American Veteran 04

LARRY C. DUTTON

January 23, 1945 ~ March 30, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old

LARRY DUTTON Obituary

"Th-Th-Th-That's all folks!" Larry C. Dutton, of Hagerstown assumed room temperature on Saturday, March 30th, 2024. Larry is survived by his wife Lynn, step-son Damian Dodd and wife Tonja, of Westfield, NY and the apple of "Pap Pap's" eye granddaughter Emerson Lynn. Lynn and Larry exchanged their wedding vows on July 2, 1982 at Keno Avenue Chapel, Fort Huachuca, AZ.

 

Larry attended Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg, Illinois, and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. He later became a graduate of Mount Saint Mary's University, Emmitsburg, Maryland, and also completed Organizational Leadership for Executives at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He retired in 2007 as a Department of Defense Civilian Program Analyst following over 38 years uninterrupted Federal Service. His retirement activities included following University of North Carolina basketball and serving as bookkeeper for wife Lynn's antique business.

 

He survived Basic Combat Training at Harmony Church Station, Fort Benning, and Military Police School, Fort Gordon, both in the State of Georgia. His Civilian Defense career included leadership positions while assigned to Fort Ritchie and Fort Detrick in MD; Fort Ben Harrison in Indianapolis, IN; Army Communications Major Command Headquarters, Fort Huachuca, AZ; and Raven Rock Mountain Complex, Adams County, PA. He held memberships in the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) and the American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC).

 

Larry was past president of Board 24, International Association of Approved Basketball Officials. He also was a member of the Washington County (MD) Umpires Association, the Arizona Interscholastic Association, the Falls Creek chapter of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, the National Baseball Congress, the Blue Ridge Umpires Association and the American Softball Association (ASA). He umpired high school and college baseball and softball in Maryland, West Virginia, and Arizona. He umpired international Babe Ruth baseball as well as semi-pro fast pitch men's softball in Arizona. He officiated high school and college basketball in Maryland, Arizona, and Indiana. He also had assignments in many state and regional ASA playoffs.

 

While off duty and for about 10 years starting in 1969, Larry became very active in youth sports. He coached the 7-8 grade boys basketball and football teams at Fort Ritchie. He was among "the founding fathers" of the Mid-Maryland Youth Basketball League and the Mountain Valley Youth Football League.

 

Larry reported for duty at Fort Ritchie on May 25, 1969. Later that summer he volunteered as the Public Address Announcer as Fort Ritchie hosted the First U.S. Army Women's Fast Pitch Softball Championships. However, it was never revealed if he made anyone's address public.

 

In April of 1970, Larry and his friend Ken Tabb left Sunday morning service at the Fort Ritchie Chapel in an ice storm. His 1962 Ford traveled down the one-way street toward the PX behind a U. S. Navy sedan. As they reached the stop sign, the young sailor driver was out of the car frantically trying to clean the windshield with his fingernails. Larry quickly came to his rescue by lending his ice scraper. It was then at Melvin Laird, Secretary of Defense, emerged from the sedan to offer thanks for rendering much needed assistance. Ken, observing from the Ford, moved quickly to also meet the Secretary but hit a patch of ice that put him in stand up side. He did not stop until he was nose to nose with Mr. Laird. He quickly stuck out his hand and said, "Ken Tabb, Hardin County, Kentucky." Ken went on to become the superintendent of schools in Elizabethtown, KY, Mr. Laird died in 2006, and of course you are learning of Larry's demise in this long winded obituary.

 

In 1971 he had completed two years in uniform, was mustered out, and went to work as a department of the Army civilian employee. In 1978 he provided logistic support to the U.S. Marine Corps Band during President Carter's Camp David Accords. In 1979 Larry represented the Ritchie Garrison Commander at a Department of the Army conference in New Orleans, La., and was able to secure funding for the construction of a new Child Care Center, Youth Activities Center, Arts and Crafts Center, and a Bowling Center at Fort Ritchie in the early 80s. While at Fort Ritchie, Larry met and worked with C. J. Fortmayer who became a lifetime mentor and friend. LTC (USAF) Fortmayer retired in Gretna, Louisiana.

 

In 1981 Larry transferred to the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel at US Arm Communications Command (USACC) HQ, Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Soon after Larry started his new job, President Reagan fired the civilian air traffic controllers and USACC was tasked with providing soldiers as temporary replacements. A Continuing Resolution Authority (CRA) by Congress ensued that restricted per diem payments to those soldiers. A soldier (with a wife and three kids living in a trailer park just outside the gates of Fort Rucker, Alabama) was now living out of his own pocket while serving at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. Larry was dispatched to carry a request to Army Emergency Relief (AER) Headquarters in northern Virginia. Given the absolute one-of-a-kind set of circumstances, within hours the largest loan in AER history was approved. Of course, as soon as the CRA was lifted the loans were repaid.

 

Assigned to Fort Harrison in 1982 he served as the Installation Morale Support Officer where he worked for Major General Dan French. He successfully provided oversight of eight busloads of Soldiers and their families as they enjoyed the 1982 Indianapolis 500 motor car race. It was while in Indianapolis that Larry met a lifetime friend and mentor in West Pointer Randy Tart. COL Tart went on to become the Commander of the Army's Software Development Center, Fort Lee, Virginia. Randy, who retired near Richmond, Virginia, and Larry spoke often of him.

 

Service Fort Detrick began in 1983. He was on the Installation Board of Directors and was the Director for Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. When Fort Ritchie closed due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), Larry served on the team that migrated some activities to Detrick.

 

In 1997 Detrick assigned him to Raven Rock Mountain Complex (RRMC) in Pennsylvania as the Senior Civilian Executive. In June of 1998 he was part of the planning group that hosted a VIP visit by Secretary of Defense Cohen and the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff. Larry primarily coordinated the visit with Major General John Parker's chief of staff.

 

On 9-11-2001 Sec Def Rumsfield vowed to stay in the attacked Pentagon as a captain never leaves his ship. Dep Sec Def Wofowitz (in a walking boot) and MG Kellogg (joint staff) arrived as his reps. As a member of the nation's continuity of government planning, Larry represented MG Parker in preparation of a list of recommendations going forward. This list was presented to SECDEF Rumsfeld that following Sunday, 9-16-2001.

 

At Ravenrock Larry was assigned to successfully host VIPS from time to time. Most significantly, the Secretary of the Air Force's senior Judge Advocate, Jeh Johnson. Mr. Johnson later served in the Obama Cabinet as Secretary of Homeland Security.

 

When the Department of the Army transferred the command and control of RRMC from Detrick to the Military District of Washington (MDW), Larry was tapped to Iead the base operations transfer effort. While serving as an MDW asset, Larry was involved in every aspect of the Reagan State Funeral in June 2004.

 

When Command and Control of RRMC was transferred from MDW to the office of the Director of Administration and Management (DA&M), the Pentagon, Larry was promoted to the post of Installation Executive Officer for RRMC. This is why SECDEF Dr. Gates signed his retirement certificate.

 

Larry co-authored the first draft of the Department of Defense Instruction (DODI) that would guide Raven Rock's operation under the SECDEF just before his retirement in March 2007. In 2010 he received an email from his former boss informing him that the final DODI had been published in October of that year.

 

He was born on Tuesday, January 23, 1945, the son of dairy farmers W. G. and Juanita Dutton, in Harrisburg, Illinois, a farming/mining community nestled between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Given his birth date, he could forever fill out the DOB blank on any form by simply writing 12345.

 

Following high school, Larry was working as a farm hand on the day that JFK perished in 1963. He later worked for the local farm co-op store unloading 55-ton rail cars of rock phosphate which convinced him to give college a try. As a student at Southeastern Illinois College, he found work in the sports information department, and his work containing his by-line was published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Evansville (IN) Courier and Press.

 

He later became a part-time commuter student at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, Illinois paying his way by pumping DX gas and installing U.S. Royal tires. While pursuing a recreation degree at SIU, one professor was NFL official Dr. Bill O'Brien. He also learned much from SIU's baseball coach and former St, Louis Brown first baseman Joe Lutz. His classmates included Cleveland Indian prospect Ray Fosse and future NBA New York Knicks legend, Walt Frazer.

 

His part-time student status cost him his draft deferment in December of 1968. On January 13, 1969, the day after Joe Namath and the Jets won Super Bowl III, he reported to Harmony Church Station, Fort Benning, Georgia, to begin the federal service mentioned earlier.

 

Since we are sure everyone is worn to a frazzle after reading this obituary and in accordance with Larry's wishes there will be no service or viewing. Those feeling compelled to contribute might consider Larry's favorite charity: St. Judes Children's Research Hospital, PO Box 50, Memphis, TN. 38101-9929.

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