Longtime Commander of the Navy’s Seabees, Maddock Dies

Distinguished Member  Thomas S. Maddock, a past commander of the U.S. Navy Reserve’s Seabees who also led a California water engineering firm, has died at 89.

After receiving his civil engineering degrees at Virginia Tech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Maddock, P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, NAE, decided to enroll in Navy officer candidate school, and was commissioned an ensign with the Navy Civil Engineering Corps. His first assignment was in 1951 with the Seabees during construction of Naval Air Station Cubi Point in the Philippine Islands. He was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, CA.

In the Navy Reserve he commanded the 18,000-man Reserve Naval Construction Force (Seabees). He retired in 1985 as a rear admiral, after 33 years of active and reserve duty, with two Legion of Merit Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy Commendation Medal.

Maddock began a civilian career in 1957 with Boyle Engineering in Bakersfield CA, where he took on major state and worldwide water projects. He rose to be named president and CEO in 1975, then chairman in 1993. Following his retirement in 2001, he continued work as a consulting engineer.

Maddock was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993 and that year became an ASCE Honorary Member (now Distinguished Member.) He also was a distinguished alumnus of Virginia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Among his many ASCE roles, he served as the Los Angeles Section’s president in 1987.

A licensed professional engineer in 18 states, he was appointed by California’s governor to represent the state on the Western States Water Council. Maddock served on the board of trustees of the Navy CEC/Seabee Historical Foundation, which oversaw construction of a new U.S. Navy Seabee Museum in 2010 at the Port Hueneme Naval Base.

Maddock was an avid tennis player and enjoyed hiking in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada mountains.


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