More detail on this person: JACKSONVILLE, NC - Thomas Wayne Amis (Major, USMC, Ret) "faded away" peacefully with dignity, surrounded by family and friends at Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, North Carolina on Monday, February 25, 2019, at the age of 82. Tom was preceded in death by his parents Wayne B. Amis and Louise Magruder Amis of Gulfport, Mississippi; great-granddaughter Natalie Lancaster; and his wife of 47 years, Natalina D'alessandro Amis. After graduating from Gulfport High School in 1954 and obtaining an Associate's Degree in Engineering from Perkinston Junior College, Tom applied to the Naval Aviation Flight School in Pensacola, Florida. His dream of becoming a pilot became a reality in 1955 when he earned his "Wings of Gold" and the rank of 2ndLt in the United States Marine Corps. Major Amis proudly served 23 years in the USMC, traveling to several countries for various missions and conflicts. Two of those years (1965-1966 and 1968-1969) were served in Vietnam, where he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses with Gold Star for "heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 363 (HMM-363)." During his tours in Vietnam, he was awarded 18 Air Medals (one air medal equals 10 combat missions), a Silver Star, Presidential Unit Citation with 1 Star, and numerous other citations and merit awards. Major Amis flew Sikorsky CH-53A Sea Stallion and UH-34D Seahorse heavy-lift helicopters, noted for providing troop transport, assault, cargo, medevac, and other missions during Vietnam. He saved a lot of lives utilizing his amazing aviation skills. Citations for his Valor Awards can be viewed at https://valor.militarytimes.com/hero/34375 Upon retirement with the rank of Major in 1978, Amis obtained his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Southern Illinois University. His second career was spent at Bank of America and Regional Finance Corp. After retiring for a second time, not being one to let grass grow under his feet, Tom decided to become a bus driver for the Onslow County School System. He took his responsibility very seriously and never missed a day of work, and he retired after 10 years of service. Stephen Hawking once said: "However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there is life, there is hope." This was Tom's mantra his entire life. He was never one to "sit still." His great loves were the Marine Corps and his family. In the military, the mantra drove him to exceed all expectations from his peers during seemingly impossible missions under heavy enemy fire. Personally, it fueled his comeback from five near-death hospitalizations where doctors gave up all hope. He was a stubborn Marine! No one told him when it was time to let go of the life he loved so much. He fought hard to make sure he had all his affairs in order. He fought hard to make sure he let everyone he loved know how much he loved them. He fought hard against all the doctors who could only see the disease and not the man. When he made the decision that it was time to "fade away" he left this earth with the dignity that he desired and the love of his family. Tom Amis was an extraordinary man, who led an extraordinary life. His love for adventure was tempered only by the love for his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He also loved a good cup of coffee, great fried seafood, working in his yard and on his home, driving and fixing up his sweet 2004 Corvette, reconnecting at military reunions, and traveling to Mississippi to see his family and friends. He will be known for his booming voice that could be heard across two counties, his great sense of humor and wit, his attention to detail, and his drive for perfection in anything that he did. Tom is survived by two daughters, Anita Lancaster of Jacksonville and Laura Amis-Lupton (Bert) of Pascagoula, MS; three sons, Robert Lancaster (Carol) and Mark Amis both of Jacksonville, NC and Scott Amis (Patricia) of Gulf Breeze, FL; sister Gwen Harrell of Virginia Beach, VA; grandchildren Jason Richardson, Jonathan Lancaster, Robert Lancaster, Jr. (Andrea), Trevor and Taylor Amis, Heath Guess (Brittany), Chase Guess, RyAnn Amis, Erin Amis-Perez (Michael), Jordan Osborne; great-grandchildren Gabriel, Brady and Libby Guess, and Alexandria, Johanna, and Paisleigh Lancaster. He is also survived by Sydney and Riley Becker, no relation, but he loved them just as his own. A memorial service will be held at 1 pm Friday, March 8 at the Jones Funeral Home Chapel followed by his interment at Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St Jude's Children's Hospital.
Burial information: Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery
This information was last updated 03/05/2019
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 10/29/2022
Copyright © 1998 - 2022 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association