Obituary for Colonel Dana L. Thomason
Colonel Dana L. (Tommy) Thomason passed away in Petersburg, VA on Sunday, November 26, 2017. He lived in the Tri-Cities area of Colonial Heights, VA until 1993 when he returned to the Tidewater area, the home of his birth in Norfolk, VA. In 2016 he moved back to Colonial Heights, VA. to live out the later part of his life with his daughter, Ginger. His ﬁrst wife, Barbara Worrell Thomason of 56 years predeceased him in 2004. A daughter, Barbara Thomason Fenderson and a son, Dana Thomason, Jr., also predeceased him. In 2007 he married Lorene Birdsong Jones, a lifelong friend and widow. Sickness and old age caused the two to live apart due to the need for perpetual care of Colonel Thomason by his daughter. Surviving is his daughter, LaVera “Ginger” LaPrade, Granddaughter, Jennifer Whitmore Hegwald and husband Mark, Grandson, Randal Fenderson, three Great Granddaughters, Courtney and Ashley Hegwald, and Natalie Love Fenderson, all of Colonial Heights, VA., and Barry Vance Thomason, brother and his wife Caroline of Snellville, GA. Mrs. Ginnifer Materra and her daughters Astrid, Ashley and Asten were surrogate family members whom he loved dearly, watching her children grow into adulthood and who always called him Grandpa. Nephew, Frank Morris Worrell who became more like a son then a nephew over the years. Also, numerous in-laws and friends who were always there for him. During his youth, he attended Norview High School. He dropped out of school in I945 to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in the Asiatic & Paciﬁc Theater in the later part of WWII-and returned to Norfolk to complete high school at Maury High School graduating with the Veterans Class of 1947. He entered the University of Virginia in 1947 and received a Bachelor of Science Degree. While at the University, he was a member of the University Band, Cross Country team, V-Club and the Jefferson Sabers, an honorary Military Society. He participated in the ROTC Program and in the summer of 1949, was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the transportation Corps at Fort Eustis, Virginia. In 1952, during the Korean War, he returned to active duty and served twenty-two more consecutive years of active duty, retiring at Fort Lee, Virginia in 1974 as a full Colonel.\ During his Army career, he served eleven years overseas, with duty stations in Germany, Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines. He attended two transportation Schools, the Chemical Ofﬁcer’s Advanced Course and was also a graduate of the Command and general Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. He also attended various civilian schools to include the IBM school in New York plus the University of Maryland and Tulane University. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, and numerous campaign and service medals. In Vietnam he was awarded the Cross of Gallantry, and the Vietnamese Medal of Honor, order First Class while serving as Senior Advisor to the Vietnamese Army Command. While in the Philippines he was awarded two Philippine Presidential unit citations for the conduct of humanitarian activities in that country following devastating typhoons and earthquake disasters. Colonel Thomason was a 32nd Degree Mason, and has been a member of the Berlin Lodge 46 in Germany since 1957. His Scottish Rite was in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was a life time member of the University of Virginia Alumni Association and the Military Officers Association of America. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church, Colonial Heights, VA. A graveside service will be held 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 1, 2017 at Southlawn Memorial Park Prince George, Virginia with the Reverend Dr. Ray Haskett officiating. He will be buried next to his ﬁrst wife Barbara Thomason, and two children, Barbara and Tommy, Jr. and will receive full military honors. Friends may pay their respects on Thursday, November 30, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Colonial Heights Chapel of E. Alvin Small Funeral Homes and Crematory 2033 Boulevard Colonial Heights, Virginia 23834. Condolences may be registered at www.ealvinsmall.com.