Obituary of Thomas Allen Lott Sr.
Portrait Of Life
Thomas Allen Lott, Sr. was born on December 13, 1941, to Alesia Williams and Doris Walton Lott, in Dallas Texas.
The youngest of four children, in earlier years the family lived in Dallas, but later moved and settled in Fort Worth, where he attended I.M. Terrell High School. During his educational years, he developed his love for music, as he sang, in the school's glee club and chorus. As a gifted- playing by ear musician, he self-taught himself to play the guitar, piano, flute, trumpet, drums, clarinet and violin. Mastering the guitar, his first paying job was playing with a live band and upon his graduation from I. M. Terrell, he was known as Tommy "Guitar" Lott! received a college Music Scholarship, but decided to join the United States n Air Force in March 1961.
One of Thomas’ greatest joys in life, was his love for music and the Guitar. One of his favorite guitarists and musical influences was Jimmy Reed. Over his lifetime, the desire for performing and perfecting his guitar playing skills would prove to be one of his greatest sources of his happiness. Thomas would eventually lead and manage various bands and perform at some of the top venues, even opening for Ike & Tina Turner, wherever he was stationed at the time in the United States and overseas. One of his more notable acts was his band, “Tommy and the Click Clacks”. Musically he was appreciated by his ability to move the crowd with his excellent showmanship and technical mastery of the guitar. He was known for playing the guitar behind his head and with his teeth. He later joked that this was probably the reason he had to get implants. He was also known as Tommy “Guitar” Lott.
After completing basic training, he was initially stationed at Lackland AFB he attending Jet Engine Mechanic School at Sheppard AFB. Coincidently, Thomas was one of the first African American men to work on some of the most advanced jet engines in the world at that time. He said that it was very challenging because he didn’t have much or any support from his peers or superiors at the time. Thomas would consistently burn the “midnight oil” and demonstrated confidence and perseverance with every task he was assigned. Eventually, his leadership and determination would gain the respect of his peers and the soldiers that he would later become the commander of his squadron. His first permanent duty assignment was at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka Kansas.
At the age of 19, Thomas was baptized and joined the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. It was around that time that he received his five-skill level and assumed the duties of a crewmember. Two years later, he married Joyce Green (Lott) and to this union three children were born.
With the challenges of a new family and career in the military, it was difficult to make ends meet on his G.I. salary, so he began managing a band and working in night clubs all over Kansas. Whenever military duties permitted, he worked on farms loading and stacking alfalfa as well. Between work and regular military duties, he completed the Non-Commissioned Officer Leadership school in October 1964.
After his time in Topeka (Forbes AFB) his squadron was moved to Offutt AFB in Nebraska at the rank of E-4 and assisting crew chief. Thomas received his seven-level skill rating by completing an ECI extension course after his first deployment overseas in Taiwan. From there the list of accomplishments continued for him as well as numerous deployments
On June 3, 1978, Thomas received his final promotion to the rank of E-7. During his tenure with the USAF, he became one of the first African American airmen to become certified in maintenance for some of the most advanced jet aircraft engines in the world.
After 20 years, nine months and twenty-six days (his words), “I decided to try a new lifestyle.”
Thomas retired from the USAF on December 31, 1981, with a Meritorious Service Medal and an Honorable Discharge. And returned to Texas, with a new chapter in his life beginning. He enrolled at Mountain View College, receiving an Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences Degree and May 1983 another goal achieved, receiving an Associate degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology.
Thomas was a member of Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church and True Vine Baptist Church in Fort Worth. A member of the Toastmaster International Club and participated in several speech contests with rewarding success.
He was preceded in death by his parents Doris Walton Lott and Alesia Lott English. Sisters: Grace Estelle Bacon, Doris Lee Williams, Brother: Raymond O. D. Lott, Daughter: Altheia "Dottie" Johnson, Andriana "Lynnie" Smith, Neice: Schelia Bacon Colliers and Nephew: Randy Carl Bacon.
He leaves to cherish his memories: Daughter: Tezra Lott, Son: Thomas Lott Jr. Sisters: Lisa “LaVerne” Frazier Galloway and Pat Hinderman. Nieces: Carolyn Ann Bacon Carter, Brenda Joyce Greer, Jacqueline Kelly, Delania Bacon, Diona Frazier Jones, Nephews: Norman Greer, Stanley Bacon, Robert Greer, Damon Frazier, Aunt Juanita Lott and Wayne Lott.
Grandchildren: Jarrold Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Courtney Lott, Casey Lott, Eliyah Lott-Lundy, Odis Smith, DeAunte Smith, Adrian Smith, Jonshee Williams and a beloved fourth generation of Great Grandchildren.
This list can be continued almost without end for the people that truly cared about him.
A heartfelt Thanks and Appreciation to the Raul Cantu Family and a host of Friends and Neighbors for the years of kindness shown to him. A special Thankyou to Ms. Aldith Frazier and daughter Maria Clarke, his caregiver/friend, for your labor of love shown through out the years, all truly appreciated by him and his family.
Thomas Allen Lott, Sr. was blessed and allowed to experience far more of what this brief journey has to offer, than many of us will dream of in our lifetime. Through it all, he still had that wonderful, warm smile. Play that guitar Thomas…. Play ON!!!
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