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Mr. Thomas E. Bickham, Jr. (Deceased)
23640 Church St.
Plaquemine, LA 70764
|Obituary: Thomas E. "T.E." Bickham, Jr. - Football 39-42, Track 40-43, Veteran - May 16, 2014
"T.E." a resident of Plaquemine and a native of Homer, LA, passed away peacefully on May 16, 2014 surrounded by his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and their spouses. He was 93 years old, born on Nov. 6, 1920 to Ola Lee and Thomas E. Bickham, Sr. He was preceded in death by his brother James, and sisters Ruth and Mary. He was a great athlete in high school and was recruited by every college from LSU to Michigan. He signed with Southwestern, now UL in 1938 where he was a three year All American in football. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles at the same time that WWII broke out. He joined the 8th Army Air Corps and became a bomber pilot. He flew 25 missions over Germany, and was shot down twice. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross twice. Before leaving for England in WWII, he married the love of his life, Audrey Begue. Their marriage lasted 61 years until her death on April 10, 2005. They had five children, a daughter Becky Sue Bickham. Four sons and daughters-in-law; Tommy and Shirley, Harry and Cyndy, Dickey and Susan, Rod and Robin Bickham. Thirteen grandchildren; David, Laura, LeAnne, Clint, Brad, Thomas, Richard, Sarah, Chase, and Alex Bickham and T. Mike, Cy, and Kristin Maronge. Plus, Seventeen great-grandchildren with another on the way. He received his B.S. degree from Southwestern and Masters plus 30 from LSU. After the war he helped start the McNeese football program and won the National Junior College Championship as their boxing coach. He came to Plaquemine in 1947 where he taught and coached for many years until he became a Supervisor. After retirement, he was a school board member for 21 years. He was a member of the VFW, American Legion, UL Hall of Fame, Blue Key Honor's Society and a former member of the Lion's Club, KC's, and Jaycees. Pallbearers will be his Grandsons. We received a quote from his nephew, Thomas E. Sawyer P.H.D. that read; "A wise man once suggested that we must not allow the clock and calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle. Life itself is a miracle, and surely the fact that we shall live forever is no greater miracle than that we live at all; and surely that we shall come forth from the grave is no greater miracle than that we first came forth by birth. The resurrection of Jesus the Christ, through whom we are all heirs to everlasting life, is a basic tenant of Christianity. The same power that gave us life at birth has given us life hereafter. And even though our loved ones depart, and even though we shall surely follow, there will never be a time when we shall not have a future to look forward to. Beyond the limits of our present perspective, there will be endless purposes and pursuits, for life is a journey, and not a destination; a journey on which the planning of our Beloved Savior will enable us to again walk with those we love - those who await us on the way." In lieu of flowers, the family request that a donation be sent to either
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or St. John Catholic Church, 57805 Main St, Plaquemine, LA 70764. Visitation will be at Wilbert Funeral Home in Plaquemine on Monday, May 19th from 5-8pm and on Tuesday, May 20th at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plaquemine from noon until the Mass of Christian Burial at 2:00pm, celebrated by Father Greg Daigle. Please share sympathies, condolences, and memories online at www.wilbertservices.com.
Wilbert Funeral Home - Plaquemine
24120 Railroad Avenue Plaquemine, LA 70764
Funeral Home Details
Published in TheAdvocate.com from May 17 to May 19, 2014
Submitted by Becky Sue, daughter.
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Updated provided on Nov. 11, 2014 by Becky Sue, T.E.'s daughter.
The day Pearl Harbor was attacked, December 7, 1941, my dad signed up for service. Because of the lack of air planes and etc., he was not called up until May 23, 1944 and served until October 29, 1945 in the Army Air Corps.
He was decorated with 2 Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters Go 114 HQ 2D Air Division 45 European African Middle Eastern Campaign with 3 Bronze Stars.( Copied this from his Military Record and Report of Separation Certificate of Service) Also, a Lapel Button issued due to his ASR score.
Daddy few 27 missions over Germany and had 2 crash landing after being shot down--1 behind enemy lines which he had to get his crew out safely.
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Special Military Footnote by AN:
Bickham joined the US Air Force on Pearl Harbor day and was a B-24 bomber pilot in the European Theater during WWII flying 26 combat missions over Germany.
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Submitted by Edward P. Mouton on March 28, 2007 and posted on May 22.
Three generations of athletes at SLI, USL and UL
Just in case you thought Ross Mouton, UL basketball player 2003-07, fell off the turnip cart, read on...
His grandfather (Beth Bickham Mouton's father), Tom Bickham played on the 1930 Louisiana State football championship team from Homer High School in Homer, LA. He was picked on the All State team that year. Bickham and several of his team mates followed their high school coach T.L. Wilbanks, who became SLI head football coach in 1930. Bickham was voted most valuable player at Homer High for two years and along with his brother T.E. Bickham was picked on Homers All Decade team. Tom Bickham was also an outstanding track athlete at SLI and was a consistent winner in the shot putt, discus and javelin events. He set a record in the discus in the early l930's (the LIC Conference) that was not broken for 10 years. Bickham also was voted Most Valuable Player on the SLI football team.
His great uncle T.E. Bickham played tackle on the Homer High School team that won the state championship in 1937. He was picked opn the All State team and attended SLI on an athletic schlorship. At SLI Bickham lettered in football and track, was inducted into the SLI Athletic Hall of Fame, and was a member of the Blue Key Honor Society. Bickham joined the US Air Force on Pearl Harbor day and was a B-24 bomber pilot in the European Theater during WWII flying 26 combat missions over Germany.
His father, Eddie Mouton played basketball and baseball at USL in the early l960's. He was an All State 5 sport letterman at Cathedral High School and received an athletic schlorship to USL in 1960. He was a first team All Gulf States Conference selection in 1962 and 1963 as an outfielder and utility player under Coaches Pete Wilson and Sonny Roy. Mouton signed to play professional baseball for the American League Washington Senators and reached the Triple A level before having his career cut short by military service. His three other sons Brooks, Alex and Britt were All District basketball players at St. Thomas More and Lafayette High Schools. All are UL graduates.
I would have to say that Ross comes by his athletic ability honestly.
|Cross Country, Track & Field - (M&W):|| 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943|
|Football:|| 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942|
|Military Veteran:|| 1944, 1945|
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