Lieutenant Colonel US Army (Retired) Jude Joseph Theibert, age 88, died peacefully in his home on August 12, 2023. He was the youngest of seven children born to Leo Sr. and Esther Theibert on February 23, 1935. He was a graduate of the 1953 class of Sandusky High School where he excelled and earned varsity letters in track & field, basketball, and football. In 1952 he was named first team All Ohio in football.
His performance in both academics and football allowed him to obtain a Congressional appointment to The United States Military Academy at West Point and continue his football career, effectively joining the venerable Long Gray Line. Graduating from West Point in 1958 with a degree in Engineering and a commission of Second Lieutenant, he married his sweetheart JoAnne (Hipp) on June 14, 1958, and they moved to his first assignment in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. In 1962, he was on the logistical planning team to coordinate troop and equipment movement in advance of the invasion of Cuba during the Missile Crisis - he would agree that we are all lucky that we did not execute that plan. In 1965, he started his tour in Vietnam as an advisor at The Army of the Republic of Vietnam’s (ARVN) Infantry School (formerly known as the Thủ Đức Military Academy) in the Thủ Đức district of Saigon training infantry officers as the primary source of the ARVN’s small unit leaders. Feeling that his job was a little too cushy, he transferred to the ARVN’s 21st Infantry Division of the IV Corps as a combat advisor operating out of Can Tho in the Mekong Delta and ultimately traded his right leg for a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Upon returning stateside and recovering from his injuries, he was assigned to Tulane University. In 1968, he earned a Masters Degree in Political Science. In his final assignment, he worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at the Pentagon with the primary responsibility of non-Russian countries of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) during the height of the Cold War.
After retirement he remained heavily involved in the community through his volunteerism with the Saints Peter and Paul Church, Catholic Youth Organization, Lions Club, and commissioner of the AMVETS baseball league in Sandusky, Ohio. He coached numerous youth basketball, baseball and softball teams for all of his children, but he would agree that his favorite team he ever coached was the 1989 girls basketball team at Saints Peter and Paul - and he did not even have a daughter on the team. He was a member of the City of Sandusky’s Planning Commission and was appointed to the Erie County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
In 1990, he was inducted with the inaugural class into Sandusky High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame, and he still holds the school record for the most passing touchdowns in a single game.
He was an avid golfer and member of the Monday morning mens’ league at Woussickett Golf Course. Being from such a large family, he instilled a strong sense of family within his children and grandchildren, and at all family events cards, especially Hearts, were at the center of table - and his competitive spirit never stopped him from giving any of his young children or grandchildren the queen of spades with a smirk and his infamous chuckle. But his favorite was enjoying life with his beloved wife of 65 years, traveling the world, eating good meals, and taking scenic drives to sit on Jackson Street Pier.
He is survived by his beloved wife JoAnne, loving children Karen Knobloch (Stephan) of Avon, Ohio, David of Perrysburg, Ohio, Ann-Marie Long (Robert) of Morristown, New Jersey, Marcy Starks (James) of Fairview Park, Ohio, Michael Theibert (Elena) of Avon, Ohio; 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Leo Jr.; his sisters Patricia (O'Donnell), Esther (Loudenslagel), Jean (Meckstroth), Jacqueline (Bruckner) and Loretta (Brown).
It was his wish to be cremated. The family will receive friends on Friday, August 18, 2023, from 5-7 pm at the David F. Koch Funeral and Cremation Services, 520 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Jude Saturday morning, August 19, 2023, at 10 am at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 510 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky. Fr. Zach Brown officiating. Military honors will be conducted by the American Legion Post # 83 and the V. F. W. Post #2529. Burial will be held later in the West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org/donate.
Your memories and words of comfort may be shared with Jude's family at davidfkoch.com.