Download Full Text (48 KB)


Tom, 79, died July 11, 2023, in Seattle, Washington. He was born October 26, 1943, while his father was in the Air Force. After the war, the family moved to Elkhart, Indiana, where he graduated from high school in 1961. Tom participated in football and track all three years in school. He enrolled in the University of Montana and graduated with a bachelors degree in Forestry in 1966 followed with a masters in Economics in 1967. While at the University Tom worked for the Forest Service in the summers as a fire technician and a season with the Nine Mile Hotshots. He jumped at Missoula 1964-65. "After graduation from college, I entered the Air Force and attended Officer Training at Lackland AFB and commissioned December of 1967. I was assigned the navigators training at Mather AFB in Sacramento, California and was awarded my wings September 1967. My next duty assignment was at KI Sawyer AFB in Gwinn, Michigan, where I served as a Weapon Systems Officer flying the F-101. "Our squadron closed June of 1971 and I was immediately assigned to the 362 TEWS, Danang, Vietnam, flying the EC-47 on aerial reconnaissance missions in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. After my 365-day duty tour in Vietnam, I was discharged at Travis AFB, California, given a pat on the back, and a plane ticket back to Missoula, Montana. I joined the Oregon Air National Guard in 1972 after moving to Portland and served there for the next 25 years. I retired as a Colonel and flew part time as an air crew member in both the F-101 and the F-4. Military decorations include Distinguish Flying Cross and numerous Air Medals from my service in Southeast Asia." He had flown 1500+ hours in the F-101 and 1200+ hours in the F-4 "I was employed as a lumber trader for North Pacific Lumber Co. for 14 years, and then had my own company until 2010. While flying and trading lumber, I worked for my wife in her wholesale European Import business. She imported wooden German holiday items and need someone to do her heavy lifting. She had the business for over 25 years but was forced to close when she lost her sight. "We retired to Seattle in 2014 to be close to our daughter and family."



Publication Date

July 2023


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Tutt, George Thomas