Island Cremations & Funeral Home ~ Merritt Island, Florida ~ 321-454-3331

Obituaries

THOMAS D VAN WINKLE

May 12, 1948 - November 19, 2019

U.S. Veteran

He will be laid to rest with honors at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery located in Mims, Florida on Tuesday, December 17 @ 10:30 am.

Thomas D. “RIP” Van Winkle died peacefully at home on November 19, 2019 in Rockledge, Florida at the age of 71.

Thomas is survived by his wife Sherry of Rockledge, FL. Leaving behind his children, Debbie Van Winkle of Moorestown, NJ, Jessica Mac Farland of Pitman, NJ,  Ezekiel Sprague of Swanksville, PA, and Zackery Sprague of Philadelphia, PA; a brother, Frank Van Winkle of Burlington, NJ, and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Francis and Ethel Van Winkle.

Thomas was born on May 12, 1948 in Paterson, NJ to Ethel and Francis Van Winkle. He joined the United States Marines Corps where he proudly served as part of the 3rd Marine Division, 2nd Battalion/9th Marines with a deployment in Vietnam. During his service, he earned numerous accommodation medals, including several Purple Hearts. When he returned he fought for the rights of veterans, especially those exposed to Agent Orange, which ultimately took his life. After the war he relocated to Florida where he worked in many aspects of the construction trades.

Thomas was a Marine that gave of his heart and his leadership by mentoring young Veterans that struggled when returning home. The son of a World War II POW veteran, he was passionate about his country and his family and proud of his service.

He married the love of his life, celebrating ten years of love, joy and lots of laughter. However, his most peace came when he gave his scars and pain to Christ.