Harold A. "Tom" Aptt
March 13, 1928 - March 28, 2013
Harold A. "Tom" Aptt, of Houston, De, died peacefully on Thursday, March 28, 2013 with the love of his life, his wife Jane, holding his hand.
Tom was born in Philadelphia on March 13, 1928 to John S. Aptt, a Canadian emigre and Letitia (Sedgwick) Aptt. Tom's dad died in 1931 when Tom was 3 and his mother brought her young family back to her hometown of Houston where Tom and his brother, Jack and sister, Marie grew up.
Tom attended Milford High School but in April 1945, as many young boys of his era did, left high school to enter the military to serve his country in World War II. He joined the Navy and during his service in the Pacific Theater was aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in the Bay of Tokyo the day the war ended. He received the Pacific Theater Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, and Victory Medal.
Tom served his four-year term of duty in the Navy and then re-enlisted for an additional year. After his service in the Navy, he enlisted in the Army and served in that branch of military for five years, reaching the rank of First Sergeant. It was during that time, on leave from his post at Camp Stewart, Georgia, that Tom met Mary Jane Elliott of Bridgeville. They met at a dance at Milford Fire Hall. It was love at first sight for them both and two years later on March 24, 1951 the base chaplain at Camp Stewart married them.
At the end of his service to his country, Tom and Jane moved back to Milford but it didn't take long for Tom to find his way home to his beloved Houston. In 1955, he and Jane moved back to the town where he spent the rest of his life, raised his family, and gave his heart and soul to his community.
Tom was actively employed in life holding numerous jobs. He was the Supervisor of the Kent County Soil Conservation District and was a general foreman for George and Lynch. He was the proprietor of his own businesses: Aptt Oil Service; a gas station and convenience store in Houston across from the Libby McNeil & Libby Plant; and publisher of The Battalion Chief, a quarterly magazine dedicated to reporting the activities of the fire companies on the Eastern Delmarva Peninsula. But of all the occupations Tom had, the one most endeared to him was his dedication and service to the Houston Volunteer Fire Company, Station 52. Tom was recognized in March of 2012 by the Delaware House of Representatives as the longest serving volunteer fireman in the State of Delaware - 63 years. He served many positions within the company including chief.
In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his brother, Jack Aptt.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jane Aptt; three daughters, Debbie Facciolo (Mike Hollins) of Earleville, MD, Susan Tebbens (Fred Maahs) of Wilmington, and Joan Faull (Jeff Faull) of Newark; six grandchildren, Jason Tebbens, Stephanie Facciolo O'Keefe, Matthew Tebbens, Alexander Facciolo, Jill Faull and Jacob Faull; three great grandchildren, Callan O'Keefe, Maisie Jane O'Keefe, and Giuliana Facciolo; his sister, Marie Lindale of Virginia Beach, VA; many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and a far reaching group of friends whom he cherished. He will be greatly missed by all. There will never be another quite like him.
Services for Tom will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at the Houston United Methodist Church, 235 Broad St, Houston, where friends may call after 10:00 a.m.
Interment with fireman's honors and military honors will follow the service in Hollywood Cemetery, Route 14, Harrington.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in his name to the organization he dedicated his lifelong service to; the Houston Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 122, Houston, DE, 19954.