Richard Sudhoff, LtCol, USMC (Ret)

Richard Ira Sudhoff, LtCol, USMC (Ret)

October 19, 1927 - September 16, 2020
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Colonel Sudhoff, a resident of Annapolis since 1966, died at his home on September 16, 2020 at age 92. Widely known as "SUDS", he was born in 1927, grew-up in Mineola, Long Island, NY; was a Newsday carrier, an ESSO station worker and during his last year and a half at Mineola High School worked at Grumman Aircraft building "Hellcats" for the Navy before he could enlist. He trained as a Combat Aircrewman and Airborne Electronics Technician (AETM 2), and after "VJ" day traveled extensively to maintain equipment in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets.
In 1947 the Navy selected him to attend Auburn University where he met his future wife, Charlotte. On 3 June 1951 he earned his BS in Engineering Physics, was commissioned in the USMC and married. Lt. Sudhoff then served a combat tour in Korea with the 1st Marine Division as a Regimental Communication Officer and later as a Naval Task Group Signal Officer. He then moved on to Camp Lejeune, NC, the 2nd Marine Division, and the Armored Amphibian Battalion.
In 1955 the Marine Corps sent Capt. Sudhoff to the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, where he earned his MS in Engineering Electronics in 1958. Authored during this time Capt. Sudhoff's thesis directly contributed to the early planning in the Corps, in concert with the Navy, to apply the changing technology of computers and digital equipment to future air control and defense required systems. Subsequently, Capt. Sudhoff was assigned to the Marine Corps Electronics Branch of the Navy Bureau of Ships in Washington D.C. where he spent the next four years in the early development of the Marine Tactical Data System (MTDS), in concert with the Navy Tactical Data System development. He also spent that time in the development of tactical radio equipment to replace obsolete WWII gear, and established tropospheric scatter as a viable tactical communication medium, developing the AN/TRC-97.
During a certain equipment procurement effort, Major Sudhoff was engaged in a congressional action resulting in a House Armed Services investigation with Navy, FBI, and Justice Department involvement. After subsequent hearings, Major Sudhoff prevailed, was vindicated, and cited by higher authority.
As a Major in 1962, duty with 3rd Marine Division artillery followed on Okinawa and Mt. Fuji in Japan. From there he went to Quantico, VA with the Development Center and Long Range Study Panel. In 1966, Colonel Sudhoff came to Annapolis, MD for duty as USMC Deputy Director, of what is now known as the Joint Spectrum Center, to support air operations in Vietnam. During this tour Col. Sudhoff was instrumental in the introduction of the computer-enhanced Marine Air Control Squadron -4, installed on "Monkey Mountain" east of Danang, to go operational in July 1967. Within a few months the Marine Air Control Squadron dominated the air control mission requirements with a quantum increase in capacity and sparked the coordination of air assets in the forces of the Vietnam War effort.
Retiring from the Corps in 1969 Mr. Sudhoff joined the IIT Research Institute in support of NASA deep space planned vehicle explorations. International treaty negotiations on space communications were to be held in the early '70s. As a result of Mr. Sudhoff’s analysis of the Deep Space Network's communication requirements, he was selected by the State Department as a Delegate to represent USA deep space interests at the conference in Geneva, GHE. Voyager 1, launched in ‘77, has now left the galaxy Milky Way into interstellar-space and is still communicating with earth, although by 2015 it was so far away it took 17 hours for a radio signal to travel that far.
In 1973 Mr. Sudhoff joined the Navy Electronic Systems Command to support planning for future communication needs. He served for the next 16 years; as Navy representative to the joint services effort to bring state-of-the-art digital communication equipment to the tactical forces, and later, in concert with NSA, brought secure radio voice capability to land, sea, and air radios of the joint services (the ANDVT series of equipment).
In 1989 it was time to retire again. Early on "Suds" was active in local school matters, the community and pool, and crewing in frostbite sailing competition. Mr. Sudhoff was preceded in death by his great and wonderful wife of 62 years, Charlotte, in 2013. He is survived by his children, Sharon Calcaterra of Severna Park, MD, Richard K. Sudhoff of Abilene, TX, Robert Sudhoff of Mt. Vernon, VA, and Julia Pergolizzi of Fairfax, VA; his brother, Herbert Sudhoff, a former Naval Aviator, of Destin, FL, and his 14 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild. Memorial service will be held at the George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 2973 Solomons Island Rd, Edgewater, MD on Friday, September 25 at 11:30 am. Inurnment with military honors at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Crownsville, MD will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to Fisher House Foundation, Inc., 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20850.

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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, September 25th, 2020 | 11:30am
    Friday, September 25th, 2020 11:30am
    Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory-Edgewater
    2973 Solomons Island Road
    EDGEWATER, MD 21037
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Maryland Veterans Cemetery Crownsville
    1122 Sunrise Beach Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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The Chenery's, Mike and Tammy Woodward, and other have sent flowers to the family of Richard Ira Sudhoff, LtCol, USMC (Ret).
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Sarah Pergolizzi

Posted at 11:37am
My deepest condolences to Suds’ family, who survive a truly great man. He accomplished so much and led a very full life. But I’ll remember him most for his spark. At every dinner and family function, chairs squeezed in next to Suds. He was funny, bright, and kind. May his memory be a blessing, and may be Rest In Peace.

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 07:47am
With loving memories of Suds, always sweet
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The Chenery's

Posted at 03:57pm
Our deepest sympathy for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
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The Chenery's purchased flowers for the family of Richard Sudhoff, LtCol, USMC (Ret). Send Flowers


Mike and Tammy Woodward

Posted at 10:54am
Lifting you all in prayers. With our deepest sympathy. We love you all. Mike and Tammy Woodward
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Mike and Tammy Woodward purchased the Blooming Garden Basket and planted a memorial tree for the family of Richard Sudhoff, LtCol, USMC (Ret). Send Flowers


Marty Lazar

Posted at 03:27pm
To The Descendants of Lieutenant Colonel Richard Sudhoff,

On behalf of the Marine Corps Communications and Telecommunications Maintenance Officers Community, I offer our condolences on the passing of our colleague and friend. Suds was a key technical contributor to early efforts to modernize Marine Corps communications systems. May he Rest In Peace.

Marty Lazar
Colonel, USMC, Retired

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