Tommy Clifford Bohling, USN Retired, passed away on May 21, 2023, at the age of 69. He was born on February 4, 1954, in South Carolina to Charles C. Bohling and Mary Esther Beisel and made Virginia Beach his home for most of his life.
Tommy, known affectionately as PawPaw to his grandchildren, is survived by his wife Manuela “Nelly” P. Bohling of Virginia Beach. He is remembered by his children and their spouses Thomas and Jocelyn Bohling of North Carolina, James and Mary Bohling of Virginia, and Wayne and Stephanie Lesperance of New Hampshire. His greatest joy, though, was the time he was able to spend with his grandchildren Shawn Gingery, Tyler Bohling, Kaitlynn Bohling, Hannah Bohling, Leah Bohling, Gabriel Bohling, Noah Bohling, and Grace Lesperance. He is also survived by his sister Judy Mercer, numerous nieces and nephews, and la familia Serra in Corozal, Puerto Rico. Anyone who knew Tommy also knew that his love for his beloved Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chica Bohling, was unrivaled.
Aside from his family, Tommy loved his country and was honored to serve in the United States Navy for 20 years. Medically retired as a CWO2, as a result of injuries sustained in service, Tommy exemplified what is best in a member of the Naval Special Warfare Community. During his time as a Navy SEAL he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star (x2), Purple Heart (x2), Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Special Operation Ribbon, and the NAVSPEC Warfare Trident. His dedication, selfless service to country, and sacrifice served as an inspiration to all his family – many of whom went on to military service themselves.
Tommy was a frustrated Minnesota Vikings fan, enjoyed travelling with his wife, Nelly, both in the US and abroad, and lived for holiday gatherings of the whole family. His love of food was legendary as was his appetite for sweets, his own coffee, and cheese of all varieties. Tommy was famous for his passionate (read as obsessive) focus on home projects. His family often described him as being ‘on a mission’ when he was fixing, tinkering, or cleaning.
He will be deeply missed by all those who knew him. Rest easy, Pawpaw. We’ve got the Watch.
Details about Tommy’s memorial service and celebration of life are available via members of his family.
In lieu of flowers, Tommy would appreciate any support you would offer to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org.Send FlowersPlant a Tree