Cover photo for Thomas "Tom" Roy Drinkwater's Obituary
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1923 Thomas 2022

Thomas "Tom" Roy Drinkwater

June 16, 1923 — January 20, 2022

Mechanicsburg

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Lt. Col. (retired) Thomas “Tom” Roy Drinkwater

Athlete & Adventurer -

Lt. Col. (retired) Thomas “Tom” Roy Drinkwater, age 98, of Mechanicsburg, and formerly of New London, NH, Chicago, IL and New Canaan, CT, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 20, 2022.  Tom was born on Saturday, June 16, 1923, in Chicago, IL to the late Fred Drinkwater and Louise (Homberg) Drinkwater.  Tom was the widower of Dorothy “Dot” Mae (Krell) Drinkwater, whom he married in September of 1947, and who died on September 4, 2010.   In addition to his parents and wife, Tom is preceded in death by his son, Robert “Robb” Wesley Drinkwater; his brother, Fred Drinkwater; and his sister, Louise Seymour.

Tom’s survivors include his daughter, Nancy Padjen and her husband, Samuel, of Mechanicsburg; his son, Thomas “Tom” B. Drinkwater of Dexter, MI; his five grandchildren: Amy Schweisthal and her husband, Chris, Andy Padjen, Charlotte Williams and her husband, Keith, Emily O’Reilly and her husband, Brendan, and Lucy Valandra and her husband, Tom; his six great-grandchildren: Sophia Schweisthal, Christopher Schweisthal, Jack Williams, Kate Williams, Annie O’Reilly, Millie O’Reilly; and his dear companion, Patricia “Pat” Pursell.

It was during The Great Depression that Tom developed what would become known as his “legendary frugalness”.  He attended Purdue University until his enlistment in the Marine Corps during World War II, where he served as a Marine Fighter Pilot.  Following the war, Tom completed his schooling and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Lake Forest College in Illinois. He was called back to service during the Korean War and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.  During his military service, Tom was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross and six Air Medals, retiring with 21 years of military service.  Throughout the years, his adventurous and risk-taking personality began to fuel his purchases and led to the procurement of numerous pieces of real estate.  Tom and his late wife, Dot, loved to dance to Big Band music, especially at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. To continue their love of dance, Tom and Dot started their own dance club when they moved from Chicago to Connecticut. Always the athlete and adventurer, Tom downhill skied and played tennis until the age of 87, and golfed at Liberty Forge until the age of 94. Tom loved opera, much to his family’s dismay, and will be remembered for his love of all things sports.

All are welcome to join Tom’s family at his gathering of family and friends on Saturday, February 12, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. until time of service at 12:30 p.m. at Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory, 37 East Main Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; with Father William Alford officiating.  Tom’s family invites everyone to join them for a time of food and fellowship at Buhrig’s Gathering Place (next to the funeral home) immediately following the service.  A graveside service will be scheduled for some time in May in Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, Illinois.  Cremation was private.

The family sends their most heartfelt thanks to everyone at Bethany Village who so lovingly cared for Tom over the past 10 years.  Contributions in celebration of Tom’s life can be made to Tunnels to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10306, www.dogood.t2t.org/give/320847/#!/donation/checkout; or Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors Inc., 1117 Country Club Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011, www.pawoundedwarriors.org/donate.

Tom’s family has entrusted his care to Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421.  Read Tom’s full obituary, view his memorial video, offer condolences and sympathy, share stories and memories, upload photographs and videos, light a candle and sign his official guest book by visiting Buhrig.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas "Tom" Roy Drinkwater, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Gathering of Family & Friends

Saturday, February 12, 2022

12:00 - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory

37 East Main Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Starts at 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory

37 East Main Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Military Honors

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Buhrig Funeral Home & Crematory

37 East Main Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Reception

Saturday, February 12, 2022

1:15 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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