Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Gone But Not Forgotten

Thomas (Tom) Tweeten Rauk died April 13, 2011, at his home in Amherst Junction, WI. RaukPhoto_edited.jpg He was born the eldest of four children on January 31, 1942, in Milwaukee to Karl and Florence (Thomas) Rauk. His father's career as a United States Air Force pilot and commander carried Tom and his family to many places, including Alaska, Japan, Finland and Germany.

Tom was appointed to the United States Air Force Academy in 1960. Upon graduation in 1964, he went to pilot training in Big Spring, Texas. In 1969, he married Beverley (Browne) Rauk in Hawaii. He served 27 years as a C-130 Pilot, Flight Examiner, Squadron Commander and Director of Operations. He served tours in the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and as USAF Advisor to the Argentine Air Force. He was the recipient of numerous medals and recognitions, including, but not limited to: the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal.

Colonel Rauk retired from military service in 1991 from the 443rd Military Airlift Wing at Altus AFB OK. He and Bev then moved to Onalaska, Wis. where he was engaged in local government and community service. He served on the Chamber of Commerce, as Alderman for the Onalaska City Council, as a trustee on the Board of the Winding Rivers Library System from 2004 to 2007, as a La Crosse County Board Supervisor from 2006 to 2009, and donated his time and commitment to friends and organizations to improve the lives of others. He volunteered for many causes, including but not limited to: the Red Cross, Planned Parenthood, Fair Wisconsin; and several local, state and national candidates of public office.

After developing a keen interest in sustainable living, Tom began to design and build an energy-efficient retirement home for Bev and himself in Amherst Junction to which they moved in November 2010.

Tom's interests included his immediate and extended family, sustainable, green living, political analysis, current affairs, religious and spiritual study, classical music, wine, community involvement, and maintaining friendships with his 7th Squadron classmates and friends from around the globe. He was a member of the Association of Graduates of the Air Force Academy and the Order of the Daedalians.

Tom was preceded in death by his father, Karl Rauk, and his brother-in-law James Donohue. He is survived by his wife, Bev; daughters Erin and Lauren Rauk; mother, Florence Rauk; sisters Karla Stacey (Lee Goodhart) and Louise Donohue; brother Robert (Reva) Rauk; three grandchildren, Shane, Garrett and Trinity Carlson; and numerous nieces and nephews. An interment ceremony was held at the USAFA Memorial Pavilion, Colorado Springs, CO, on June 21, 2011.

(Tom's Loving Family and Classmate Tim O'Keefe)
[ Home ] [ Table Of Contents ]