MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Friday afternoon, friends and family members of Thomas Cecil Stork gathered for his funeral at Midway United Methodist Church in Moss point.
The World War II veteran had a deep love for his family and his country.
"He was very passionate about his service, and I remember having a family get together and we were trying to video his story and he just broke down crying. He couldn't talk about it without crying," said Tara Stork Johnson, Thomas Cecil Stork's great-niece.
Stork served as a boatswain's mate first class in the Navy. During World War II, he witnessed the invasion of Okinawa. His loved ones say his memories brought him both happiness and sadness for the many friends he lost in the war.
When he got out of the military, he became active in VFW Post 3373 in Pascagoula.
"He's taught me about no longer being in the military and remembering that we have to treat each other with a lot of respect than what we did in the military. It's a different kind of respect we had in the military," said David Pettys who is the Commander of VFW Post 3373.
Stork was a member of the VFW Post 3373 for 50 years, serving as commander and officer for several terms.
"Once a month we would always go out to the VA hospital, and we still do, and play bingo with the patients that are in there," said Pettys. "It was just a love for our comrades who could not get out of the environment."
Generations of family members honored his life packing into Midway United Methodist Church. Many say he had a way of making people feel comfortable.
"He just loved his kids and grandkids. He loved water most of all. He was a commercial fisherman for I guess 10 or 15 years," said Stork's younger brother, Gene Stork.
"He was very passionate about his service to the country," said Stork's nephew Terry Stork.
The proud military veteran always had a love for the water spending much of his time shrimping and crabbing and even helping DMR restore or oyster reefs. But, it's his legacy of service to the country and love for his family that loved ones say they will remember.