Thomas Dean Votipka

Thomas Dean Votipka was born to Frank Votipka and Mollie (Kohler) Votipka on October 1, 1922, at Exeter, Nebraska, and passed away on December 13, 2009 at the Friend Manor in Friend, Nebraska, at the age of 87 years, 2 months and 13 days. He was one of three children in the family.

Tom attended Country School and graduated from Exeter High School in 1940. He entered the Army during World War II and served in the Company D, 42nd Armored Tank Battalion, 11th Armored Division. Tom told his family amazing World War II stories while with the 11th Armored Division. Tom attended Camp Polk in Louisiana, Camp Barkley in Texas and Camp Cook in California before landing in England on November 12, 1944. He was a Technical Sergeant and the Lead Tank driver of his division. Tom participated in the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Bastogne. He was in Linz, Austria when the war ended, and he was honorably discharged on January 15, 1946.

Upon returning to the United States, Tom spent his entire life pursuing his farming and cattle ambition. He was hard working and dedicated to farming and livestock, and his family.

Tom was united in marriage to Lea Ann Morgan of Exeter, Nebraska, on November 10, 1947. They made their home near Exeter on the family farm where he resided his entire life, and they raised three children: Marsha, Bob and Ron.

Tom was secretary on the Fillmore County Irrigation Board for several years. He was also Secretary of the Upper Big Blue Association. Tom served on the Exeter School Board the entire time his kids were in high school. He was also a 4-H leader for the Handy Hands Club. Tom was active in the V.F.W. and the American Legion, and a continuous member of the 11th Armored Division Association.

Tom's main hobbies consisted of hunting, dancing, going to cattle sales and attending the 11th Armored Division reunions. Other hobbies were working as a salesman for Dekalb, Standard Feed and Archer Oil, all at the same time.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Rita; and his brother Rex.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Lea Ann; his daughter Marsha Turbett of Lincoln; his son Robert & wife Barb of Exeter; son Ron and wife Michele of Roca; and seven grandchildren: Rebecca Streff, Richard Votipka, Abby Pringle, Zach Votipka, Luke Votipka, Maria Votipka and Ted Turbett; and three great grandchildren and one brother-in-law.

TSgt Thomas Votipka



42nd Armored Tank Battalion

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