Former Carlsbad resident, Tommy J. Dresser, Jr., 93, passed away on December 30, 2016 at his home in Albuquerque, NM. As per his wishes, cremation has taken place and Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 10, 2017 at the Carlsbad Cemetery (new section). Deacon Tony Dominguez of San Jose Catholic Church will officiate. Military Honors will be performed by the Carlsbad Veterans Honor Guard. Services have been entrusted to West Funeral Home. Condolences may be expressed at
Thomas James Dresser, Jr., was born on August 27, 1923 in Roswell, New Mexico to Thomas Dresser, Sr. and Currie Bingham, Tommy was the youngest of six children. He graduated from Roswell High, serving as President of the 1942 class. Tommy joined the
United States Navy
World War II
, and was honorably discharged in 1945. Preceded in death by wives Doris, Betty, and Margie, his infant brother and sisters Juanita, Dixie, Doris and Faye. Tommy is survived by five daughters, Kathi Franks (Gene), Doris Burton (Gary), Janet Hoover (Kerry), Judy Vinson (Mike), Patti Saylor (David), grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Tommy will be missed by his many old friends and colleagues whose lives he touched in many ways. He will also be missed by his niece, Patti "B" and Stan Stanalonis, and his new found friends at Bear Canyon Estates; Jim, Carol, Kathleen, Wanda, Earl, Millie, Bill, Erica, to name a few. He often expressed his appreciation to the wonderful staff at Bear Canyon and caregivers from OnPointe Hospice as well as Rosa. Tommy was a consummate gentleman who always removed his hat, insisted that ladies go first, and was quick to help or share a laugh. He will be remembered for his kindhearted sense of humor and teasing. He relished life and could fully engage in conversation with strangers – no one was a stranger to him. Tommy was a keen admirer of music, Mexican food and Dirty Martini's. Tommy was President of New Mexico Funeral Directors Association, served three years on State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalming Association. At a convention in Denver, he received an oil painting in recognition for Outstanding Funeral Director. He became a licensed apprentice in 1946 while employed by Ballard Funeral Home in Roswell. Hence, his nickname "Digger Dresser". He graduated from the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science in 1948 and began work with West Funeral Home in Carlsbad a year later. He became manager in 1953 and purchased West Funeral Home on a handshake in 1969 agreeing to buy it with the profits each month until paid. He retired in 1991 but remained a licensed embalmer to his death. Often requested, he continued part time work for West Funeral Home helping with embalming, arrangements and conducting funeral services until his wife, Margie, became ill. Tommy was a member of Carlsbad Rotary for 27 years achieving the Senior Active Life Membership. He was a proud member of Riverside Country Club in Carlsbad and loved playing golf with his buddies. He had six holes-in-one! Tommy played over 25 years with East New Mexico Golf Association and three years with National Senior Golf Association. He received Riverside's Distinguished Service Award in 2000 and 2001. Between 1967 and 1970, he raced micro midgets in Carlsbad, Amarillo and Denver. He enjoyed fishing and boating.