Clarence Hilliard Rothe

Published 9:57 am Friday, August 19, 2022

Clarence Hilliard Rothe, 97 of Forest, formerly of Cumberland and Teaneck, New Jersey, entered heaven to be with his Lord Jesus Christ on Saturday, Aug. 13, at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital.

Larry was born in Paterson, New Jersey, March 24, 1925, son of the late William George Rothe and Lillian Disch Rothe, of Teaneck, New Jersey. He was married to the late Louise Becker Brinkerhoff Rothe.

He graduated Teaneck Public High School, Teaneck, New Jersey, in June of 1942 and then Enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in February 1943. He graduated Advanced Navigational School, Monroe, Louisiana, and was commissioned as a 2Lt, awarded Navigator’s Wings on Nov. 25, 1944. He was on Active-Duty from July 1943 to October 1946. He served in the Asiatic/Pacific Theatre, Marianas Islands from June 1945 to October 1945 as part of the Occupational Air Force of Japan.

Recalled to Active-Duty on May 1, 1951, he was assigned to the Strategic Air Command at MacDill AFB, F1, flying in B-29 Aircraft and was released from Active duty in 1953. Col. Rothe served during WWII, Korea and Vietnam. As a Career Officer in the U.S. Air Force, formerly known as the U.S. Army Air Corp, he was on Active Duty during wartimes and throughout the rest of his military career he flew all around the world on Tours of Duty, Military Campaigns and continued in the Reserves for 27 years of faithful military service and retired with Honors as a Lt. Col. in 1983. He became a private pilot and opened “Rothe Aviation Inc”, where he gave flying lessons and taught Ground School.

He was a faithful member of New Life Assembly of God Church in Farmville since 1983. He served 20 years as a teacher of an adult class, 15 years as a Trustee and was a Leader for Youth Ministries. He performed in every musical and served in many capacities including Sunday school teacher of the Prime Timers. He was also a Gideon and performed Bible presentations. Member of MOAA and many other organizations.”

“GOD has been good to me and blessed me to come home victoriously after every tour of duty. Sad to say, I lost most all of my comrades during those times.”

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his son, Russel Sanborn; a sister, Lillian Elizabeth Smith; a brother, Franklin Rothe; nephew, Stanley Drinkwater and niece, Linda Smith Cashion

He is survived by his children, David Sanborn, (Barbara), of Washington Township, New Jersey, Patricia “Pat” Christian, of Powhatan and Rev. Carole Rothe-Lilly, of Forest; a daughter-in-law, Brenda Sanborn, of Beaufort, North Carolina; grandchildren, Matthew Hansen, Sarah Tyler (Josh), Steven Anderson, Lyn Lawton, David Sanborn and Robert Sanborn; step- grandchildren, Dawn LaBryer and Cheri Mazza; 10 great-grandchildren; five great-great grandchildren; two nieces, Tamalane Bionelli and Barbara Smith and four nephews, Alan James Drinkwater and his wife, Barbara, of Gordonsville, Leslie Alfred Drinkwater and his wife, Beth, of Walton, New York, Stanley Drinkwater of Shrewsbury, New Jersey and Donald Drinkwater and his wife, Joyce, of Aiken, South Carolina. 

Funeral service will be conducted at 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, at New Life Assembly of God Church, Farmville. Interment will follow in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Rice. The family will receive friends from noon until 12:45 on Saturday at the church.

The family offers a heartfelt thank you to all those who cared for Larry.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to, New Life Assembly Church, 9 Mahan Road, Farmville, VA 23901

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

To send condolences, please visit tharpfuneralhome.com.