Tommy L. Bogart was born May 26, 1931 in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. He was the son of Joseph and Pearl (Blubaugh) Bogart and was the youngest of five children. After graduating from Tulsa Central High School in 1949, Tommy spent the next few years as a sheetrock contractor, a skill that he used for many years to help others. He served in the US Army from 1952 – 1954 during the Korean conflict. After returning, he began work for Boeing as a Tool and Die Maker.
On July 4, 1958, he married Marilyn K. Martin at Pratt. They lived in Wichita and together, they had five children: Lorie, Kim, Dee Dee, Marty, and Jamie. Tommy and Marilyn moved their family to Pratt in 1972; however, he continued to commute to Boeing until his retirement in 1993. His Boeing friends calculated that he had driven the equivalent of 36.5 times around the world while commuting to and from work. Through his work there, he made wonderful friendships that continued for the rest of his life. Tommy tried never to miss the monthly Boeing retirement breakfasts in Wichita despite the early morning drive from Pratt. Tommy’s family and friends were very important to him and he enjoyed spending a lot of time with them. He enjoyed camping and traveling and he always wanted to see Alaska. His last vacation was an Alaskan cruise with his family and friends.
In January of 2011, Tommy was paralyzed due to complications from back surgery. His strength, determination, and positive attitude were impressive. He always spoke in terms of “when”, rather than “if”, he’d walk again and he worked so hard to make that happen. After six weeks of intensive inpatient therapy, he and Marilyn moved in with Lorie and Benny. Tommy continued outpatient therapy at Wesley Rehabilitation Hospital. He developed a great rapport with the therapists there. They often commented that he always had a smile on his face. In one of his last therapy sessions, he was able to walk 99 feet with a walker. Tommy and his family were and still are incredibly thankful for the care and assistance received from Wesley Rehabilitation Hospital and the VA Spinal Cord Clinic.
Tommy was deeply touched by the way his family came together after his paralysis and were there, ready and willing to do whatever they could to help. The calls, cards, prayers and well wishes received in the past year from family, friends and acquaintances were heartwarming to him and his family. These acts of concern and kindness reflected what Tommy carried closest to his heart, his relationships with his family and friends. Tommy died Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at the age of 80 at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas. He is survived by his wife Marilyn, a son Marty and his wife Suzy Bogart, Haysville; four daughters, Lorie and her husband Benny DeVaney, Goddard; Kim and her husband Dennis Pierron, Leavenworth; Dee Dee and her husband Bill Eastes, Pratt; Jamie and her husband John Fiechtl, Derby; 14 Grandchildren, and 8 Great-Grandchildren. He was preceded in death by three brothers, Emmett, Howard, and Donnie, a sister Helen Olmstead, three grandchildren, Travis Pierron, Courtney DeVaney, and Russell DeVaney. Tommy will be forever loved and missed.