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Tom DeWitt W5TD, SK
Photo of Tom DeWitt W5TD

[Quoted from the Austin American-Statesman, February 16, 2003:]

Thomas King DeWitt II, age 63, of Austin, Texas passed away on February 13, 2003, from complications related to lung cancer. Tom was born in Middletown, New York on June 8, 1939, and grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. His parents were Marjorie Brown and John Holister DeWitt and he had one brother, John DeWitt, all deceased. Tom married Judith Tuthill of Greenwich on August 11, 1962. Tom and Judy attended high school together, but it wasn't until college that they fell in love. Together they lived in Newport, Rhode Island, where their daughter Jill was born and in Massachusetts where they had their daughter Tammy. They moved to Austin in 1978, where their son, Thomas King DeWitt III, was later born. Tom graduated from Greenwich High School. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a Master's degree in engineering management from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and a Master's degree in computer engineering from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In 1960, he worked for a year as the ship's engineer on the oceanographic vessel Vema. This research vessel circumnavigated the globe and proved the theory of continental drift. Tom also worked as an engineer for a variety of companies including Raytheon, Texas Instruments, and Tracor; most recently he worked as a project manager for AAA Storage Services. Tom had many interests and hobbies. He was a devoted member of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church where he served as Junior Warden and helped to maintain the church's computer systems and electronic organ. He also spent many hours beautifying the church grounds. Beginning in high school, Tom played the bass trombone and his love for music continued throughout his life. He was the bass trombonist in the Austin Civic Orchestra, for which he served as Treasurer. He also enjoyed playing a variety of other instruments, avidly supporting musical arts in Austin, and listening to very loud organ music. In addition, Tom was a licensed ham radio operator with call signs AK5E and W5TD. As a ham, he enjoyed participating in contests and in civil defense drills. He won awards from the American Radio Relay League for confirmed contacts with operators in various states and countries around the world. Tom was an active and healthy person. His favorite sport was scuba diving and he was very excited to have made over 300 dives. His family enjoyed many dive trips, especially in Grand Cayman. Tom loved to travel, particularly in a recreational vehicle. Tom also was a runner and loved to run Austin's annual Capitol 10K and other local races. He was often seen jogging at high noon in 97-degree heat. He and Judy also enjoyed playing doubles tennis. Tom was the perennial handyman and loved to tinker with computers; he also was a talented painter. He was a loving and generous man, donating over two gallons of blood throughout his lifetime. He always wore colorful clothes and had a delightful, wry sense of humor. He was wonderfully enthusiastic and could be counted on to dress up in a costume for any reason. Tom was a truly devoted husband and father. The love and closeness in the DeWitt family was evident to everyone present at Tom and Judy's recent 40th anniversary party, a dinner cruise on Lake Travis. Tom is survived by his wife, Judy; daughters, Jill Glassco and Tammy Le; son, T.K. DeWitt; sons-in-law, David Glassco and Todd Le; granddaughter, Lexie Le; and grandson, Le, on the way, who will be given the middle name DeWitt in memory of his grandfather.


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