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Thomas Marilton Duggins

Thomas (Tom) Duggins, 84, passed away October 23, 2011, at Rogue Valley Medical Center.

Tom was born in Arkadelphia, Ark., on February 9, 1927. His parents were migrant workers and earned a living picking cotton and fruit. The nomadic life suited Tom and he developed a wanderlust that he never outgrew.

Tom joined the Army in 1945 and was part of the occupation of Japan; his service in the Army ended in 1946. In 1948, he enlisted in the Air Force and served with the 25th Air Division. In 1950, he married Dorothy Machado; they had eight children within the first nine years. After discharged from the Air Force in 1952, Tom found work in a creamery; he worked in that field for the next 20 years.

Tom's drive to find out what was around the next bend made it impossible to settle down. He was simply incapable of staying in one town for very long, and once he decided it was time to go, he wanted to leave the next day. Tom never let fear keep him from moving on. Most men would have felt panic thinking about the things that could go wrong in an unplanned move, but not Tom. He never doubted his ability to find a job that was better than the one he left. Tom had the soul of an explorer. His confidence was truly amazing.

One of the great joys in Tom's life was music, and when he was in the house, it was usually playing softly in the background. Music is the first thing our family heard as we woke up on weekend mornings, and lying in bed listening to it filled us with happiness. Tom loved many different types of music and owned the latest albums: Country, Big Bands, Jazz, the Blues. Music was always an important part of Tom's life, and he instilled that love of music in his children.

When Tom was almost 50 years old, he decided to become a long-distance truck driver. He was a great driver and loved the work so much that he was still a long-haul trucker at the time of his death. (His children finally convinced him to retire at the age of 84; however, after three weeks of retirement, he went back on the road.)

Tom's marriage to Dorothy ended in 1986, and in 1988, he married Kathy Castro. Tom is survived by his wife, Kathy, and their daughter, Monica; eight children from his previous marriage, sons, Dave (Becky) Duggins, Bob Duggins, Raul Duggins, Paul (Christy) Duggins, Ken Duggins, Tom Duggins; daughters, Darcy (Annette) Hamilton, and Valerie (Marlan) Wallace; numerous grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

As Tom's children, we want the world to know what an amazing, hard-working man our father was, and how very much we respect and admire him. Dad always worked so hard to take care of his families...both the first one, as well as the second. So much responsibility must have been staggering at times, yet his strong shoulders never failed to carry the load. Was he a perfect man? No, but he was an honest man; he was a good man. He was a man who put everything he had into taking care of others. He was a good father, one who did his best to protect and care for his children. He was, without a doubt, one of the hardest working men who ever walked the face of this earth.

Thank you, Dad... for taking such good care of us, for being such a great provider, and for doing it all without complaining. We love you so much, Dad... and we will miss you forever.