God took my dear friend and patriot, Tom Overocker, home today. His wife, Junia, was at his bedside in a hospital in Shenyang, China, where he was receiving treatment for an unbearably painful cancer. Today he is free from the long suffering, and is in the arms of God.
Many of you knew Tom from the Perot Movement. Some of you became acquainted with Tom through his blogs on this website. You may have even purchased one of the many unique pens he crafted while living in Dangdong, China, where he taught. Others remember Tom from his years at the Maryland National bank, or from his days in the Virginia real estate market during the late eighties.
I first locked eyes with Tom, when he stood to speak at the spontaneous and raucous meeting in Dallas, just a day after Ross Perot dropped out of the 1992 Presidential Race. He echoed my thoughts. And from the applause he received, he spoke the feelings of many. None of us had any idea that after that meeting, we would spend years laying the foundation to take back America. Twenty-five years later, the impetus for my writing a book about that movement, came from the Holy Spirit, the director of that movement. When I interviewed Tom, he told me that Perot became his hero after reading “On Wings of Eagles”, the account of Perot’s rescue of his employees in an Iranian prison. It’s funny how we never asked each other how we became involved. We just rolled up our sleeves and did what had to be done.
After the ’92 election, Tom played a critical role in the establishment of United We Stand America (UWSA), a vibrant 501c4 organization, with chapters in all 50 states. He became Virginia’s UWSA Executive Director, then its Southeast Regional Director. In 1995, Tom became part of the national crew to create a new third party—the Reform Party—in less than a year.
Throughout his life, Tom Overocker was a true gatekeeper. Just recently, in his last months, as he watched what was going on here at home, he wrote many blogs that can be found on these pages, ranging from Opioids to our Civil War Monuments, from North Korea to Immigration.
Just two months ago, almost to the date, I was testing a new Skype camera before an internet interview. I figured I would call Tom, who wouldn’t answer because of the time difference, and test it. I called once and hung up. I hung up quickly two more times, before Tom suddenly appeared on the screen.
“Pat, what’s up?”
I felt terrible. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t think you would hear this.”
“The computer is in my bedroom,” he said.
“Sorry, Tom,” I blurted. “Love you!”
“Love you, too,” he said.
As I think back through all the memories I have with Tom, tears of job fill my eyes. They are for my friend, who has entered the gates of heaven.