1952 - 2021
LtCol THOMAS VINCENT BOMA USAF(Ret.) Lt Col (USAF Ret) Thomas Vincent Boma, 68, passed away after two years battling the effects of a debilitating coronary event. As in everything he did, he gave it his all in his fight to recover; but it was not to be - God brought him home on 9 February 2021. Tom (aka Boomer and Boma) was born in Piper City IL, 16 May 1952, the third of Francis and Margaret Boma's eight children. He was raised on the family farm and imbued with exceptional family values - that upbringing established many of the characteristics he demonstrated throughout his life. Boma was an early (really early!) riser with a strong work ethic - it's a farm thing. Tom was a man of faith - he seriously considered becoming a priest and the Catholic Church remained very important to him. He was highly competitive and an excellent athlete - two older brothers helped mold that. He was compassionate somebody had to help the five younger siblings. He was a prankster extraordinaire who possessed a wry sense of humor an inherited trait that permeates his family's DNA. As a superb student/athlete at Piper City High School, his exploits helped secure an U.S. Air Force ROTC scholarship at Southern Illinois University (SIU) with the objective of becoming a fighter pilot (it helped that some of his other, less superb, exploits were kept under wraps!). This established the path of his professional life. His personal life was also determined during his Piper City years when he met a cute blond, Barbara Kelly, from neighboring Chatsworth IL the result of that meeting was a 44-year marriage to a great partner in life, two wonderful children of whom Tom was profoundly proud, and four absolutely adored grandchildren. His SIU experience included membership in Sigma Tau Gamma, and he remained loyal to those fraternal friendships his entire life - an admirable quality that continued with his many subsequent friendships. When he needed supplemental income while at SIU, bouncer, campus cop and undercover narc were a few of the jobs that filled that need - an added benefit was that they solidified his desire to become a pilot! While at the Air Force's Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) in 1976, Tom demonstrated great aptitude for flying and was rewarded with an F-4 assignment. He became a fighter pilot, in fact, a superbly talented fighter pilot. During his first two assignments - Torrejon AB SP and Homestead AFB FL - his exceptional flying and leadership skills earned selection to attend the highly competitive and demanding Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (FWIC) at Nellis AFB NV. Next, he became an exchange F-4 pilot at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, Yuma MCAS AZ, the Marine equivalent of USAF's FWIC. From Yuma, Boomer was hand-picked to become a member of the 4477TES Red Eagles. Although based at Nellis AFB NV, the Red Eagles actually flew out of Tonopah Test Range Airport (TTR), a remote airstrip 120 miles northwest of Nellis. The Red Eagles mission was highly classified (declassified in 2006). They flew covertly acquired, Soviet-designed MiG aircraft to expose USAF, Navy and Marine fighter forces to the aircraft characteristics and associated tactics of our potential adversaries. An instructor in the MiG-21, Boomer was one of only 69 pilots to fly as a Red Eagle during its 10-year existence. When the 4477TES closed, Boomer moved to the Pentagon where he worked on F-22 development. From the Pentagon, he moved to Laughlin AFB, Del Rio TX. In 1996, he finished his 20-yr career as a Squadron Commander and entered the next phase of his flying career, a 20-years career with FedEx. Following his retirement in 2017, family, travelling, volunteering (USO and CHFN), golfing and futilely rooting for the Cubbies and the Bears remained as his priorities. Tom/Boomer/Boma was a unique individual witty, personable, loyal if you knew him, you didn't forget him. He is survived by his wife, Barb; son, Bart (Christie); daughter, Kelly (Bob) Richardson; grandchildren, Brandon, Allison and Scott Boma, and John Richardson. Also surviving Tom are his mother, Margaret Boma; brothers Roger (Gloria), Dennis (Nancy), Bruce (Lori), and Mark (Mary) Boma; sisters Mary (Kevin) Schwenk and Sheila Sola; sister-in-law, Kay (Chris) Buck; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Francis; his younger brother, Tony; and his parents-in-law, John and Barbara Kelly. Tom will be privately interred at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. When the COVID picture clears, the family will hold a Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to We Heart Maggie supporting the Children's Heart Foundation of Nevada at or the USO at .

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Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Feb. 14, 2021.
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29 Entries
My condolences and prayer: for Thomas' eternal repose; for all his loved ones consolation. Eternal Rest grant to Thomas oh Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he Rest in Peace. God bless!
Father Chris Haake
February 28, 2021
Barb and family, so sorry to hear about Tom´s passing, we were in the same class at Piper. He was a sweet guy and got along with everyone! Rest In Peace Tom
Susan (Rice) Saathoff
February 21, 2021
I did not know Tom but I know his mother and knew his father and his grand parents. Like the rest of the family Tom must have been an exceptional individual.
Jim Cleary
February 20, 2021
Very saddened to hear of Tom´s passing. I was one of many young aviators he taught and mentored in the 613th TFS. Another one of the good guys we´ve lost too soon.
Paul Gregory
February 17, 2021
Tom you will truly be missed, thank you for gracing us with your presence. We love to see the way your eye light up when you see your family and barb´s yummy chocolate cookies no chocolate! We love you & are praying for your family during this time. Fly high Mr.Boma
Canria & Sabrina
February 17, 2021
My F-4 IP Upgrade with Boma right after I buried my best friend (Brad Scott), will be a remarkable experience I will never forget. Tom did not let me wallow in self pity, but made me focus on being a fighter pilot IP. In some ways, he saved my career. I will love and miss him for a long time...Dil
Jimmy Deaux
February 16, 2021
Barb, We were shocked when our daughter Amy told us she had seen Tom's passing on Facebook. Our entire family will remember our Christmas in Vegas and the many adult beverages we shared at the Bellagio! Willie Nelson has a song called "Something you get through" which you might like to listen too as it puts some perspective on these hard times. I hope we are able to head to Vegas when this pandemic is over and see you again. Our prayers are with you and your family.
Gary & Claudia Cornwell
February 15, 2021
I knew Tom during the years he flew F-4s at Torrejon Air base, Spain. We were members of the 613th Fighter Squadron. My condolences to Barb and family. RIP Tom.
Jeff Jacobs
February 15, 2021
Tom will always be a great friend and trusted flight lead. We were so blessed to have Tom, Barb and family sharing our life at Torrejon, Homstead and Nellis. It was magical and will forever be remembered.
Dennis & Terry Phelan
February 15, 2021
Our heart felt prayers to Family. Boomer shaped my future in the military. I will always be grateful to him for his dedication to our country and love of the F-4.
Robert (Pudder) Yauch and Sherrie Yauch
February 15, 2021
We'll miss you, Tom, as you head west. Ian
Ian Milne
February 14, 2021
Thinking of you and your family in this time of sadness. We would like to express our deepest sympathy. Tom(Boomer) will truly be missed. Within our hearts he will never really be gone. We've lost track over the years, but I remember the good times we had in Torrejon, Spain. Then years later, we connected in Las Vegas catching up over dinner and introducing you to my husband, Lee. I found out then that we were both called GG by our grandkids. You and your family will find comfort and strength to help each other in this time of sorrow. Stay well and may God bless you.
Diane (Van Marter)and Lee Gustafson
February 14, 2021
Great guy and great fighter pilot. Flew MiG's with Boomer in the Red Eagles, he was Bandit #59 and I was Bandit #58. A friend you could always count on. Thoughts, prayers, love to Barb and family. "Nickel on the grass"
Smokey and Janet Sundell
February 14, 2021
Our hearts are full of sadness with the loss of Tom. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Denise and Tom Lee
February 14, 2021
May he Rest In Peace. We will miss him so much . We loved his visits when he flew into new warm. Toured the city with him and had many laughs. Here´s to eagles wings
Alex Rodriguez and Anita Miller
February 14, 2021
Sending love and prayers to Barb and family.
Dielle and Rick Roberts
February 14, 2021
Barb and Kelly, as well as the rest of the Boma family. Reading the story of Tom's life made us realize what a truly full life he had. Max and I are keeping you in our prayers, and hope that you may feel the love and peace that all your friends and family are sending your way. Love you, Bob and Max
Bob and Maxine Richardson
February 14, 2021
Barb. I am so sad about Tom. My heart Goes out to you. He was such a dynamic personality and a lot of fun. You two were always so cute together. Words cannot begin to tell you how I feel. May God watch over you during this time. You´re the best cousin I could ever have. Love Kathy. (Jen and Courtney also send their sympathy)
Kathy Dohrmann
February 14, 2021
I concur that Boma was a prankster at heart. I like to think that I pulled a few on him as well. He was the best Squadron Commander I had the privilege to work for. My his memory bring you peace, and a smile.
Steve Fuller
February 14, 2021
My heart goes out to the Boma family. Tom was one of the best! May you all take comfort through the many warm memories in your hearts.
Jack Bradley
February 14, 2021
Barb and Family, Our heartfelt sorrow to all the Boma family. We went to school with Tom and Steve enjoyed his football playing days with Tom. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. God Speed, TOm.
Steve and Ruth Rice Kurtenbach
February 14, 2021
Was so sorry to hear of Tom´s passing from Katarina. I remember that when it came time for Kelly and Katarina to start kindergarten, at Ronald Regan Elementary School they were offering all day Kindergarten in the fall and only one class. As I was pulling into the parking lot to pickup our older daughter, I notice some people starting to show up and getting lawn chairs out of there cars. I park my car and went inside and called my husband to let him know that a line was starting to form. As I was coming out of the school Barbra Boma stopped me (she was one of the kindergarten teacher´s) her class was in their play yard. Barbra ask if I could watch her class for a few minutes, I said yes (I did volunteer work at the school) she went inside and called Tom. Would you believe that to register you child for all day kindergarten in the fall you would have to spend the night camped out at the school so you could be the first 25 parents to register your child. My husband John and Tom went up and down the line taking orders for hamburgers, fries and drinks. After everybody settled down for the night John and Tom spent the night, so that Katarina and Kelly could go to all day Kindergarten. Kelly and Katarina became best of friends and that friendship continues to this day. Katarina, also became best buds with Barbra and Tom. You will be missed Tom, but I know you are flying with the angels.
Carol Ann Algots
February 14, 2021
I´m so sorry for your family´s loss. Mark Boma is my brother-in-law and he´s a wonderful guy. The Bomas are a great family, and Tom sounds like an amazing man. He will be missed by many people. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Debra Tock
February 14, 2021
What an amazing life lived. He will be missed. Condolences to the Boma family.
Barb Hughes
February 13, 2021
Our prayers and sympathy go out to all of Tom's family.
Robert Breault
February 13, 2021
Boma was genuine. Sarcastic, funny, and I´d laugh every time. He would also give you the shirt off his back, if necessary. We´ll miss him forever.
Larry and Andrea Tindall
February 13, 2021
Very sorry for your loss.
Bill Lee
February 13, 2021
Was an honor and true privilege to serve as your ops officer Tom. Blue skies and tailwinds buddy.
Vic Hnatiuk
February 13, 2021
liked Tom through sch never got allong great but was a friend best wishes
Michael R. Perkinson
February 13, 2021