Julian E. "Boots" Tudor Jr., Sergeant Major, US Army (Retired), passed away at his home Friday, April 27, 2012, surrounded by loved ones. He was born July 2, 1922, in Valdosta, GA to the late Julian E. Tudor and Jessie Emily Cannafax Tudor. Boots was a member of Christ Episcopal Church for almost 47 years, serving at various times as an usher, a member of the Men In Blue, and a member of the vestry.
Enlisting in 1939, Boots was an Army veteran of almost 27 years, serving his country in three separate wars. On June 6, 1944, just a month shy of his 22nd birthday, he was a Platoon Sergeant with L Company, 1st Battalion, 359th Infantry Regiment, as he and his fellow soldiers waded ashore on Utah Beach as members of the spearhead of the 90th Infantry Division. Between D-Day in June of 1944 and VE Day in May of 1945, Boots would receive three separate combat wounds as the 90th fought its way through France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Germany. The 90th Infantry Division became so proficient at pressing the enemy through all types of terrain that the Germans nicknamed them the "Forest and Mountain Division". As part of George S. Patton's famed Third Army, the 90th battled all the way into Czechoslovakia when news of the German surrender was finally announced.
During the following years of his military career, Boots would be assigned to various postings, literally serving from coast to coast in the continental United States. He spent 18 months in Korea during the Korean War and also returned to Germany in 1963, this time with his wife and four small children in tow. His final assignment was as Command Sergeant Major for the 1st Infantry Division Support Command in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967. During his 13 months in South Vietnam, Boots would log so many hours in helicopters while visiting the various sites for Support Command detachments that he was awarded an Air Medal, not something typically given to a "leg". Sergeant Major Julian E. Tudor Jr. retired in November 1967 in a grand ceremony at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
Following his retirement from the military, Boots and his family moved to Valdosta where he worked for various institutions, including C&S Bank, Ramada Inn, and as manager of the Inn Place at the Holiday Inn. He stayed strongly connected to the military with his work on the Chamber of Commerce's Red Carpet Committee, welcoming new student pilot classes to Moody Air Force Base and the Valdosta area. A 33 Degree Mason and a Shriner, Boots was also a founding member of Botie Chitty's Singing Americans. Music was very important in his life, especially his love of barbershop quartet singing.
Another of Boots' great loves was golf. He was a fixture on the Valdosta Country Club and Francis Lake Golf Courses. Boots started playing golf in the 1950's and continued well into his 70's until health issues forced him to concede that he could no longer play competitively. He quickly turned to playing pool at the Senior Center, winning several tournaments well into his 80's.
Boots leaves behind to honor his life and memory his beloved wife of 64 years, Patricia Ann Beckwith Tudor (Patty) of Valdosta; his daughter and son-in-law Melanie Ann Tudor and Mitchell Hall of Tallahassee, FL; his son and daughter-in-law Julian E "Trey" Tudor III and Kathryn M. Tudor of Valdosta; son and daughter-in-law Edmund Beckwith Tudor and Tammy Corbett Tudor of Lake Park, GA; son Michael D. Tudor of Valdosta; grandchildren Amy Beckwith Jordan and husband Scott of Tallahassee; Jonathan Chadwick Tillman of Tallahassee; Ashley Burton Tudor Fox of Valdosta; Michelle Lynne Tudor of Albuquerque, NM; Amanda Renee Tudor of Valdosta; Joshua Edward Hall Tudor of Tallahassee; and Emma Grace Tudor of Lake Park; great-grandchildren, Emily Catherine Jordan, Zackery Elijah Jordan, and Hannah Elizabeth Jordan, all of Tallahassee; one niece Hunt Southerland and family of Tampa, FL; three nephews, Timothy Teasley and family of Valdosta; Christopher Teasley and family of Douglasville, GA; and Michael Teasley and family of Lancaster, SC; and "other daughter" Paula Marie Ramey Martinez of Valdosta.
He was preceded in death by his sister Emily Juanita Tudor Teasley and brother-in-law Joel Teasley, Colonel USAF (Retired).
The family would like to thank Sue and Maria for the loving care they provided Boots during his final weeks.
Services for Mr. Tudor will be held at Christ Episcopal Church at 1300 (1 p.m.) on Saturday, May 5, 2012. The Reverend Peter Ingeman will officiate. Assisting in Mr. Tudor's service will be The Reverend Tar Drazdowski and Deacon Stella Clark.
The family will receive friends at the church following the services. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project and the American Cancer Society. Carson McLane Funeral Home and McLane Crematory are serving the Tudor family. Condolences to the family may be conveyed online at www.mclanecares.com.
Carson McLane Funeral Home
2215 North Patterson Street