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Thomas Edward Lugenbeel

Born: Wed., Aug. 30, 1933
Died: Sat., Feb. 23, 2019


No services to be held


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Life here on Earth came to an end for a man whose love of God, family, friends, and country was demonstrated in many ways throughout his existence among us. The date was February 23, 2019. He was born in Hagerstown, MD on August 30, 1933 to his parents, Gordon S. Lugenbeel and Lillian Schneider Lugenbeel as the youngest of 7 children. Preceding him in death were 2 brothers, Gordon S. Lugenbeel and Charles William; 4 sisters, Margaret “Peggy” Fries, Dorothy “Dotty” Harrison, Ann Carroll Mull, and Elizabeth “Betty” Cramer. He will be missed by several nieces and nephews.

Tom graduated from Corpus Christi Catholic School in 1947, graduated from the very last class to be designated as Chambersburg High School (C.H.S.) in 1951, and attended Shippensburg State Teachers College before enlisting in the United States Air Force on April 10, 1953.

During his 8 years of service, Tom received his basic training at Sampson Air Force Base, New York. His next assignment was the tech school for control tower operators at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss. During which time he applied for and was accepted to enter the aviation cadet program in 1953. His first assignment was at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, leading to the beginning of his training to become a navigator at Harlingen Air Force Base in Texas and James Connally Air Force Base in Waco, Texas from January 1954 through December 1954 during which time he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and received his wings as navigator and qualified for assignment to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. After 3 years of performing his duties as navigator, Tom qualified for primary pilot training at Bainbridge Air Force Base, Georgia from March 1958 until August 1958, then on to basic pilot training at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas where he received his wings as a U.S. Air Force pilot in March 1959. After completion of training as a single engine jet fighter pilot at Luke Air Force Base, Phoenix, AZ and combat crew training at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada, his duty assignment was in the 428th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, Clovis, New Mexico. During his training at Luke Air Force Base, Tom was honored by recognizing that he was the first pilot in training to qualify as “expert” in his first four attempts at special weapons delivery.

Tom had many accomplishments throughout his life but these are among his proudest moments.

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