Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

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August 12, 2009

Hangar dedicated for Thomas K. Lloyd

One last salute:

AMERICUS — The hangar was dedicated with a salute from friends and family left behind by the passing of Thomas K. (Tom) Lloyd. The large crowd gathered around the tan airplane hangar, complete with a new white sign dedicating the structure to Lloyd.

Frank Joiner, chairman of the Americus-Sumter County Airport Authority, shared a story with the group of friends and family gathered for the salute. “Tom walked the runways out here for exercise,” said Joiner, “and he always let us know when a light was out or something was broken. Frankie (Williams) is a cropduster, and he and Tom both got here at the same time, through Vietnam, and when Frankie was taking off or landing, Tom would stop walking, turn and face the airplane, and would salute. So today Tom, we salute you,” Joiner said,” raising his arm in salute.”

Frankie Williams, the fixed base operator at Souther Field Airport, shared his thoughts on Lloyd at the event. “March 2, 1974, Tom and I showed up at South Georgia Tech to enter the aircraft •mechanics program. I had no idea then, what a part of my life he would come to be. He was the best friend you could ever have, and he would never turn you down for anything,” Williams said, trying to hold back tears.

Sparky Reeves, president of South Georgia Technical College (SGTC), shared his memories of working alongside Lloyd and even attending his famous Halloween parties which were held at the airport. “There is an old Randy Travis song called ‘Three Wooden Crosses’ that says it’s not what you take when you leave this world, it’s what you leave behind that counts,” Reeves said. “Based on that statement, Tom Lloyd was a very wealthy man, because he left a tremendous legacy for his family, friends and students.”

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