Fighting Irish Alumni
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LTC John "Jack" Letherman, USAR, Retired
Apr. 10, 1966 - Dec. 29, 2015
PLATTE CITY, MO - John “Jack” Letherman, Jr. 49, passed away December 29, 2015, at the St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, MO.
Jack was born April 10, 1966 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN to John K. and Dianne M. (Georgy) Letherman. Jack attended St. Thomas School in Elkhart where he learned to play clarinet and piano. He worked on farms in southern Michigan during the summer and learned to water ski on the St. Joseph River and Indiana Lake. He graduated from Marian High School in Mishawaka, IN where he was a 4-year member of the band and a member of the National Honor Society. He graduated from Indiana University South Bend and was commissioned an Army 2LT on May 24, 1989 at the University of Notre Dame through the Notre Dame ROTC Program. Serving in the US Army Transportation Corps, 2LT Jack Letherman was a Platoon Leader in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fulda, Germany. After several months his unit was transferred to duty in Kuwait as a part of Operation Desert Storm. He was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in Kuwait. He returned to Eimsheim, Germany in 1993 following his tour in Kuwait and was then sent to the Balkans to work for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). While in Serbia, in 1994, he met his love, Natasa Jovanovic.
Transferred to Ft. Campbell, KY, Captain Jack Letherman became a Company Commander in the 101st Airborne Division. He completed Airborne and Air Assault training at Ft. Campbell. He married Natasa in Belgrade, Serbia on September 29, 1996. Returning to the United States with Natasa, he bought a house in Clarksville, TN where he lived until 2000.
He was then transferred to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, where Jack and Natasa lived in Ewa Beach, Hawaii for ten years. Twin daughters, Hanna and Audrey, were born in Honolulu in January 2007. While his family was growing up in Hawaii, Jack was deployed twice more to the Balkans and then to Afghanistan in 2004-05 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he was awarded his second Bronze Star.
Following his return from Afghanistan Jack enrolled in the graduate program at Norwich University and was awarded a Master of Arts in Diplomacy from Norwich in June 2007. For the past five years he has lived in Platte City, MO, where he retired from Fort Leavenworth as a Lieutenant Colonel in June, 2014. Since his retirement, he has been working for the Veteran's Administration as a regional transportation specialist, doing his best to help fellow veterans returning from duty. His family remembers him as a funny, hard-working husband and father who always put family first.
Jack was a member of the Twelve Apostles Catholic Church of Platte City. He was preceded in death by: his uncle James L. Letherman; his niece Grace Elizabeth Letherman; and his father-in-law Dusan Jovanovic. Jack is survived by: his parents John and Dianne Letherman of Elkhart, IN; his wife Natasa; 2 daughters Hanna and Audrey Letherman of Platte City; his brothers Joseph (Elizabeth) of Middlebury, IN, Robert of Elkhart, IN, and Peter (Suzanne) Letherman of Granger, IN; and his sisters Lisa Letherman (Jason) Hemmerling of Westfield, IN, and Catherine Letherman (Nicholas) Matuch of Seven Hills, OH.