justen, Laura (Kurt) Badyna, Emily (Nate) Haupricht, Alex Gundy and Ryan Gundy. Great grandchildren, Oliver Rockwell, Ford and Millie Justen, Elise and Benning Thomas Haupricht and baby girl Badyna, expected Nov 2019.
The impact of his remarkable life was never more evident than on the face of his grandchildren when they realized they were going to lose him.
Our thanks to the caregivers at The Lakes of Sylvania.
AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY.
THOMAS ROCKWELL BOGGS