THOMAS MICHAEL HUTHER
May 30, 1947 – January 19, 2016
Tom was born in Williamsport, PA on May 30, 1947 to Louis O Huther (1920-2007) and Ethree Johnson Huther (1923-2007). His great-grandparents emigrated from Germany to PA in the early part of the 1800s. Why they chose central PA we do not know, but settle they did and raised their children who then raised their children in the manner that combined the best of their German ancestry and the patriotic values of rural Pennsylvania. Tom, with the exception of his time spent fearlessly patrolling the mean jungles of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, spent his entire life on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport – “The Home of Little League Baseball”.
Tom’s father Louis, as a young man, departed Williamsport to serve in Army Air Force during WWII in Europe from April 1942 – October 1945. Shortly after returning from the war, Tom’s brother Louis J Huther was born in 1946. Tom’s arrival in 1947 prepared the family for his sister, Nancy J Huther Doane born the following year.
Tom graduated from Williamsport High School and “kicked around” for a while until the same call that beaconed his father, summoned him to take up arms in service to his country. It was good fortune for us that providence led him to K. Co. 75th Infantry (Airborne). Tom was to distinguish himself on several teams on many missions in the company of very distinguished warriors. Tom was one of the reasons an elite reputation of “Mission Accomplished” was earned by the Ranger Companies in Vietnam. Long time R-30 Team Leader Mike Smith of Ashland, KY recalled “Tom was a fearless warrior. Walking point is froth with danger, walking point for a four-man LRRP is doubly so. I was always astonished at how much fire power a four man team could lay down with just small arms. The biggest danger to a LRRP team is being ambushed and losing a man, or worse two, in the initial bursts of fire. The responsibility of the point man was clearly vital to the very life of the mission and to the team members. Tom walked point for R30 for the entire time I was Team Leader and I and the other team members always had the greatest confidence in his ability to detect danger and,at times, to just sense it. He always did this with a fearless sense of duty and his bright and optimistic good nature.” Rangers past and, no doubt, Rangers of the future will continue to find it difficult to meet and exceed the high standards of courage and skill epitomized by Tom and his fellow LRRP / Rangers. Tom earned two Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, his Combat Infantryman’s Badge and numerous other awards and decorations for his service.
Despite the perils he experienced while “running” missions in the wild jungles of Kontum Province, Tom continued to trek the forests of Pennsylvania as an sportsman and hunter. An avid hunter and fisherman, Tom also enjoyed the local Williamsport High School sporting teams, watching college basketball and football as well as his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.
passed at the age of 68 at the Williamsport Regional Medical
Center. He received a graveside service
honoring his life at Wildwood Cemetery with full military honors accorded by
the Jersey Shore Honor Guard. He was a
man who loved his family and enjoyed being surrounded by them. Surviving are one brother, Louis Huther, Jr.
(Nancy) of Williamsport, a sister Nancy J. Doane of Williamsport; nieces Ashley
Bingman, Jodi Berkheiser, Tracy Strousser, and Jennifer Doane; nephews Tim
Huther, James Doane, Jr., and Jeffery Doane; and several great
nieces and nephews.