Thomas Lex, Sr.

Obituary of Thomas Marcius Lex, Sr.

Please share a memory of Thomas to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
Sergeant Major Thomas Marcius Lex, Sr. USMC (Ret). 79, of Wadsworth, IL, passed from this world into the arms of his Savior on February 28, 2022. Tom was born December 30, 1942, in Indianapolis, IN. Tom was the baby of eight children and he attended area public schools. While attending Emmerich Manual High School he became the first student to be promoted to the rank of full Colonel in the ROTC program. After graduating high school in 1961, Tom joined the United States Marine Corps and attended bootcamp in San Diego, CA. He graduated boot camp as the platoon honorman and was then stationed in Japan. After returning to the US, he was assigned to the 1 st Marine Division in California where he designed and built a mobile communications trailer capable of handling telephone and radio communications for the division. After reenlisting in 1964, Tom was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Center as a prisoner chaser and later as the brig warden. He also cared for the often stubborn, but always hilarious, Marine Corps base Mascot, McDuff the bulldog, who scared Jean on their first date. Tom met his beloved wife, Jean Lex while she was working for the Department of the Navy. After attending many church services with Jean, Tom was saved. Tom and Jean were married in Zion at Christ Community Church (formerly Christian Catholic Church) on September 18,1965. In the fall of 1966, Tom was deployed to Vietnam. After returning from Vietnam, Tom was assigned to recruiting duty in Lasalle-Peru, IL where Tom consistently excelled at breaking enlistment goals for the Marine Corps. After moving several times with the Marine Corps, Tom and Jean finally settled in Waukegan, IL where they, with the help of Jean’s father, built their first home. Tom left active duty in the Marine Corps and transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve where he was stationed with 2D Battalion, 24 th Marines until being transferred to VMGR 234 at Glenview Naval Air Station with the C130 squadron. Tom was activated during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm where he led his squadron during the conflict. During his time in the Marine Corps, Tom received too many commendations and awards to list and he retired in 1992 as the squadron Sergeant Major. During his time with the Marine Corps, Tom also worked for Illinois Bell (AT&T) as an installer and later as a cable repairman. He retired from AT&T and worked for Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago, overseeing a building program. He then worked for Alarm Detection Systems where he enjoyed driving around and working on systems and of course, meeting people. Tom worked up until his illness no longer allowed and he finally had to “retire.” Tom owned a landscaping business, prepared banquets, helped at school functions, coached soccer and little league teams while Tom Jr. was growing up, volunteered many hours at Camp Zion, and worked with the Jr. High youth group at Christ Community Church. Tom also participated in numerous roles in the Zion Passion Play. He was known for being a spiritual mentor and prayer warrior to everyone around him. Even if someone needed to call in the middle of the night, Tom would always pick up the phone and be there to pray and encourage others. Tom loved serving his country and has served in various roles with Zion-Benton American Legion Post 865. Together, Tom and Jean would deliver Christmas and Easter gifts to veterans in the local nursing homes, gather items for food and clothing drives, and serve by placing flags at Memorial Park in Zion and on the graves of local fallen veterans. Everywhere you went, someone knew Tom (aka “Grandpa” or “Sgt. Major”). Tom loved being around people and he loved giving to others. Tom always volunteered to help, even when his health began to fail and he instilled a strong work ethic in others. For a number of years Tom was also on the Board of Directors for Zion Evangelical Ministries of Africa. Tom had a passion for ensuring God’s Word was spread to all areas of the world. Tom was humbled to visit South Africa on two occasions before his health would no longer allow him. In 2007, Tom was admitted to the hospital and only given two weeks to live. God had a very different plan and miraculously kept Tom alive for over 14 more years! He would be in and out of hospitals every year for many different health problems, but Tom always witnessed to those in the hospital or doctors’ offices and he got to know the people, even during his last stay in December. Tom said God must have meant his illness to be used as a mission field to others in the doctors’ offices and hospitals. Tom wasted no time telling people that God had saved him both spiritually and physically. He loved to tell people of His wonderful Savior and how God had kept him alive for such a time as this. Tom defied all the odds and lived life to the fullest, spending countless hours teaching his grandchildren how to love unconditionally, show kindness to people even if you don’t agree with them, how to serve others, and most of all how to live for Christ until our last breath. Tom loved to cook, work on home-improvement projects with his family, make jokes, golf, fish, and shoot guns, but most of all he loved his family and sacrificed much for them. He also loved his country and suffered physically much of his life because of the sacrifices he made for others. Since 2012, Tom and Jean have selflessly cared for Jean’s brother, Raymond. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, John and Lillian (Pack) Lex, his brothers, John, Robert, and Richard Lex and his sisters Bonnie (Vehling) and Norma (Hittle). Tom was also preceded in death by his wife, and love of his life, Jean. Tom leaves behind his son Tom Jr., daughter-in-law Christy Lex, and grandchildren Brenna Lex, Braeden Lex, and Bryan Lex, of Wadsworth, his sister Annie (Gocke) and brother William Lex, along with many relatives and friends. Visitation will be on Sunday, March 6, 2022, from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM at Lake County Baptist Church, 1550 W. Yorkhouse Rd, Waukegan, IL. Funeral service will follow with military honors at 5:00 PM, with Pastor Dan Duncan officiating. A dinner reception will follow the service. If you have fond memories of Tom you would like to share with the family for a memory book, please write or type your memories and bring them to the service where there will be a collection box. Or you can email your memories to Tom, Jr. For those not able to attend, the service can be viewed via the livestream link on the funeral home website at www.congdonfuneralhome.com where you may also leave an online tribute to pay your respects.
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Sunday
6
March

Visitation

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sunday, March 6, 2022
Lake County Baptist Church
1550 Yorkhouse Road
Waukegan, Illinois, United States
Sunday
6
March

Funeral Service

5:00 pm
Sunday, March 6, 2022
Lake County Baptist Church
1550 Yorkhouse Road
Waukegan, Illinois, United States
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Thomas