Bobby Brandon Tidwell, a former Air Force sergeant, lived for his family.
He was a strong man with broad shoulders who always found time to draw pictures and color with his 4-year-old daughter, Tatum.
“The best day of his life was when Tatum was born,” said his wife, Jessica Tidwell. “He would go into her playroom, and they would get into everything, just laughing.”
Tidwell died suddenly on May 10. He was 36.
Jessica Tidwell met her husband at a bar while on a girls night out with a friend.
Tidwell was in the middle of ending a relationship and did not extend his heart, his wife said. “Even so, we gravitated toward each other.”
Tidwell deployed a year later. When he came back, they reconnected through a mutual friend. They married Feb. 4, 2006.
He served in Air Force from 1998 to 2007, his wife said.
While stateside, Tidwell was a member of the security forces at Lackland AFB, Jessica Tidwell said.
Tidwell served in the Middle East during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2007.
Bobby Brandon Tidwell
Born: May 16, 1979, Fort Worth
Died: May 10, 2016, San Antonio
Survived by: Wife Jessica Tidwell. daughter Tatum Tidwell, and numerous friends and family.
Services: Memorial service at 3 p.m. today at Porter Loring Mortuary North, 2102 N. Loop 1604.
“He was deployed to Camp Bucca (Iraq) and guarded prisoners for about seven months,” Jessica Tidwell said.
Tidwell also was stationed at Bagram AFB, Afghanistan, and worked in the supply unit there.
When he left the military, he worked seven years as a civilian contractor at Camp Bullis.
When his contract expired, Tidwell went to school full time at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Jessica Tidwell said.
He never did anything halfway, a friend, Aaron Fields, wrote in a memorial about Tidwell.
“Bobby treated every aspect of his life just like he treated the most important football game,” Fields wrote. “He would rather not do something if he wasn’t going to give it his very best.”
Tidwell graduated this month with a bachelor’s degree in geology. “He had previous science courses and geology resonated with him,” his wife said.
When Tidwell was not studying or with his family, he longed to go fishing.
“He was happiest when he was bay fishing with his friends,” Jessica Tidwell said.
Tidwell and his friends owned a fishing boat, Sancha, and would take it out onto Corpus Christi Bay to seek redfish and trout, she said.
“He took me out once. The water was choppy, and it was quite windy,” Jessica Tidwell remembered.
“But, I always felt safe with him,” she said. “He was solid. He was always there for us.”
Tidwell was a gentle soul with a strong presence, his wife said.
“In my eyes, he was a hero because of the kind of dad he was.”
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