It is indeed with sadness and grief that we announce the death of Tom Dexter on Monday, July 19. However, it is with great love, pride, and reverence that we respectfully share some of his life’s story.
Tom died while a short term patient at the Casa Bella Hospice Home in the town of The Villages, Florida after the very rapid onset of a most, severe, aggressive and debilitating stage of dementia. He was blessed, extremely well cared for, and died comfortably.
Tom was born in Columbus, Ohio, the youngest son of Charles and Grace Dexter. He had a happy and diverse youth having lived and schooled in Columbus and Cleveland Ohio, Long Beach Indiana, Florence Alabama, and Bowling Green Kentucky; where his friendliness and engaging personality gained him many varied and lifelong friends; remaining in contact throughout his life. After graduating from Lakewood High in Cleveland, Tom attended The Ohio State University earning a Bachelor of Science Degree, and as a Distinguished ROTC Military Graduate was commissioned a 2nd Lt. of Infantry in the United States Regular Army. Tom then spent 25 years serving his beloved US Army as both an Infantry and Adjutant General Corps officer. Among his notable assignments were: One year of combat duty with the 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi, South Vietnam; Commanding Officer of the large and complex Ft. Leonard Wood Training and Reception Center; Officer in Charge of the Department of the Army’s Secretariat for Officer Selection and Promotion Boards; Executive Officer of the US Army Marksmanship Training Center at Ft. Benning where shooters were selected and trained for intra-service, international, and Olympic competition; Adjutant General of the Military District of Washington, where among his many staff duties held principal positions of responsibility with the Presidential Inaugural Committee for President Ronald Reagan, and the committee for the planning and conduct of the funeral for 5 Star General Of the Army, Omar Bradley. He especially enjoyed his MDW General Staff duties and his participation in the pomp and circumstance of many military parades and ceremonies at the White House, Pentagon, Capitol Building, and the Spirit of America extravaganza in the Capital Center. His characterization of such patriotic events was “Like being shot in the ass with a Glory Gun”. Tom retired from active duty on Aug 31st, 1989 with the rank of Colonel while serving as The Inspector General of the First United States Army, Ft. Meade, MD.
Some of his awards and decorations include: The Legion of Merit, Two Bronze Stars, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Five Meritorious Service Medals, two Meritorious Unit Commendations, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/ Palm, and the US Army Parachutist Badge.
Tom is survived by Jill, his loving wife of 46 years, his two sons Andrew Dexter (Laura) and Matthew Dexter (Connie), his older brother Charles Dexter (Barbara Jane), his two sisters-in-law Adriana Schimming (James) and Rina Cheppa, Brother-in-law Joseph Filardo (Janet), and several loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Grace and Charles Dexter and older brother William Dexter.
Tom loved sports, music and travel. He was a champion volleyball player, struggling golfer and avid football and baseball fan never being able to decide between the Cleveland Browns or the Washington Redskins. However there was never any doubt about the Cleveland Indians or that his Ohio State Buckeyes were the very best! He had a wonderful singing voice and could often be heard singing along with Pavarotti’s “Nessun Dorma”, Della Reese’s “Don’t You Know” or Glenn Campbell’s “Yesterday When We Were Young”. He and his many friends including “The Usual Suspects” traveled to some of the most unique and exotic places where touring and parties were some of he and Jill’s favorite memories that Tom often shared.
Tom was a staunch political conservative and always urged friends and acquaintances to vote Republican! In lieu of flowers donations to Hospice will be appreciated.
A funeral service for Mr. Dexter will be held Thursday, July 22, 2021, 11AM at Beyers Funeral Home in Lady Lake, Florida. The family will receive friends at 10AM, interment to follow at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.