Thomas Michael Volatile, a retired insurance salesman and former Navy lieutenant commander, has died

Thomas Michael Volatile, a retired insurance salesman and Navy captain, died of cancer Aug. 8 at his home in Lewes, Delaware. He was 92 years old and lived in Hunt Valley.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Broadway, he was the son of Anthony Volatile and his wife, Theresa Volatile. He graduated in 1949 from Baltimore Polytechnic High School and received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and history from what is now Loyola University Maryland. He was very athletic and was a swimmer on the school swim team.

He was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy and served aboard the destroyer Robert A. Owens, the cargo ship Seminole and the Bon Homme Richard, an aircraft carrier.

Established at Bainbridge in Cecil County; San Diego, California; Livorno, Italy; and the Pentagon. He also had a trip to Vietnam and worked as a military historian in the newly formed field.

Mr. Volatile also served as commanding officer of the Armed Forces Entrance and Examining Station in Philadelphia and later as assistant commanding officer of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

He retired as an army general and then changed careers, becoming an insurance agent for Massachusetts Mutual in 1973. He held this position for another 47 years.

Mr. Volatile was a musician and performed with the barbershop group the Pine Barons.

“Life with Thomas was fun. You didn’t know what to expect from him. It could be a song, usually a joke,” said friend Carol Dennis. “He was a patriot and continued throughout his life as an advocate for soldiers everywhere.”

He said he was proud of what his children and grandchildren had achieved.

“He hasn’t missed many football, basketball or lacrosse games in the last 17 years,” he said.

He gave small lessons in life events to his grandchildren.

He said: “He told them how they should do things, how they should treat the people in their lives and good table manners. “He looked at them when he got up to speak, but I think secretly he was looking forward to his stories, and they all loved him.”

In 2021, Mr. Volatile spoke about his life on WBOC-TV’s Delmarva Life program.

“I have tried to live my best life and I know that sometimes I stumble, but I always try to keep going.” I just want people to remember me as a good person,” he said in an interview on TV. “If people can say this about me, then I have found something special”.

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She enjoyed golf, running, water sports, gourmet cooking, crossword puzzles and gardening.

“He was not calm,” said his friend. “Thomas jumped with a parachute again when he was 80 years old. He wanted to do something else when he was 90 years old, but I refused.”

After moving to Lewes, Delaware, in 2016, he joined the Cape Henlopen Elks Lodge and served as chairman of its war committee.

In 2019-2020, he received the Veteran Volunteer Award for his service.

A tenor singer, he sang karaoke at the Seaside Fish House in Long Neck, Delaware.

Survivors include his girlfriend of 17 years, Carol Dennis, director of Coastal Concerts in Lewes; two sons, Thomas Michael Volatile Jr.; of Santa Rosa, California, and Mark Howard Volatile of Knoxville, Tennessee; two daughters, Patricia Brandon McTague of Willingboro, New Jersey and Charlotte Anne Goebel of Cape Coral, Florida; ten grandchildren; and seven grandchildren. He was the father of Carol’s son, Scott Dennis, Millsboro, Delaware, resident and grandfather of three. The wife of Mr. Volatile, Marjorie Day, died in 1995.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 15 at Parsell Funeral Home and Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel at 16961 Kings Highway in Lewes.