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Larkin Mortuary

Tommy Sug Hollingsworth

11/10/1931 - 12/23/2019

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Tommy Sug Hollingsworth passed away peacefully at home on December 23, 2019. Tommy was born Nov 10, 1931 in Clayton, OK to Alvin Thomas “Buddy” & VernaMae Laycock Hollingsworth, who were farmers and cattle ranchers. He was the oldest of four sons. His three brothers, Jerry Dan, Joe Bob and Michael Gene; all preceded Tom in death. He was a very accomplished and talented woodcarving artist, poet and writer in his retirement years. After serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, he heard about Army Special Forces & reenlisted in 1956. He completed SF training, UDT (underwater demolitions training), Ranger & Skydiving, being on the first team in the US Army to be trained for HALO (high altitude, low opening). JFK awarded SF the honor and distinction of wearing the Green Beret as they became known during the Vietnam War. Tom served 4 tours in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with White Star Mobile Training Teams under command of Col. Arthur D. Simmons, entering in 1959. During this time, he also became a 32 Degree Mason. In 1965, after his service ended, he wrote “Behind the Scenes in Vietnam” which propelled him into a speaking tour that lasted for 7 years; piloting his own plane to every state in the US, except Maine and Vermont, to speak at universities, clubs, schools and churches to help citizens understand why we were in Vietnam. During that time, he also became the corporate pilot and bodyguard for Christian Crusade. He later owned a private investigation firm, Sentinel Security, in Houston TX. His professional careers and interests led him to excel in many areas. He had enough credentials to have lived ten lifetimes! If he wanted to learn something, he did, and usually ended up teaching others the craft. He was an expert marksman, horseman, dance instructor, woodcarver, and archery & military scuba instructor. The author, Robin Moore, who wrote “The Green Berets” was in SF with Tom and said, “Tom was one of the finest men he had ever met.” He is loved and respected by many friends, relatives and associates.

He leaves behind his loving, eternal companion, Shirlee Kelsch Hollingsworth and adult children, Dana Black, Jr., Brian (Darcie) Black and Rebecca (Gary) Merrill with four cherished grandchildren: Ethan, Brock, Brynlee & Avery Merrill. His children from his previous marriage are Andrew Thomas Hollingsworth and Holly Hollingsworth Farmer.
When someone wanted to speak to him in his later years, he had his Bluetooth on and usually it was connected to the television, holding a hand up saying, “wait, wait, wait, Ok, what?”.

Dear Dad, Papaw, Tom you will not have your loss of hearing, seeing, walking or breathing holding you back anymore! Go soar like the “Eagle” you are on the other side of the veil! We pray we can catch up with you when it’s our turn to cross over! See you later and to coin your favorite phrase, “Hang in there!”

“Veterans have chosen to serve their country, to risk their lives for this country, and often come home with injuries that you don’t get in any other line of work, both physical and invisible”.
-Judge Angela Mason

Such was the case for Tom, but he never let the effects from the war hold him back. A great patriot and a reminder to all of us that “Freedom isn’t Free”.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Disabled American Veterans at

Sunday, December 29, 2019 6:00- 8:00 pm
Larkin Mortuary-Riverton
3688 West 12600 South
Riverton, UT 84065

Funeral Service:
Monday, December 30, 2019
Cobble Creek 4th Ward
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
8176 South 5140 West
West Jordan, UT 84081
Viewing 10:00 am
Service 11:00 am

Interment 12:30 pm
Utah Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park
17111 South Camp Williams Rd.
Bluffdale, UT 84065

Recent Condolences

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  • Prayers for peace for all the family! Sorry for your loss while knowing Tom is flying high with his brothers and looking down on us while continuing to offer guidance and wisdom!

    — Sharon Lee
  • Dear Family and Friends of Tommy Hollingsworth,

    My condolences on your loss. I met Tommy at his brother Mike’s retirement party. Mike was my beloved instructor. Tommy told the best stories to us that day that day. I have a great picture of the two. Email me if interested. NR

    — Neal Riley
  • am so sorry about tom. my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    — mary frances bradford

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