Thomas (Tom or Tommy) Bechtold, of St. Pete Beach, Florida, passed away unexpectedly at 63 years old, on September 20th, 2021 at Palms of Pasadena Hospital. Tom was born on January 10th, 1958 in Canton, Ohio and grew up in Gadsden, Alabama. Growing up in Alabama was a source of pride for him, and he would loudly sing along to the song “Sweet Home Alabama.” Tom served in the US Navy aboard the USS Coral Sea, and the USS Enterprise as a Quartermaster and Helmsman. Tom was free-spirited, lighthearted, and lived life fully. He relished the fun and adventure that every day could bring. He had a tremendous sense of humor and could make anyone laugh with his wry commentary on everyday life, wit, and jokes. He had a passion for sports, especially baseball, and loved attending Rays games or watching baseball. He could talk about baseball, either current or history at length and his recall of even remote facts about players, games, teams was astounding. He was the guy you always wanted on your trivia team when sports questions arose. Music brought him great joy as well, especially Rock and Roll, blues, or old country. He could often be found reading biographies of his favorite musicians, like Johnny Cash. His recall of modern music history trivia rivaled his knowledge of sports.
Tom leaves behind and is missed dearly by his daughter, Jessica Shaw of Louisville, Kentucky, her husband Phillip, and his grandchildren Alexander and Benjamin Henson; his son, Bobby Bechtold of Lexington, Kentucky; his brother David Bechtold of Crete, Illinois and his wife Jane; his sister, Roberta Willis of Fort Worth, Texas; his brother Charlie Bechtold, of Gulfport, Florida; his nieces Dawn Kostopolis of Fort Worth, Texas, Elizabeth Williams of Tucson, Arizona, Katie Ouellette of Vancouver, Washington; as well as many loving friends. Tom goes to join in heaven his parents Robert and Elvina Bechtold, and his sister Betsy Jones. Tom was taken from this world all too soon and the light he brought to a room and to our lives will be truly missed.
Committal Services for Tom will be 11 am Friday, November 5, 2021 at Bay Pines National Cemetery, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd. Use 95th Street enterance and follow road 1/2 mile. Cemetery is on your left. Park in circle of flags by office.
The care of Mr. Bechtold and his family has been entrusted to David C. Gross Funeral Home in St. Petersburg.