Donald Alfred Gruenther – Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

Donald Alfred Gruenther, 78, a retired Army colonel who in the late 1970s became a founding member of the National Capital Tandy Computer User's Group, now called the NCTCUG Inc. computer club, died of pulmonary fibrosis February 25, 2002, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He lived in Falls Church, Virginia.

Colonel Gruenther was the son of the late Army General Alfred M. Gruenther, a major figure in the planning of the Allied invasion of North Africa during World War II and later supreme commander of NATO forces and president of the American Red Cross.

Colonel Gruenther, an Omaha native, was expected to follow in the same military tradition, his family said.

He was a 1944 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and received a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He also was a graduate of the Army's Command and General Staff College.

During World War II, he was a forward observer in heavy fighting in Italy.

He also saw combat during the Korean War in a field artillery battalion and in a military advisory group. During the Vietnam War, he was a senior intelligence officer on the staff of two successive U.S. military commanders in Vietnam, General William C. Westmoreland and General Creighton W. Abrams Jr.

His final active-duty assignment, in 1974, was with the Army Materiel Command.

His decorations include two awards of the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

He settled in the Washington area after retiring and was a member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Falls Church, where he did volunteer work.

His hobbies included listening to classical music.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, cellist Brigitta Czernik Gruenther of Falls Church; seven children, George D. Gruenther of Burlington, Iowa, Dr. Raymond C. Gruenther of Gahanna, Ohio, Frederick A. Gruenther of Standard, Calif., Peter A.
Gruenther of Monrovia, Michael A. Gruenther of Falls Church, Thomas C. Gruenther of Winchester and Lucy Maria Gruenther of Leesburg; a brother; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A son, Ralph J. Gruenther, died in a shooting accident in 1972.

The Colonel was buried with full military honors in Section 7, Grave 8202-A, Arlington National Cemetery.

GRUENTHER, DONALD A
COL   US ARMY
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 06/06/1944 – 07/31/1974
DATE OF BIRTH: 06/07/1923
DATE OF DEATH: 02/25/2002
DATE OF INTERMENT: 03/26/2002
BURIED AT: SECTION 7  SITE 8202-A
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

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