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James L. Tedrick

Company K-1

17 Jan 1939 - 12 Aug 1993

Place of Death: Korea

Interment: Casey Cemetery, Casey, IL

It is with much regret and deep sorrow that we report the passing of James Lee Tedrick, Company K-1, USMA Class of 1961.

Remembrances:

Class Memorial Pages\K-1 Jim Tedrick.pdf

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:

Myron (Jim) and Eugenia Winifred (Tibby) Tedrick's son James Lee Tedrick grew up in Casey, IL, with his younger sisters Sharon and Nancy.  At Casey High School, he was an excellent student and athlete who loved golf; basketball, and running.  With only 57 seniors in Casey's Class of 1957, having two graduates selected for a service academy was a significant accomplishment (Jim for West Point and his best friend, Paul Stephen, for the Air Force Academy).

Entering Beast Barracks, Jim met the man in the Red Sash and joined the sea of faces that would be organized into 5th New Cadet Company.  He easily mastered new tasks--keeping shoes shined, his chin in, and spouting off plebe knowledge to keep the up­per class at bay.  At the end of Beast, Jim was assigned to Company K-1, a band of brothers whose cohesive fraternity lasted throughout their Army careers. K-l's motto was "Not Obnoxiously Eager."  Jim found it a useful de­scription of how to handle success; achieve it routinely without boasting.

Jim fit in well.  As academics began, he secured a solid academic ranking. His Star Man roommate recalled how Jim could knock out a 2.7 or 2.9 English paper in one shot, while his own multiple drafts received only a 2.3 or 2.5.  Jim also performed well in intramurals, particularly in cross-county, and he was considered the class's best non-Corps Squad golfer.  Quiet and laid-back, he was never flustered by the Plebe system or academics.  Between classes, he frequently curled up under his Brown Boy while his fa­vorite album, "Oklahoma," played.  Jim also shared his company-mates' enthusiasm for after-hours pranks--painting a part of George Washington's horse, relocating the company guidons, and painting South Area. Warm hearted and caring, Jim always was willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help.  This was true of him not only as a cadet, but also in later years.  This trait was illustrated by his unexpected arrival at his ex-roommate's mother's funeral and his driving his ex-room­ mate's car from New Jersey to Illinois.

After the round of weddings following graduation, Jim headed to Ft. Knox and the Armor School.  Following the basic course and Airborne School, Jim's first assignment was with the 14th Armored Cav Regiment in Germany.  During this period, Jim met and married Wray Everhart.  Wray passed away in 1976.

After serving as a platoon leader and in staff duties, Jim returned to Ft. Knox for the advanced course.  His next assignment began in Kansas, took him to Panama, and, ultimately, to Viet Nam, where he demon­strated his preparedness for combat.  The 9th Infantry Division's history records that, while preparing for deployment to Viet Nam, CPT Tedrick was selected to establish its Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP). Jim interviewed 130 soldiers, selecting 40 to form the "War Eagle" platoon. Jim led the pla­toon through training at the Jungle Warfare School, deployment to Viet Nam in January 1967, and completion of MACV's Recondo School. He and his unit then settled into the Mekong Delta and began combat operations during which Jim earned two Bronze Stars, one with V, two Air Medals, one with V, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

After Viet Nam, Jim's knack for writ­ing led to a master's and his return to West Point as an English P.  Responsible for Plebe year students, Jim's motto was "They shall not pass (unless deserved)."  During this tour, Jim also obtained his MBA at Farleigh Dickerson University, highlighting his grow­ing interest in business and finance.  When Viet Nam called again, he served in MACV Headquarters, participating in writing the official history of the Viet Nam campaigns.  For this work he received a Joint Service Commendation Medal.

Next, at HQ TRAdoc, Jim worked on the Integration of Women in the Army study and was subsequently assigned to the Comptroller's Office.  No longer traveling alone, Jim had met Anne Dryden Colton.  They married on 27 May 1977, while Jim was attending the Professional Military Comptrollership School at Maxwell AFB, AL.  With Anne, and subsequently their chil­dren, James in 1979, and Elizabeth in 1980, the Tedrick family's journey together includ­ed a career change for Jim.  He exchanged his Armor brass for that of the Finance Corps.  Jim and Anne both now were involved in fi­nancial careers involving service to our coun­try.  Their daughter, CPT Beth Tedrick, is fol­lowing in the family tradition of service.

It wasn't too tough a road to travel, how­ever, as Jim and Anne managed to spend a few years assigned to Ft. Shafter, HI, while honing his financial skills.  In 1981, Jim was assigned to the Comptroller of the Army's of­fice as a career proponent officer and editor of its quarterly magazine.  His new financial in­terests provided a bridge into civilian life.  He retired in 1983 after sequential assignments in the Office of the Army Comptroller and with the Ballistic Missile Defense Program Office, where he was awarded the Legion of Merit.  Jim's decision to retire was influenced by Anne's highly successful rise through the ranks as a DOD Civilian.  After leaving the Washington, DC, area, they moved to Greenfield, IN, and then to Korea, following Anne's career assignments, while Jim devel­oped his investment business.  Jim's business interests allowed him to be helpful to others, a trait which he valued highly.

The friendships that Jim and Anne made during their careers were lasting ones.  Always well liked and respected, Jim died on 12 Aug 1993, creating a deep sadness for all who knew him, but most deeply in the hearts of his family.

The "Cadet Prayer" reads, "Help us to maintain the honor of the Corps, untarnished and unsullied, and to show forth in our lives the ideals of West Point in doing our duty to Thee and to our Country."  And so Jim did!  "Well done!  Be thou at peace!"

-Anne Tedrick, Bill Tyler '61 and K-1 classmates