Thomas Prescott Leavitt
April 5, 1941 – April 26, 2021
Cumberland Foreside, ME- Thomas Prescott Leavitt passed away peacefully on April 26, 2021 in the early morning hours with his chosen caregiver, Shelley Silva-Bashaw, by his side reading him his favorite poetry. Thomas was predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Barbara Helen Leavitt, in November 2020. He leaves behind David and Shelley Bashaw of Norton, Massachusetts, whom he chose to help him navigate his last years with grace and dignity.
Thomas was born in Gardner MA on April 5, 1941 to Roger R. Leavitt and Rita Morrissey Leavitt. He graduated from Gardner High School in 1959 with honors and continued his education at the University of Massachusetts where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1963. Upon his graduation, Thomas was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant of the Infantry with the famed 82nd Airborne Corps, serving as a Mortar Platoon Leader, and later as a 1st Lieutenant Company Commander while with 2nd Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment. He was subsequently promoted to Captain, and served as Unit Training Advisor in Vietnam for almost 2 years, during which he was awarded the Bronze Star. Following his return to the U.S., Thomas and Barbara were married at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and Thomas attended the Infantry Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was then transferred to Saudi Arabia. During this assignment, he learned Arabic while serving as a Unit Advisor. In 1971 Thomas was promoted to Major and served at Fort Carson, Colorado, first as an armor battalion operations officer, and later as an executive officer before serving as a brigade S4 and S3. He departed Fort Carson for assignment to the office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (ODCSOPS), G-3, the Pentagon. In 1978, Thomas was selected for and assumed command of the storied 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment (MANCHU), Fort Wainwright Alaska. After 20 months in command, he was selected to be Commandant of the Northern Warfare Training Center at Fort Greely, Alaska for 28 months. Thomas then left Alaska in 1983 to serve in the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) headquarters as Director of Combat Doctrine prior to his selection for promotion to Colonel and for attendance at the Army War College in 1986.
Following the Army War College, Thomas returned to the Pentagon, first to the Army G-3, where he served in the Current Operations and Contingency Plans Division for several years. During this assignment, he deployed in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD / DESERT STORM to liberate Kuwait, for which he was awarded the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti “Kuwait Liberation Medals.” Following his assignment in G-3, in 1991, Thomas was assigned to the office of the Army’s Inspector General (IG) where he served in several key positions, culminating in his assignment to lead the Division of Special Investigations, the position from which he retired from the Army in 1998.
Colonel (COL) Thomas Leavitt was one of the longest serving Colonel’s on the Army Staff; his serving past 30 years Active Federal Commissioned Service (AFCS) required annual requests to, and approval by, the Secretary of the Army, for which his leadership always anxiously awaited. He only retired when, upon reaching just short of 35 years AFCS, he was notified that his continued service would require Congressional approval, and COL Leavitt refused to ask for that approval.
On culmination of his Army career, COL Leavitt was awarded the Army’s third-highest award, and the highest non-combat award – the Distinguished Service Medal, after serving just short of 35 years AFCS – truly one of the Army’s “Iron Colonel’s” at the Pentagon.
COL Leavitt also holds the Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB), the Ranger Tab, and the Parachute Badge. He has additionally been awarded the Legion of Merit (with two oak leave clusters), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal (x3), the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (x2), and the Overseas Service Ribbon (x3).
Following his retirement from the Army, Thomas joined his former bosses at the beltway firm MPRI for several years before retiring for good and leaving Northern Virginia. He and Barbara moved to Maine where they lived their remaining years. Thomas stayed active in the local Veterans issues wherever possible. He served as president of the local American Legion Post, the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and the Rod and Gun Club.
COL Leavitt’s legacy is his love for Barbara, his love for his Country and his Army, his steadfast and unwavering integrity, his tendency to make lasting friendships, and his ever-present humor. Never far from our thoughts, we miss him every day.
A Joint Celebration of Life for Thomas Prescott Leavitt and Barbara Helen Leavitt will be held at 3 pm on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at Jones, Rich and Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland, ME 04103.
Please visit www.lindquistfuneralhome.com to sign their online guest book.
- Roger R. Leavitt, Father (deceased)
- Rita Morrissey Leavitt, Mother (deceased)
- Barbara Helen Leavitt, Wife (deceased)
Celebration of Life
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Thomas Prescott Leavitt
May 14, 2021
So long good friend.
May 12, 2021
I love you both so much. I got to know them taking care of Barbara after Barbara had her stroke. It was such a pleasure. They loved each other so much it was beautiful. Tom is back together with Barbara..
May 4, 2021
I got to know Tom at the Falmouth Rod & Gun Club. That was a blessing. He and I became friends would talk about many things that had to do with the club. I got to know both Barbara and Tom outside of the club. Tom and I would get together at Veranda Thai for lunch andTom would bring Barbara some. After Barbara had a stroke I would pickup food and meet at their house. We had many discussions and I learned a lot from Tom. I will miss him very much. I hope that they Rest In Peace. Gone but they will not be forgotten.
April 30, 2021
I can't say I knew Tom real well. I did know him as he was President of the Falmouth Rod & Gun Club. He was an interesting individual, always a pleasure to converse with. His type of frankness is missing in our world today.
April 28, 2021
So sorry to hear of Tom's passing. Always enjoyed chatting with him wherever we got together. We didn't get together as often as I would of liked but always had a good time when we did. He was a great guy and will be missed