Home Records Obituaries Colonel Thomas D. Roff (USAF, Ret.)

Colonel Thomas D. Roff (USAF, Ret.)

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Colonel Tom Roff, age 80 years old, passed away on 29 April 2018. He was a resident of Colorado Springs, CO for one year and was formerly a resident of Redmond, WA for the past 30 years.

Tom was born on 6 May 1937 in Topeka, KS to Donald and Katie Roff, formerly of Roswell, NM. On 24 June 1956, he married his childhood sweetheart, Carolyn Callahan, daughter of Griff and Eva Callahan in Roswell, NM. Tom and Carolyn were married for 61 years. He is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn, his son Tom and daughter-in-law Kim from Colorado Springs, his sister Jody Leonard and Niece Jere Smith of Roswell, his Niece Cathey Marchel from Cleburne, TX and Nephew Dean Fowler from Ruidoso, NM, his grandchildren Austin and Garrett Roff, his granddaughter-in-law Kristen Roff and his great-granddaughter Quinnlyn Roff, all from Colorado Springs, CO.

Tom was raised in Roswell and graduated high school from New Mexico Military Institute in 1955. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Mexico in 1960 and a Master of Science degree from Webster College, St. Louis, Missouri in 1975.

Tom was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force as a navigator and second lieutenant in June of 1960. He was assigned to the Military Airlift Command (MAC) at Travis AFB, California. During the next eight years, Tom accumulated over eight thousand flying hours in C-124s, C-130s and C-141s.

From May 1970 until June 1971, Tom served as a forward air controller at Nakhon-Phanom RTAB, Thailand, logging over 600 flying hours during 152 night combat missions over North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In 1971 he returned to the Military Airlift Command and was stationed at McGuire AFB, New Jersey as Chief of Combat Operations. In 1972 Tom was assigned to HQ MAC, Scott AFB, IL to manage Airlift Control Elements and Combat Control Teams. During this assignment, he had extensive involvement in combined Special Operations Forces. Tom completed airborne training with the Navy SEALS in 1976 and participated in numerous joint operations during the next three years. He was promoted to Colonel in August 1979. Over the next several years, Colonel Roff held several positions in Contracting and Manufacturing for the USAF. He retired from the Air Force in March 1987.

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As a result of his outstanding service, Colonel Roff was awarded several awards and decorations. These include; the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Distinguished-Presidential Unit Citation, AF Outstanding Unit Award with 3 oak leaf clusters, the Combat Readiness Medal, the Antarctica Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters and the Vietnam Service Medal with 8 Bronze Stars.

After retiring from military service, Tom and Carolyn moved to the Seattle, WA area where Tom worked for Boeing Aerospace as the Operations Manager for Defense and Space Material. He retired from Boeing in 1994. Tom and Carolyn enjoyed touring on his Harley motorcycle and supported several charitable organizations while living in the Pacific Northwest.

Colonel Roff will be buried with full military honors at the Colorado Springs National Cemetery with close family in attendance.

 

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