Thomas Earl Sauter

Sauter, Thomas Earl

Thomas Earl Sauter, 63, Moss Point, MS, formerly of Kaukauna, WI, passed away peacefully at his home on Dec. 7, 2012, after a lengthy illness.

Tom was born on Dec. 16, 1948, in Appleton, WI, son of Earl Sauter and Maybelle (Myer). He attended Appleton West High School. Tom enlisted into the U.S. Army in February, 1966 and was assigned to the Headquarters Detachment/North Bavarion Dist. Fuerth, Germany. He was later reassigned to the 1st/11th Arty/9th Infantry Division and served one tour in Vietnam. Duties included being a cook and truck driver. He was promoted to Spec-4 before his discharge in February, 1969. After returning from Vietnam, he married Vicki (Hartjes) on Jan. 23, 1970. They relocated to Colorado, where he attended Community College of Denver studying Appliance and Refrigeration Repair. In 1978, they relocated back home to Wisconsin, where he was employed at Thilmany Pulp and Paper for several years, where he also served as a union steward. He was involved in a wide variety of career fields during his adulthood. He held jobs such as surveyor, firefighter, miner, and also self-employed electronic sales and delivery service.

Tom reenlisted into the Army Reserve with his daughter, Stacey, in May 1990 and served in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield/Storm for eight months. He was assigned to the 395th Ordnance Company serving as a cook until April, 1994. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant while assigned to the 395th Ordnance Company. Tom left his military career with the following awards and decorations, Army Service Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medal w/2 Bronze Stars, Vietnam Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Commendation Medal 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal w/Bronze Star, Army Achievement Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Army Lapel Button.

Some of his professional accomplishments include Political Training, Union Steward Training, and Food-Service Training. His hobbies consisted of riding his Harley, spending time with his family, watching NASCAR racing and the Green Bay Packers, getting involved with local and national politics, being a member of the Mississippi Coast Mustang Club and listening to music, mostly consisting of Elvis, Patsy Cline, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and many others.

He is survived by his wife of 11 years, Franny (Dier); children, Stacey (Tom) Felton, Tom (Renae) Sauter, Amber Sauter (special friend, Cori Popp), children of Vicki Hartjes. Also, Tammy Ross (special friend, Daniel Lulewicz); and Chas and Hayden Sauter; grandchildren, Kayla and Blake Felton, Lauren, Cara and Corinne Sauter, Breanna Keil-Sauter, John, Mercedes and Travis Ross. He is further survived by sister, Audrey Fuchs; several cousins, nieces and nephews, and stepdaughter, Paula Orr.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters and brothers-in-law, Geraldine (Leonard) Schneider, Dorothy (Jack) McCullough and Joseph Fuchs; stepfather, Fenton Bauman; and half brother, Ronald Bauman.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, at Valley Funeral Home in Appleton, WI. with the service beginning at 7 p.m.

The family would like to thank the staff at Keesler Air Force Base, 81st Medical Group, especially Major Sexton, as well as the staff at Gulf Coast VA, Building 2, 3rd floor in Biloxi, MS for their care and compassion.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Thomas' name.

Published in the Wausau Daily Herald on Dec. 16, 2012