Thomas Eugene Sarg, 64, of Mount Carmel, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 22, 2017, in his home with his loving family by his side.
He was born on Sept. 26, 1952, in Compton, California, the son of Norman and Roberta (Alter) Sarg and Loyce Mount Hiestand. He married the love of his life, Victoria Lynn Kieffer, on Nov. 26, 1972, and she survives.
Tom and Vicky enjoyed traveling together and he cherished spending time with their children and grandchildren. Tom loved his community and was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, VFW, Mt. Carmel Lion’s Club, Elks Lodge, and Eagles Aerie 3066.
A United States Air Force Veteran of the Vietnam War, Tom received numerous commendations and recognitions including the Air Force Good Conduct Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Longevity Service Award. He was awarded the Armed Services Expeditionary Service Medal for his service in Operation Frequent Wind during the evacuation of Vietnam in April of 1975.
He attended specialized training school for the United States Air Force Security Service at Goodfellow AFB and served as an Analyst in the United States Air Force's Cryptographic Intelligence/Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) branch. Composed primarily of airmen selected from the cream of the Air Force's enlisted recruits (the top 1/2 of 1 percent), the USAFSS was a secretive and tight-knit branch of Air Force cold warriors tasked with monitoring, collecting and interpreting military voice and electronic signals of countries of interest.
USAFSS intelligence was often analyzed in the field, and the results transmitted to the National Security Agency for further analysis and distribution to other intelligence recipients. Tom worked in the tool room at Snap-On Tools in Mount Carmel for 12 years. He was a member of the Illinois Army National Guard Lawrenceville unit for five years.
In 1992 he was named the Executive Director of the National Cursillo Movement. He served in this position until 2003, during which time he traveled throughout the United States and in several foreign countries in furtherance of the Movement.
During one memorable trip to Rome and Vatican City in 2000, Tom and Vicky experienced a personal audience with Pope John Paul II. Cursillos in Christianity is a Movement which, by its own method, attempts from within the Church, to give life to the essential Christian truths in the singularity, originality and creativity of the person.
Tom worked as a Dispatcher with KC Transport in Gibson County, Indiana, until he accepted a position as Lead Instructor of the Commercial Truck Driving Program at Wabash Valley College.
Tom is survived by his wife of 45 years, Vicky Sarg of Mount Carmel; his four children, Cassandra (Mike) Goldman of Mount Carmel, Jeromy (Karey) Sarg of Marble Falls, Texas, Melinda (Adam) Mollenkopf of Yucaipa, California, and Nathaniel (Diana) Sarg of Fort Worth, Texas; nine grandchildren, Garet, Emma, Ethan and Cameron Sarg, Eric, Anthony, Sarah and Kaylee Mollenkopf, and Andrew Goldman; siblings, Susan (Ron) Curtis, Steven (Eva) Sarg, Shawn Sarg, William Berry, James (Stephanie) Hiestand and Barbara Hiestand; and several loved nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his father, Norman Sarg; mother, Loyce Hiestand; infant son, Christopher Dean; and brother, Ronald Berry.
Family and friends are invited to gather from 3 to 7 p.m., Thursday, May 25, 2017, in the Chapel of Keepes Funeral Home. A Holy Rosary Service will begin at 6:30 p.m.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, May 26, 2017, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with Father Robert Zwilling and Father David Smith officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery with full military honors.
Memorial contributions may be made in Tom’s memory to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 125 W. Fifth St., Mount Carmel, IL 62863. Envelopes will be at the Church or can be mailed to Keepes Funeral Home, 1500 N. Cherry St., Mount Carmel, IL 62863.
Keepes Funeral Home is serving the family with the arrangements. To view Tom’s tribute wall, leave condolences and purchase flowers for the Sarg family, please visit www.KeepesFuneralHome.com.