Thomas Stilwell

Thomas M. Stilwell Jr.

Monday, September 12th, 1938 - Saturday, October 31st, 2020
Recommend this to your friends.
Share via:

Sign in to the Family Interactive Login

The Family Interactive feature enhances An Amazing Life. Authorized family members can securely access their loved one's memorial website settings at any time.

Share Book of Memories with a Friend

Please enter the name and email details so that we can send your friend a link to the online tribute. No names or addresses will be collected by using this service.

Email Sent

Your email has been sent.

To share your memory on the wall of Thomas Stilwell, sign in using one of the following options:

Sign in with Facebook


Sign in with your email address

Your condolence has been posted successfully

Provide comfort for the family by sending flowers or planting a tree in memory of Thomas Stilwell

No Thanks

Contact Funeral Home

Please enter your question or comment below:

Email Sent

Your email has been sent.

Thomas's Tribute Fund

  •  Full Name
  •  Initials
  •  Anonymous
By continuing, you agree with the terms and privacy policy.

Thomas's Tribute Fund

There may be a delay while processing. Please do not click the back button or refresh while a payment is processing.
Send Flowers
Guaranteed hand delivery by a local florist


Thomas “Tommy” M. Stilwell Jr who had many nicknames: Big Tommy; General By-God Stilwell; Old Man; and T-2. He meaned away on October 31st, 2020. Born on September 12th, 1938 in Charlotte, NC where he was raised until the age of 14 when he walked to Jacksonville, FL. He married Barbara Gayle Hansford when he was 17 and she was 15 years old. Tommy joined the Navy and based in San Diego, CA. While in the Navy he flew Constellations “Connie’s” routine flights from San Diego to Elisha, Alaska, then to New Zealand. He worked for Seaboard Coastline Railroad as a train and engine mechanist. Tommy also worked as a welder on ships at Mayport in Jacksonville, FL. He was proficient in both steam and traction engines. He also worked as a machinist at Hudson Pulp and Paper.

Tommy eventually grew tired of working for the “man” and opened S & S Electric with Chas Smith, circa 1977 in East Palatka. S & S repaired and did preventative maintenance on Florida Power and Light trucks, back when you could call FPL in Palatka. During this time, Reverend Karl Flagg was a young meter reader. Tommy turned the business over to his son, Thomas “Tommy” Stilwell III in 1981 which is now, Tommyz LLC. Tommy opened National Machine & Steel Works which built and machined parts for ships and built barges and did work for Dupont Paint Company on their dredges and cutterheads. He also was a FAA certified airframe and power plant mechanic. Tommy owned and operated, Tree Top Aviation, buying and selling airplanes. He possessed a rating in single engine, twin engines, and turbo props. Endorsements in tailwheel and aerobatic. Owning and flying some of the greatest civil airplane and ever built. Tommy did aerobatics in his Christian Eagle, and Nada-Bone Decathlon. He was known best for his low-level buzzing, scaring livestock, and flying under the bridge with Wayne Liable. Tommy also was the pilot who flew the Queen Air for the St Johns River Water Management. He was the pilot for John Browning, flying politicians and secret service for President “Poppy” Bush. Tommy flew countless trips to the Bahamas for John and his treasure hunting crew. Tommy loved to fish in the surf at Crescent Beach, the rocks near blow hole, and out to the rolldown with the “No Name” crew in the big John Alden Boat.

Tommy was a Master Mason of Palatka Lodge Number 34 and served over fifty years. He had a passion for American Muscle cars and Harley Davidson Motorcycles, everything he owned went fast. He loved machines, planes, trains, and automobiles. He loved his family, East Palatka, his dogs, and a special love for his grandchildren, Thomas Stilwell IV “Skye” and Sally Anna.

Tommy was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Mary Lee, a brother, Ronnie. “Big Tommy” is survived by his wife, Barbara Gayle Stilwell, son, Thomas Stilwell III and wife Anna, daughter, Kim Stilwell and Chuck, Brother Stevie, and grandchildren, Thomas Stilwell IV “Skye” and Sally Anna Stilwell-Reed and husband Trevor Reed.

Visitation will be on Saturday, November 14th from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and service following at Johnson Overturf Chapel in Palatka. Palatka Masonic Lodge #34 F&AM will also conduct Masonic rites.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Rodeheaver Boys Ranch or Roberts Haven Hospice.

Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at Tommy’s Book of Memories page at .

Arrangements are entrusted to Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka.
Read Less

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas M. Stilwell Jr., please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

Sign Up for Notifications

Receive notifications about information and event scheduling for Thomas

Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, November 14th, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Saturday, November 14th, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am
    Johnson-Overturf Chapel
    307 S. Palm Ave.
    PALATKA, FL 32177
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, November 14th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Saturday, November 14th, 2020 11:00am
    Johnson-Overturf Chapel
    307 S. Palm Ave.
    PALATKA, FL 32177
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Bro. Tommy Stilwell


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Thomas here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

No video recorded.

Private Condolence
Provide comfort for the family of Thomas M. Stilwell Jr by sending flowers.
Guaranteed hand delivery by a local florist

Zane Frnak

Posted at 01:51pm
I have known Tommy for nearly 30 years, and I had the pleasure (not always- wink wink) of working for Tommy for many years and learned so much of what has made my career as a Welder so successful. Tommy will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Zane Frank (always called Joe by Big Tommy)

Carol White

Posted at 11:05pm
I remember Tommy as a wonderful and fun loving man. I had the honor to handle his books for a while and it was always fun. He will be missed. Tommy and Anna so sorry for your lose. Sending you prayers and thoughts during this time. Carol White

Lyle & Jane Buck Posted at 08:26pm

We remember Tommy and Gayle as our neighbors and friends many years ago. We are saddened to hear of his passing and know he will be missed. Sincerely, the Bucks

Photos & Videos

Photo Album

Upload up to 10 images at a time, max 8MB each
Share by: