American Patriotic 10

Col. Thomas W. Bull, USMC (Ret.)

January 20, 1948 ~ April 27, 2022 (age 74)

Obituary

Thomas Walter Bull passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April, 27, 2022 at his home in Ellensburg. 

Tom was born on January 20, 1948 to Walt and Florence (Galiano) Bull in Ellensburg and grew up on the Bull family farm that his great grandfather started when he arrived in 1869.  He graduated in 1966 from Ellensburg High School and later earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Central Washington State College in 1970.  After graduation, he entered the United States Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant, attending flight school in Pensacola, Florida and Meridian, Mississippi before graduating with his wings in Beeville, Texas. Tom was then stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina.

Home on leave, he met Jonelle Laffoon and they were married on June 29, 1974. Tom continued his career in the USMC returning to Beeville as an instructor in 1976 where his twin daughters were born in 1979. He left the Marine Corps in 1981 to return to Ellensburg to farm with his brother Curtis.  In May of 1981, the Marine Corps stood up a reserve squadron, the Seahawks of VMAQ-4, at NAS Whidbey Island and Tom promptly joined. Tom would fly with the Seahawks for the next 11 years.

In 1990, then Lieutenant Colonel Bull was selected to become the commanding officer of VMAQ-4.  In February 1991, the Seahawks were activated in support of Operation Desert Storm and deployed to the Western Pacific. During the following twelve months Tom would guide the squadron through a transition from the EA-6A to EA-6B aircraft and deploy to the Western Pacific with over 270 Marines. For outstanding performance during this period, the squadron received the “Outstanding Unit Award” from the Association of Old Crows. Tom would relinquish command in 1992 and was subsequently promoted to full colonel.

Colonel Bull retired from the Marine Corps in 1998 with over twenty-eight years of service.  He returned to civilian life and became a part time contract pilot which allowed him to continue his love of flying.  He also farmed until 2018 when his daughter and her husband took over managing the farm. In his spare time, Tom enjoyed golfing, skiing, hunting, fishing, traveling with friends and family and spending time with his grandkids.

He was preceded in death by his father Walt and his mother Florence as well as his sister, Phyllis Ragsdale.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, Jonelle Bull; his children Sara (Fred) Leist and Jody (Ryan) Backlund; sister Cathy (Ken) Hash; brother Curtis (Luci) Bull; grandchildren Grayson, Avery, Natalie and Hadley and numerous nieces and nephews.

A graveside funeral service with military honors will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at the IOOF Cemetery with a Celebration of Life to follow at Noon in the Teanaway Room at the Ellensburg Fairgrounds. 

Memorial contributions may be made in Tom’s honor to Hospice Friends, 302 East 2nd Avenue, Ellensburg, or The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation at www.themmrf.org. where donation information may be found.

Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Col. Bull and his family. Online condolences may be left at www.johnston-williams.com

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Col. Thomas W. Bull, USMC (Ret.), please visit our floral store.


Services

Graveside Service
Saturday
June 4, 2022

11:00 AM
IOOF Cemetery - Brick Road Memorial Park
1900 Brick Road
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Celebration of Life
Saturday
June 4, 2022

12:00 PM
Kittitas County Fairgrounds
901 E 7th Avenue
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins

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