Capt. Thomas D. Vickers

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Capt. Thomas D. “Possum” Vickers died Monday, June 7, 2010, at River Region Medical Center. He was 53.

Born in Pemiscot County, Mo., he had been a resident of Tallulah, La., since 1996 and was a former resident of Vicksburg and Caruthersville, Mo. Capt. Vickers began his journey of becoming a successful towboat captain when he was 18 years old. His passion for the river became a way of life for him.

After receiving his master license, he became captain of the Motor Vessel Lipscomb and the Motor Vessel William James until his retirement from the Corps of Engineers in 2007. One of his greatest accomplishments was a record he set for pushing the largest tow northbound on the Mississippi River with 72 barges.

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Capt. Vickers spent his career on the Mississippi River and its tributaries working on and operating tow boats. His lifelong passion was the river and his love of family. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends. He was a member of the Baptist faith.

He is survived by his wife, Sandy H. Vickers, of Tallulah; two daughters, Emily Vickers Boone and her husband, Matt, of Caruthersville and Tammy Ferguson Allen and her husband, Jason, of Vicksburg; grandson, Nicholas Allen of Vicksburg; his mother, Earline J. Sayre of Caruthersville; four sisters, Jeretta Davis (Butch Henson) of Caruthersville, Vickie Carver (Ray Van) of Bragg City, Mo., Patricia Stevens (Eddy) of Wichita, Kan., and Dana Mora of Rockdale, Texas; three brothers, Dennis Vickers of St. Louis, Tommy Sayre of Rockdale and Carl “Buster” Sayre of Proctor, Ark.

Capt. Vickers was preceded in death by his father, Earsey T. Vickers Jr.; his stepfather, Carl “Bud” Sayre; and a sister, Carlene Sayre.

Services for Capt. Thomas Vickers will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 10, 2010, at the Riles Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation will be tonight from 5 until 7 at the funeral home and from 9 a.m. Thursday until the service.

Pallbearers will be Leon Winstead, Jimmy Rowland, Sonny Carley, Capt. Frank Segree, Bob Moses and De-wayne Laird.

Memorials may be made to Memorial and Honor Program, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 and to the Kidney Foundation of Mississippi, P.O. Box 55802, Jackson, MS 39296.