Cover photo for Tommy Therion Mcdonnell's Obituary
Tommy Therion Mcdonnell Profile Photo

Tommy Therion Mcdonnell

November 30, 1941 — August 20, 2022

Tommy Therion Mcdonnell

Tommy Therion McDonnell of Buffalo, Texas (80 years old) on Saturday, August 20, 2022, joined his Lord and Savior in be the presence of God the Father to spend his eternal life in peace and happiness. He joins all of his family that has gone before him. Tom was born in Dallas, Texas on November 30,1941. Tom is survived by his wife, Mary Jo McDonnell of Buffalo, his mother Myrtle McDonnell (101), his brother, Lonny McDonnell and sister Myrna McDonnell Sandefur all of Dallas. Additionally, Tom is survived by his children, Shannan McDonnell Martinez & husband, Jose Luis Martinez of Mesa, Arizona, Brenda McDonnell Tatro & husband Todd Tatro of Leander, Texas, and Jan McDonnell Carley & husband, Keith Carley of Houston, Texas. His beloved grandchildren are Kyle Joseph Carley and Justin Michael Carley also of Houston, Texas.


Tom served in the Army from 1963-1966. He graduated basic training at Fort Polk, LA, in advanced infantry training at Ft. Benning, Georgia and Paratrooper Jump school at, Ft Bragg, North Carolina assigned to the 82nd Airborne division and later the 101st Airborne division. In 1965, Tom parachuted into live combat battle during the Dominican Republic conflict. Next, we was ordered to Viet Nam, where he was wounded in combat battle in 1966. Tom was awarded the Purple Heart, Parachute Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge, National Defense Service, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Dominica Republic Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Later in 1972-1975, he volunteered to serve in the US Army Ranger Special Forces reserves for several years in Houston.

Tom has always been a resolute patriot and protector of these United States. After his honorable discharge from the Army, on the G.I. Bill, Tom studied at LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas, Airframe & Power Plant Aeronautics and went on to Southeastern State College in Durant, Oklahoma (now a part of Oklahoma State) to graduate in the first bachelor's degree class in Air Frame & Power Plant Technology as well as earning his pilot's license from 1968-1970. Tom enjoyed a long career in aviation owning his own FAA Certified Airplane Repair Station at Andrau Air Park in west Houston from 1980-1987. Tom loved to fix planes and fly planes!

Tom was also true Texas patriot who actively supported Texas Law Enforcement especially the Texas Rangers. In 1981, he was awarded honorary status in the former Texas Ranger Association. In 1990, Tom went to work at Nasa managing the large maintenance organization of the airplane fighters that the US Astronauts flew in every day for aerospace flight practice. Once in a while, he would join the astronauts in their weightless. Training. In 2009, Tom retired from Nasa and set out to tell anyone who would listen to him about his many adventures during his tenure at NASA at Ellington Field, Houston. He especially loved to tell tales to anyone who would indulge him on the many cruises that he and his wife enjoyed in their retirement.

In 2000, Tom and MaryJo bought a farm in Centerville, Texas to enjoy the country and raise cattle, traveling every weekend from Houston for thirteen years. In 2013, they moved permanently from Houston to Buffalo, Texas where Tom he became a landlord providing affordable rental homes to the community. Many people in the Buffalo and Centerville community will remember Tom for his outgoing and friendly personality.

Tommy Therion McDonnell is much honored and appreciated by his family, friends and neighbors for his service to our country, his neighborly helping hand and many old-fashioned jokes.

A memorial service for Tommy will be at 2 P.M., Saturday, September 3, 2022 at Walters' Buffalo Funeral Home. Bro. Jason Hughes will officiate the service.


Arrangements are entrusted with Walters' Buffalo Funeral Home, Buffalo, Texas.




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Memorial Service

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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