George M. Tronsrue, Jr., Colonel, U.S. Army Retired, West Point Class of 1952 – Be Thou At Peace

GMT, Class of 1952

The Memorial Service, with full military honors, will be held on Feb 8th, 2014 at the Main Post Chapel on Ft Lewis/JBLM from 4:00 – 5:30 pm (1600-1730).  For RSVP details, please scroll down.

To Family and Friends,

Yesterday morning, my Dad went in his sleep to heaven, to be with his folks, sister, son-in-law Brian and all his many friends and soldiers who have preceded him. We imagine they are all having a fun reunion about now and looking out for all of us still down here on earth, swapping old memories, stories and instantly getting caught up on life after death on earth. Believe he had a nice “welcome committee” there, with many vying for front row positions.

We saw him on Sat evening and could tell it was nearly time. Cindy, Michelle and I were there, along with our friends Yvonne and Nicki (after the great skydiving adventure) and with Judy, who has been living there in Dupont for the past 2 months. He looked tired, worn and was down to 122 lbs — but he never lost his humility, sense of humor, dignity or graciousness through all the tough times these past several years. Not sure I could have, or would have, done that if it were me. In fact, I know I wouldn’t.

Dad - Age 2

Before I left him, I kneeled down and told him he was a great Dad, that I learned much from him for life and that I/we (his family) loved him greatly. He smiled at that. Then, I reminded him of his teaching me to memorize the 23 rd Psalm in 3rd grade one weekend in New Jersey– that God was always with him, even when he feels alone.

The last thing I did was tell him that I knew this was a struggle for him and not any fun … that when God came for him, which would be soon, it was OK to go along; that he’d lived a great life and though we would miss him, we would all be OK, until being reunited in heaven at some future point.

He looked straight at me and kind of nodded slightly. I said, “I love you Dad” and he replied, ” I love you, Geord”. Then I kissed his forehead and left. It was sad, but also comforting and relieving in a sense, as some of you know.

ebEOX

So, he has left us and God took him to that special and better place where there are no more hurts, tears, sorrows or pain. Just the joy and love of being with God, Jesus and all those who believe. One of the last real conversations I had with him in early November, after I said a prayer for him, was on this topic. He told me, ” Son, I can hear God’s voice speaking to me.” So, I said, ” What is God telling you, Dad?” He just looked at me and simply said … “Believe!” To me, that sounds exactly like what God would say to him in this situation.

We will have a local memorial service here in the Seattle area, likely at the end of January or early February — when those details are solid, hopefully next week, we will advise all, so that any wanting to be with us can have time to make travel arrangements, if required.

Dad, West Point Cadet

Dad wanted his ashes to be buried at West Point and this will happen at a later date, planned around a class of ’52 event/weekend.

18521-1952 howitzer

The life story below is posted online. Feel free to read this, post comments, load additional photo’s etc. Please share it with others, as this list is only a starting point … I know that I have missed many.

Thank you all for your friendship, love and support and for being part of our lives, now and in the future.

Best,
George, Cindy and Our Extended Family
31 December 2013

Dad and me Easter Wknd

UPDATE

The Memorial Service, with full military honors, will be held on Feb 8th, 2014 at the Main Post Chapel on Ft Lewis/JBLM from 4:00 – 5:30 pm (1600-1730).

Our family will host a reception to celebrate George’s/Dad’s life with his friends, classmates and family, immediately following the Memorial Service, in the upstairs auditorium/fellowship hall of the Chapel. A casual dinner buffet, including some of his favorites and non-alcoholic drinks, will be served from 6 – 8 pm (1800-2000).

Please do RSVP to me, George Tronsrue, at my email address – gtron003@comcast.net – NLT January 23rd for the memorial service and/or the reception, so we have a good headcount to plan for and can also provide a list to the front gate to make accessing the base easier for all attending.

 Biography

George M Tronsrue Jr, (Colonel, USA Retired), beloved Christian, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Son, Brother, Friend and Soldier passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 30th, 2013, ending a full life, well lived — a meaningful and distinguished life of impact as a servant, leader, soldier and good man. Of humble beginnings, he was born on July 15, 1930 and raised in nearby Long Prairie, MN, by his parents, George M Tronsrue Sr and Ruth C Tronsrue, along with his older sister Helen Tronsrue (Kemerer). An Eagle/Explorer Scout and Varsity Letterman in Football, Basketball and Track during his high school years, he was the first person from Long Prairie to attend the US Military Academy at West Point in June 1948. At West Point, Tronsrue was a Varsity Letterman on Army’s Rifle Team, a member of the famed West Point Glee Club and graduated number 30 in his class, commissioned as a 2LT in the Infantry in June, 1952. After graduation, Tronsrue volunteered for combat duty in the Korean War and enroute, attended and graduated from the Infantry Basic course, the Airborne school and also graduated in one of the initial Ranger School classes at Ft Benning, GA, in February 1953.

He then served as a platoon leader in a training company at Ft Ord, CA for 90-days prior to deploying to Korea. While in transit, the Korean War ended and Tronsrue and his shipmates were re-assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in Japan. He served as a Company Executive Officer, Company Commander and Assistant Regimental S-3 on this tour with the 1st Cav. Tronsrue then attended language school in Brazil, in preparation for a three year assignment teaching Portuguese at West Point, where he ended his tour as the Head of the Portuguese Department. After attending the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, where he was the Distinguished Graduate, he was assigned as the S-3 of the 1st Battle Group, 2nd Inf Division at Ft Benning, GA, until volunteering to serve as an Adviser in the Republic of Vietnam from 1961-1962.

Tronsrue was one of the first American Advisers in the Vietnam War, part of MAAG, Saigon and served for 11 months of regular and sustained combat, as the Battalion Adviser to the 17th Civil Guard Battalion, protecting a section of the Mekong Delta, generally centered on the Meetah District and the surrounding areas. Tronsrue next attended the Command and General Staff College, then earned his Masters of International Relations from the Woodrow Wilson School, at Princeton University, from 1964-1966. After then graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College, Tronsrue served with the Office of Personnel Operations, Department of the Army, as the LTC Assignments Officer for Infantry Branch, until he volunteered to return to Vietnam as a Battalion Commander in November, 1967.

During his second combat tour in Vietnam, Tronsrue was the Commander of the 1/18 Infantry, 1st Inf Division from December 1967-June 1968, during some of the most vicious combat action during the Vietnam war, including the TET offensive, where, on the morning of the TET Offensive, the 1/18 Infantry was the sole unit inserted by helicopters onto the tarmac of Tan Son Nhut Airfield in order to repel an ongoing attack to take control of the airbase, which they successfully did. In May 1968, under his command, the 1/18 Infantry was engaged in a full day battle, one of the most lopsided US victories during the Vietnam War, the Battle of Tan Hiep, for which the Battalion received the Valorous Unit Award/Citation for their actions in battle.

Dogface 6 Photo

Returning from Vietnam, Tronsrue then attended the Army War College and upon graduation, was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs, at the Pentagon. There, among other critical projects, he was the principle staff officer responsible for support of the Nixon Administration’s efforts during the Paris Peace Talks, which concluded America’s role in Vietnam. He was then reassigned to become the G-1 (Division Personnel Officer) of the 82 Airborne Division (All American), at Ft Bragg, NC from July 1971-July 1972. His next assignment was to Ft Carson, CO where Tronsrue served as the 4th Infantry Division’s Chief of Staff from 1972-1974 and then as the Commander, 3rd Brigade, 4th ID, a combat-deployable Brigade, from 1974-1976. George Tronsrue closed his military career by commanding the Western Region Recruiting Command — the 9 western US states plus Alaska and Hawaii — from July 1976 – September 1977, during the initiation of the All-Volunteer Army and a very critical time for Army recruiting in the post Vietnam era, based at Ft Baker, CA.

Upon retirement from the Army, Tronsrue went into the financial planning business and became a Certified Financial Planner, working at Dean Whitter Reynolds & Associates from 1978-1988, when he left Dean Whitter to start his own financial planning firm, Tronsrue & Associates, which he continued until his retirement from that business in 2010. During his military career Tronsrue received numerous awards and decorations to include, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Ranger Tab and both Army and Portuguese Airborne Wings, in addition to medals and awards for personal valor and extraordinary service, as well as several notable foreign awards. In his post-Army life, Tronsrue served in various volunteer capacities, both related to the military and to his community. This included active service on church Boards, community and Homeowners Boards, service as the President/Vice President of the West Point Society of Puget Sound and notably, as the Honorary Colonel of the 18th Infantry Regiment for 5 years from 2002-2007, including a deployment with the 1/18 Infantry to Bosnia, in support of the peace keeping mission the unit was assigned during this time period.

Tronsrue is survived by his wife Judith French Tronsrue and her daughters and their spouses, Laura and Allan Lewis and Meri and Michael Harris. Judith was also his business partner/colleague for the past 20 years at Tronsrue & Associates, while living in the Seattle, WA area. He is also survived by his former wife, Florence Kubicki Tronsrue of San Diego and their three children and spouses, Barbara and Jim Sullivan, George M. (III) and Cindy Tronsrue, and Karin Nutt and Dave Hendry. There are 15 grandchildren — Lindsay Tronsrue Stowell, George C. Tronsrue, Michelle (Tronsrue) Luckes , David Tronsrue, Daniel Sullivan, Martin Sullivan, James Sullivan, Thomas Sullivan, Igor Sullivan, Natasha Sullivan, Cameron Nutt, Caroline Nutt, Sheldon Lewis, Sarah Harris and David Harris and two great-grandchildren, Samuel Stowell and Victoria Sullivan. Tronsrue was predeceased by his son-in-law, Brian Nutt, Karin’s husband and Norah Harris, daughter of Meri and Michael Harris and Judy and George’s granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers or other donations, Colonel Tronsrue requested that people desiring to remember or honor him, make donations in his memory to the Army Emergency Relief Fund (www.aerhq.org).

Final Salute to Dad