Thomas Samuel Paine, 95, of Greenville, Illinois, passed away on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 with his children by his side at his home on the family farm on Terrapin Ridge. Tom’s parents built that home and he and his brother were born and raised there. Other than stints at college and in the service, Tom lived his entire life in that home, marrying and raising his family there too. At the end of their lives, Tom, his wife, and his parents were all cared for by family members and each left for heaven from that white farm house.
Tom was born September 14, 1922 to Thomas William Paine and Emma Verana Mueller Paine. He has a younger brother, Edward Emery (Barbara) of Decatur, Illinois who survives.
Tom went to country school on Terrapin Ridge and attended high school in Greenville. He spent a year at Blackburn College in Carlinville and then served in the Army Cavalry in World War II, entering service on August 14, 1944 and was honorably discharged on October 26, 1946. He was one of the last Calvary soldiers who actually trained on horses, stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas. Later he served in the Philippines and then in occupied Japan where he gained the rank of Sergeant.
Upon his discharge from the army, Tom returned home and married Helen Winona Baumberger of Reno, Illinois on June 15, 1947 at Reno Bethel Presbyterian Church. They spent their married life on the family farm where Tom raised hogs and farmed until he retired in the late 1980s. Helen passed away April 12, 1994 after a ten year battle with cancer.
Tom and Helen have two children, Richard William and wife, Mardell, of Port Angeles, Washington, and Patricia Ann, of Greenville. Tom was very close to his only grandchild, Amy Drewel Coale, (husband, Caleb) of Tifton, Georgia, with whom he shared his interest in history and leaves a loving legacy.
Tom was a 4-H member as a child and served as a co-leader of the Terrapin Ridge 4-H club as an adult. He was a member and officer of the Bond County Historical and Genealogy Societies and also served on the boards of the Bond County Farm Bureau, U of I Extension, the Bond County Soil and Water Association, Bond County Pork Producers and the St. Louis Stockyards. He grew up in the Presbyterian Church in Greenville and also attended services with his friends and neighbors at Mt. Nebo Primitive Baptist Church.
He and Helen were active in the community and had many friends, including their life long and beloved social group, the Crazy Couples. In recent years, Tom was a fixture at Marshall Mollet’s morning coffee “shop” where Tom held the honor of senior member of the group, seated at his reserved spot at the head of the table. Tom also enjoyed countless get-togethers throughout his life with Paine, Mueller and Baumberger family members, and friends and neighbors who will greatly miss his warmth and humor. He so enjoyed you all.
Although mentally very sharp, Tom had health issues the last ten years of his life and required assistance to remain at home which was his adamant wish. His family is very thankful for the help of Dr. B. A. McCracken and his staff, the nurses and aides of the Bond County Health Department Home Health and Hospice, and his dedicated and loving caregivers who adopted him as their own. You spoiled him rotten and he loved it! He was incredibly blessed and he and his family are eternally grateful.
Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, February 11 with visitation from noon until time of service at the Donnell Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville. Burial will be at Mt. Nebo Cemetery. Memorials may be made to his resting place, Mt. Nebo Cemetery, or in honor of Tom’s love of reading and history, the Greenville Public Library, the Bond County Historical/Genealogical Society or the local museum of the donor’s choice via the Donnell Wiegand Funeral Home.