Captain Judson “Jud” Hewitt Springer (USN, Retired), 88, passed away suddenly on December 1st 2023.
A longtime resident of California, MD, he was born on June 1st, 1935 in Factoryville, PA to Robert and Ruth Springer. He attended Dimock-Springville High School where he was a star athlete, especially in basketball, and upon graduation, attended East Stroudsburg State Teachers College.
Shortly after graduation from college in 1957, Jud joined the Navy where in 1959 he earned his wings as a naval aviator. He proudly served 30 years during which he had two combat tours in Vietnam flying over 200 combat sorties in the A4E attack aircraft. Among other awards, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary airmanship after an SA2 missile attack, landing the heavily damaged aircraft on the carrier. Having endured combat duty in Vietnam and the loss of fellow warriors, his greatest sorrow lay when, as Captain of the USS Austin, he lost dozens and dozens of US Marines and crew members in the Beirut barracks terrorist bombing in 1983. He rose to the rank of Captain, and also Commodore of a group of ships, with the USS Saipan as his flagship.
Jud was an avid fisherman and especially loved fishing with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He taught his children, by example, work ethic, and how to be handy with all kinds of tools, equipment, and material. Jud was a talented gardener and he created a beautiful outdoor space for all to enjoy at his home. He was frugal, yet generous with his resources and time. He was a kind and gentle man who truly loved his family, friends, and his wonderful neighbors—an extended family.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Paula, sisters Meriam, Alice, and Dorothy; brother James; and daughter Laurene.
Jud is survived by his former wife, Bama, and two sons, Judson (Missy) and Robert (Becky); and from Paula, daughters Teresa (Matt), Pamela (Kenneth), Melanie (Fred), and son-in-law, Russell (Laurene); along with 13 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and other family members.
He was of the Protestant faith where he served and attended Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Mechanicsville.
Visitation will be on Saturday, April 13, 2024 from 10 am-12 pm at Lee Funeral Home (Owings), followed by a funeral service in the Chapel; we will share the date for his interment at Arlington National Cemetery when it is determined.