HOWLAND - Thomas D. "T.A." Andrus, 69, passed away peacefully July 9, 2013, at Togus Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Augusta, after a long struggle against a serious illness. He received excellent loving care during his final days from the wonderful staff who worked in the Togus hospice unit. Tom was born Oct. 31, 1943, in Lincoln, the second son of Marcus Andrus and Anna Mae (Theriault) Andrus.
He graduated from Penobscot Valley High School in 1961 and then enlisted in the U.S. Army
. He served October 1962-April 1966, and during his time in the service he completed Airborne and Special Forces training, earning the coveted title of Green Beret. He was ordered to duty in Vietnam as a communications specialist with the 5th Special Forces Group, Airborne, January 1965-April 1966, where he jumped over 25 times as a paratrooper. For his service he was awarded several medals and citations including the Combat Infantry Badge, CIB. After serving his country, he moved to Connecticut and worked as an aircraft inspector at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. In 1970, he enrolled in the Ward Technical College University of Hartford and graduated in 1973 majoring in engineering and communications. In the later years of 1970s and 1980s he was a self-employed roofing contractor and also worked at International Knife & Saw Co., Bangor. Upon retirement, he dedicated his time to his love of the outdoors, tending to his beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Tom was an avid outdoorsman who loved camping, fishing, hunting and target shooting and his interest in photography helped him to capture these great memories. Tom was an active member of the veteran's community and he held important positions in the American Legion, Maine Black Bear Airborne Chapter, and Veterans of Foreign Wars
Post No. 9429.
Tom was predeceased by his life-long partner, Bonnie Hallett, who passed away in 2010. He is survived by his two children, Carey L. Andrus and fiancé, Michael Guenette, and their children, Amanda, Shannon and Edward Guenette, all of Leicester, Mass., and Thomas D. Andrus II and wife, Naomi, and their children, Alexxis and Desiree, all from San Diego; three siblings, Bruce Andrus of Passadumkeag, Clifford Andrus and wife, Bernadette, of Southington, Conn., and Linda Ramsey and husband, Ed, of Howland; many nieces, nephews; and a great many friends and other relatives including special cousin, Carrol Theriault and wife, Judy, of Howland; Bonnie's daughter, Denise Davis and husband, Jeff, of Gardner, Mass.; and his beloved "Kitty."
Services to be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 16, at St. Leo's Church, Howland, and immediately after there will be a graveside service at St. Matthew's Cemetery, West Enfield, and a reception at the church. Clay Funeral Home, Lincoln, is handling the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, www.woundedwarriorproject.org
. Those who wish may sign an online register and leave written condolences at www.clayfuneralhome.com