Thomas T. Weir, 95, was born to Thomas and Lottie Belle Weir on December 24, 1916 in Shell, Wyo. He was the eldest child and only son. He and his sisters, Margaret, Ellen and Leona Belle graduated from high school in Greybull Wyo. Thomas (Tom) worked as a doorman and projectionist at the Big Horn Theater in Greybull, and spent several months rewiring barracks in the Civilian Conservation Corps.
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Drafted into the U.S. Army in the spring of 1941, Tom was promoted to Sergeant and Chief of the Communications Crew of the 47th Signal Corps in the 1st Armored Division. On Valentine's Day in 1943, stranded by a broken-down vehicle in Algiers, Tom, along with his unit, was captured and spent the next two and a quarter years as a P.O.W. in Germany. He bided his time performing clerical duties, learning the German language, and building working radios, clandestinely, out of tin cans salvaged from Red Cross packages.
After being liberated on April 22, 1945 and returning to Wyoming, Tom married Betty Zae Chapman on October 23, 1945. They moved about, living in Glenwood Springs, Colo., Montrose, Colo., and Powell, Wyo., eventually settling in Bozeman where Tom continued his career as a radio engineer, always on-call, insuring the smooth and uninterrupted broadcasting not only for Bozeman radio stations KBMN and KXXL, but also for KWYS in West Yellowstone and KFLN in Baker MT, to name a few. In addition, Tom assigned the call letters and engineered the installation for many stations around the Rocky Mountain West. In 2011 he was inducted into the Society of Montana Broadcast Legends.
Tom and Betty raised five children, Sherry (Rick) Nash, Thomas Bradley (Sarah) Weir, Georgina (Dan) Hogan, Teena Peardon, and Marlina (Tim) Cowan. Tom is also survived by his grandchildren, Danielle, Jennifer, Traci, Tami, Erin, David, Lee, Cody, Jesse, Eric, and Ian; great grandchildren, Sydney, Kai, Atlas, Jade, Tom, Nate, Will, Jake, Eveleana, Izaiah, Genecis, Nicholas, James, Anna Beth, Amber, Dylan, and Danielle. His great-great grandson is expected early next spring.
HAM Radio (call sign W7GDM), astronomy, mathematics, electronics, cryptograms, and computer programming were some of Tom's many interests which, after losing Betty in 1999, he continued to pursue while living independently, until he quietly passed away on October 27, 2012.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5 at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. Interment will follow in Sunset Hills Cemetery. Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 4, 2012