August 2012 83-year-old, Thomas Bucket List Wish was to go deep sea fishing with his family. He said, “I have always loved deep-sea fishing dating all the way back to my days serving in the U.S. Marines.”
Now diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, he said, “life is short. Time with family and doing things I love to do is most important.” Thomas served our country for over 40 years on board the Military Sealift Command Pacific (MACPAC) for the Department of Defense. Thomas was the 1st African American to convert a military ship to a merchant ship and receive employee of the year for the MACPAC. He and his wife of 43 years, Emma met while Thomas was stationed in the Philippines. They started a family and had 7 sons. Thomas retired the military in 1991 and moved his family from CA to AZ.
Bucket List Foundation Founder and RN, Kimberly caravanned Thomas and his family to San Diego stayed in the beautiful Embassy Suites in San Diego for two nights. We celebrated Thomas and Emma’s 43rd Anniversary on August 28th at the Fish Market in San Diego. This was the restaurant Emma would meet Thomas when he got off the ship. They reminisced of their days sitting at the Oyster Bar and enjoying precious time together before he would depart again. The next day, we took them on a deep-sea fishing excursion, compliments of H&M Landing. Most of our group caught at least one fish, but there was no competing with Thomas. The art of fishing was not forgotten for this senior. He caught 6 Calico Bass that day. Thomas said several times, “it’s so nice to be out here again smelling the ocean air and being out here. Thank you so much.” We would like to thank Embassy Suites San Diego, Fish Market San Diego, H&M Landing and Village Pizzeria in Coronado for your generous in-kind donations.
Thomas passed away in December later that same year.