CPT Dean P. Guenther was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 04/25/2015 at the age of 73.9
Clarksville, TN
Flight Class 69-16
Date of Birth 05/23/1941
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with B/227 AHB 1 CAV in 69
This information was provided by Sammie Williams

More detail on this person: Colonel Gary "Gar" Edward Thiry, USMC Ret. was called to join our Lord on April 25, 2015. He was born a Packer fan on August 14, 1942 as the first son of Delores Mae (Flynn) Thiry and Raymond Eric Thiry in Green Bay, WI.

Gar entered the Marine Corps in 1960 at age 16 and was selected for the Aviation Cadet (MARCAD) program in Pensacola, from which he earned his commission and Naval Aviator wings at age 19 in 1963. He also met his bride of 52+ years there, Sharon Theresa (Werner) Thiry, whom he married on June 1, 1962.

He flew UH-34 transport Helicopters on the east coast, completing cruises to Europe, Latin America, and Norway before his first Viet Nam tour in 1965 - 13 months with HMM-363 (Red Lions). Gar returned to Pensacola as a flight instructor and helped to gather pilots for the first Marine Cobra squadron. He then returned to Viet Nam for 12 more months.

Gar then worked as an operations officer in the U.S. Taiwan Defense Command where he led the planning group for the withdrawal of U.S. forces after the normalization of relations with China.

In Hawaii, he commanded a composite CH-46 squadron with Harriers, Cobras, CH-53s and Hueys attached for an Indian Ocean cruise. He also earned his masters degree there at Chaminade University.

Gar spent his Washington, D.C tour on the Op Dep staff, working joint aviation

matters. He also helped to create the Marine Corps Doctrine Center at Quantico, VA, serving as Head of the Joint Warfare department.

As Deputy J-3 and Senior Marine in Latin America at Southern Command (SouthCom) in Panama, he headed the planning efforts to remove the Noriega regime.

Gar completed his 31 years of active service as the Senior Marine at the Air War College and retired to Pensacola in 1991. There he designed and built an

award-winning home and then was a successful real estate broker and business owner for 15+ years.

Gar also actively participated in several philanthropic organizations including Kiwanis, Avant Garde, MOAA and the Daedalions.

This loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend will be missed in too many ways to list. His humorous wit, integrity, generous spirit, high intelligence, unwavering spiritual compass, sense of compassion and strong work ethic are just a few of his special qualities that his family and friends enjoyed. His "girls" will especially miss his energetic dance moves, warm hugs and having their courageous "rock" to protect and guide them.

He is survived by his forever-loving wife, Sharon T. Thiry, two daughters who will miss their hero: Laurie Thiry Touchberry and Deborah Delores Reid, a son-in-law: Dwight Touchberry, and five grandchildren: Kyle Reid, Garren Touchberry, Julia Reid, Logan Reid and Shawn Touchberry. Gar also is survived by his sisters: Pam Hillman and Kelly Liu, and a brother, Jan Thiry, along with his wife, Sherry Thiry. He is survived by numerous other family members, friends and colleagues.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, April 30, at the Nativity of Our Lord church, with visitations held from 9-10 a.m. in the church hall followed by mass at

10 a.m. A military honors ceremony will then take place at the Barrancas National Cemetary at approximately 11:45 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to support the Wounded Warriors Project ( Condolences and personal memories may also be posted on the web site for the Oak Lawn Funeral Home:

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

Please send additions or corrections to: VHPA Headquarters

Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list

Return to VHPA web site

Date posted on this site: 03/10/2024

Copyright © 1998 - 2024 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association