Thomas H. Lipscomb, 94, a retired Army major general and former director of the Delaware River Port Authority, died recently of heart failure at the Evergreens, a retirement home in Moorestown. His wife of 62 years, Louise Heiss Lipscomb, had died three weeks earlier.
A native of Mississippi, Mr. Lipscomb graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was a member of the fencing and track teams. He then served in Army posts in the South and in California and earned a master's degree from Cornell University in civil engineering. During World War II he trained troops in the states until December 1944, when he took command of an engineers combat group in Europe.
After the war, he was in charge of Army construction projects in the Arctic, Korea and Japan, and he trained engineers in the Turkish Army. During the Vietnam War he was in command of training facility for draftees in Missouri.
In 1968, he retired from the Army and became director of the Delaware River Port Authority. A year after his appointment, the Port Authority began running the Lindenwold line from New Jersey across the Ben Franklin Bridge to Philadelphia and began construction on the Betsy Ross and Commodore Barry Bridges. In 1970, in a promotional effort to increase shipping on the Delaware, the Port Authority underwrote a Philadelphia Orchestra European tour.
When his contract was up in 1971, Mr. Lipscomb, described by a reporter as "flinty" and "no-nonsense," said he hoped that his successor would not be a "political stooge." His replacement was, in fact, another retired Army general, William W. Watkin Jr.
From 1971 to 1974, Mr. Lipscomb was director of the Southeast Michigan Transit Authority in Detroit.
He then returned to his home in Haddonfield and for the next 20 years worked for Wagner, Hohns, Inglis Construction Consultants. His projects included the development of a regional rapid transit system in San Diego; improvements to ports in Alaska; flood control in Honolulu; and the repair of a dam in Denver.
Mr. Lipscomb died Nov. 14. He is survived by a son, Thomas; daughters Margaret and Jane; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be observed at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point at a future date.