Thomas Richard Defibaugh
Thomas Richard Defibaugh, 79, of Bethany Beach, passed away on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. His last dinner was with his loving wife, Suzy, and his three children, Susan, Traci, and Scott. He enjoyed a chocolate milkshake and French Fries, we know he was happy!
Tom was a loving husband, magnificent father, and wonderful grandfather (Gramps). He involved himself in many charitable causes and giving back to the community. Some of his favorites were charities in the Catholic church, Meals on Wheels, helping in several capacities in his local church, St. Anne's in Bethany Beach, Knights of Columbus, and Scouts. He enjoyed traveling and did plenty of that in his life as a Navy sailor. He lived in Hawaii, California, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, London, and Delaware and he traveled to many countries while assigned to his Navy ship in the 1960's and early 1970's.
Born on June 11, 1940, in Cumberland, Tom was the son of the late Jeremiah Taylor Defibaugh and Margaret Frances Schoenadel Defibaugh. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased in death by his sister, Nancy Carole Stark; her husband, John Charles Stark; and her son, Christopher John Stark.

Tommy enlisted in the Navy in 1957 and graduated LaSalle High School, Cumberland, in 1958. He married his high school sweetheart, Suzy Browne, of Cumberland, in May 1963. He held the greatest love for his wife, his children, and his wonderful grandchildren.
Tom received his commission as ensign in the Medical Service Corps in 1971, while serving on board the USS Theodore E Chandler (DD717). After serving 43 years in the Navy, he retired a captain in 2000. He received degrees in health care administration; Bachelor's degree from George Washington University and Master's degree from Troy State University. He is a member of the Naval Institute, the Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S., and the American Academy of Medical Administrators.
Captain Defibaugh received the prestigious Paul E Truran Jr. Medical Materiel and Logistics Management Award from AMSUS for significant contributions to the medical materiel managers and the medical logisticians in the Naval service, an award that brought him much pride. His personal decorations include Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, the Navy Commendation Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, and the Navy Achievement Medal with gold star in lieu of second award.
Tom was a very active member of St. Ann Catholic Church, Bethany Beach, where he engaged in the Men's Club and the Liturgy Council. As a charter member of the Knights of Columbus, he was a past faithful navigator and past grand knight.
Tom is survived by his wife, Suzy; sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and Gene Brown, Dale City, Va.; brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Dixie Defibaugh, Wiley Ford, W.Va.; daughter and son-in-law, Susan Defibaugh and Innocent Okafor, Columbia; daughter and son-in-law, Traci and Yates Stephens, Taneytown; son, Scott Defibaugh, Frederick; grandchildren, Alexander and Christopher Okafor, and Seth, Shane, and Hailey Stephens; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and countless friends.
The family will receive friends and relatives on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, at Scarpelli Funeral Home, PA, 108 Virginia Ave., Cumberland, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Funeral services will be conducted on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 300 E. Oldtown Road, Cumberland, at noon with visitation beginning at 11 a.m.
Tom will be laid to rest at the Maryland State Veterans Cemetery at Rocky Gap, 14205 Pleasant Valley Rd., NE, Flintstone, following the funeral service. Luncheon will follow at St. Mary Catholic Church Hall.
In Lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the St. Ann Church, 691 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE 19930; or Catholic Charities, 2601 West 4th Street, Wilmington, DE 19805.
Published on August 12, 2019


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4 posts

Betsy Richardson
Aug 18, 2019
So sorry for your loss. Tom was a friend and help to all.
Richard Garlitz
Aug 16, 2019
Tom and I were classmates from first thru 12th grade and he was one of the nicest and finest individuals I have ever known. Polite, respectful, hardworking, and a good sense of humor!! I was saddened to read that he passed away just hours before surgery that if successful would have given him more time to enjoy here with his family and friends. He will be remembered along with all the other adjectives that have been used to describe him as a good and kind person and as one classmate mentioned--a true gentleman!!!
Jack Morin
Aug 13, 2019
Dear Defibaugh Family,
Please accept my condolences for Tom's passing. I served with Tom at Camp Lejeune where he was my commanding officer and later at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
Vaya con dios, Tom.

Warm regards,
Jack Morin
Chuck Bird, LCDR, MSC, USN(Retired)
Aug 12, 2019
Tom was the man that I admired and looked up to the most in my naval career. He was a source of guidance and inspiration to me and to many with whom he served. I would have followed him and worked for him anywhere. He was a very fair and reasonable man. We both were adult leaders in Boy Scouting and that gave us a common interest. He will be missed but we know that all of our lives are fuller and richer because we had the privilege of knowing Tom.