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Serving the Present... Remembering the Past...
Air Force Weather

 


Departures
 January 2021 - Present


Departures from
January 2016-December 2020

January 2011- December 2015

January 2006 - December 2010

 December 2005 and earlier

The obituaries posted below have been submitted by family or friends.  Some notifications only provide the name and year of death and will be posted on the deceased list (for members only) at http://www.airweaassn.org/roster/Losses.pdf

Obituaries are being listed by when they are received and NOT by date.

 

Richard BagbyRichard Caldwell Bagby, Jr. was born on January 22, 1944 to Charlene Snyder Bagby and Richard Caldwell Bagby in Charlotte, N.C. He was preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother, Allen Bagby. Richard is survived by his loving wife, Gail Geiger Bagby, two children, Alyson Taylor Stockton (Gary) and Michael Taylor (Nada), two stepchildren: Sheri Lobach Spivey (Don) and Jill Lobach Atchley (Kevin), and grandchildren: Taylor Atchley, Dustin Atchley (Sarah Mae), Jarod Atchley, Hunter Spivey, Mallory Spivey, and Mason Stockton. Other surviving family include nephew, Rick Bagby (Jennifer), and two nieces Lori Bagby Little, and Leigh Summers Dickenson (Brian). Born and raised in south central North Carolina, Dick Bagby knew he would become a weatherman by the age of 14. His 7th grade science teacher had an enormous impact on his life and helped to set the trajectory of his pursuit of understanding the weather. With the support from his family, his fascination for meteorology grew and before graduation from high school, Dick had worked two summers as a Student Trainee at the Raleigh-Durham Airport weather station. While many of his friends left for in-state colleges and universities, Dick headed south to Florida State University to pursue a degree in meteorology. Shortly after meeting and dating a co-ed named Gail Geiger, he was accepted for a meteorological technician position at the Amundsen-Scott Station, South Pole, Antarctica where he spent a year launching weather balloons and providing surface weather observations for aviation. Upon returning to Tallahassee, Florida, Dick found that FSU had waited; Gail did not. It would be a full 40 years before Dick and Gail would re-unite through Classmates.com, rekindle their friendship and eventually marry. After graduating from FSU with a B.S. in Meteorology, Dick enlisted in the United States Air Force. Second Lieutenant Bagby was assigned to Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois. From there, assignments followed to Korea, Hawaii, the Pentagon, Headquarters, Air Weather Service, command positions in England, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and finally an executive officer position at Air Weather Services’ Global Weather Central at Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska. While in Nebraska, Dick completed an MBA from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. After 21 years of service, three Air Force Commendation Medals, and Four Meritorious Service metals, Major Bagby retired and moved to St. Augustine.   Having enjoyed teaching college math while in Turkey and becoming bored with fishing nearly every day at the beach, Dick applied for a faculty position at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Daytona Beach, Florida. He passed on his passion for weather to thousands of students who now work around the world. These students were not only at the Daytona Beach campus, but also in satellite campuses in Prescott, Arizona and MITRE Corporation in Vienna, Virginia using the emerging technology of virtual classrooms. While at Embry-Riddle, Dick led the effort to establish and undergraduate degree in Applied Meteorology. During his 18 years there, he was an associate professor, chair of the Applied Meteorology department, and finally retired as Professor Emeritus. The Outstanding Graduating Senior in Applied Meteorology Award was named the Bagby Award, in his honor. On December 26, 2004, Dick and Gail married and bought a home in Leesburg, FL. Only nine months later on the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast with a tidal surge of 25-35 feet. Areas east of Waveland, Mississippi bore the brunt of her wind and storm surge. Since the media was focused on the flooding in New Orleans, much of the nation was unaware of the loss and suffering of South Mississippi. Upon their pastor’s return from Biloxi, after leading a small group of volunteers with supplies to try to assist in the clean-up, and after hearing of the great need for more volunteers, Dick and Gail loaded up their RV and were sent by their church, with direction from Florida Baptist Disaster Relief, to Lemoyne Blvd. Baptist Church in Biloxi, MS. The short-term mission trip became a 5-year love affair with the community. During their time at Lemoyne Blvd. Baptist Church over 200 homes were rebuilt, 17 new homes for elderly and disabled were built and over 5000 volunteers from Canada and the U.S. came through the church to help. Dick and Gail eventually moved to the area permanently, due to the amazing friends they had made through this experience. Richard loved to travel. He and Gail went on multiple cruises, a European vacation, served as volunteers at Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center in Ridgecrest, NC, RV travels to Western Canada, the Pacific Coast Highway, and across the U.S. They regularly attended Air Force and high school reunions for both he and Gail. Richard had traveled to many locations around the world, but the final trip back to England for the Fairford Weather Warriors Reunion, at the New Inn, Lechlade Thames was the one he had most looked forward to. He saw many old friends, some that he had not seen for over 40 years. During the trip to England, they traveled with fellow Hurricane Katrina volunteers, Jim and Ruth Huston. Together they toured Yorkshire, Wales, Scotland, the village of Bagby, and the Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) in Newberry. Dick was a packrat and saved EVERYTHING. Upon his passing Gail has found Boy Scout paraphernalia, a notebook of Korean war newspaper clippings he collected in elementary school, notebooks of communications he wrote to those under his command in Turkey, letters from his parents, pottery collected by his mother, and a host of random items that held a special place in his heart. If you ever gave him something, it may still be in a box in their garage. Dick was a sentimental soul, a true gentleman, and was known for his quick wit, smile, and generosity. A friend once said, “Richard doesn’t speak often, but when he does it is either funny or profound.” The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, July 8, 2021, at RIEMANN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 274 Beauvoir Road, Biloxi, with the visitation starting at 9:30 a.m. until time of the service. Burial will follow at Biloxi National Cemetery with full honors.

Dan Gordon Bellue, died on 12 February 2021 in Frisco TX. He was born on 17 December 1944, in New Orleans, LA. He grew up in Arkansas and Michigan and came to Texas to attend Baylor University, where he met his wife and love of his life, Judith Blackwood of Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Baylor with a BS degree in Mathematics and was commissioned into the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. From there he was sent to Texas A&M University to attend the US Air Force Basic Meteorology Training Program. This began a career in the field of meteorology that spanned over 40 years. His daughter, Erin, was born while Dan and Judy were at Texas A&M. From there they moved to England, where he served as a Weather Officer at RAF Wethersfield. While stationed at Wethersfield their son, Kyle, was born. Dan left active duty in the Air Force and returned to the United States to attend graduate school at Texas A&M to complete a Masters of Science degree in Meteorology. Dan maintained his affiliation with the military reserves through the Texas Air National Guard. Upon graduation, Dan took a job with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in New Orleans and worked in Weather Forecast Offices in San Antonio and Fort Worth, as well as the Air Route Traffic Control Center and the Southern Region Headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1984 Dan accepted a job at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake City, Texas providing weather support to the Space Shuttle program. After serving 22 years and 104 Space Shuttle missions, Dan retired from civil service. Dan retired as an Air Force Colonel in the Texas Air National Guard on 17 December 2004. Upon retirement, Dan fulfilled a life-long dream of teaching math and science in a Christian school and taught high school physics at McKinney Christian Academy and aviation meteorology at LeTourneau University. While Dan liked to golf, spend time at the gun range and not complete several woodworking projects in the garage, he loved to give of himself in serving his family, his students, and his local body of believers. Dan is survived by his loving wife, Judy, his daughter, Erin, his son, Kyle, daughter-in-law, Jeannene, granddaughters, Laynie and Addison, his brother John Bellue who lives in West Virginia, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

David Peter Pigors, MSgt.(Ret.), 79, of Hendersonville, North Carolina, passed away on May 6, 2021. He was born in Chicago, Illinois to the late Vincent and Martha Kiser Pigors. He was also preceded in death by his son Anthony; and a brother Robert.

David retired from the United States Air Force as a Master Sergeant after 23 years of service. Upon leaving the service he completed a bachelor’s degree in cartography and then returned to the Air Force as a civilian. He retired for the final time as a weather technical information specialist for the Air Force Combat Climatology Center in Asheville, North Carolina. David was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina after his retirement. He has left a lasting impact on those who knew him throughout his life, travels, and shenanigans.

David is survived by his wife Marilyn; sons, Christopher and William; and daughters, Erin and Megan; as well as seven granddaughters; one grandson; and five great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to DAV (Disabled American Veterans) BY CLICKING HERE, Feeding America BY CLICKING HERE, or your local food bank.

Max J Bokelman, 88, of Cupertino, CA peacefully passed away on January 12, 2021 surrounded by loved ones. Max was born on February 19,1932 to William and Marie (Poppe) Bokelman in the small town of Garrison, Nebraska. After Max graduated from David City high school in 1950 and 2 years working on his family’s farm, Max joined the US Air Force where he worked in the Air Weather Service (AFGWC) and the National Security Agency. After a successful tour in government service, Max pursued a BA degree in accounting at University of Nebraska and later received a master’s degree in management and supervision from Central Michigan University. After graduation, he worked for the US government in the Defense Contract Audit Agency for over 32 and a half years for a total of 36.5 years of service to his country. Max rose through the ranks as an auditor and manager eventually overseeing hundreds of staff across the US West. After retiring from the government, Max was recruited to consult with Coopers and Lybrand and Price Waterhouse. Max also volunteered throughout his life starting in 1962 at the Bethany Lutheran Church where he was deacon and the treasurer. From 1982 – 2015 – Max served as treasurer, auditor and was on the Board of Elders and the Board of Stewardship for Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cupertino. In 1954, Max met Edith Elma Elizabeth Lofdahl at a roller rink in Omaha, Nebreaska. They married on June 24, 1956. Max and Edith went on to have two children, John Frederick Bokelman, MD (wife Beth Rogozinski) and Janet Marie (Bokelman) Thomas (husband Gary Thomas.) They also have three beloved grandchildren, Sloane (Thomas) Feeley (husband Brendan Feeley), Taylor (Thomas) Grimshaw (husband Thomas Grimshaw) and Garrison Thomas. Max was a quiet, hardworking man who prioritized his family and his faith. He put the needs of others before his own and spent his short vacation times traveling to see family or taking a group of his daughter’s middle school aged friends or his son’s boy scout troop camping. He hand built fences and decks for his family and custom made his house’s cabinets and after retirement re-plumbed his whole house. He was creative, kind and industrious and helped family, neighbors and friends with any project that could use his can do attitude and DIY skills. Max touched many lives, teaching neighbor kids how to ride a bike, helping with house projects and even counseling and mentoring a prisoner at San Quentin and helping him get moved to a facility closer to his family. Max had a wry sense of humor and loved to laugh, was an avid hiker and an expert gardener tending to his garden and fruit trees. Max was predeceased in death by his sisters Eleanor (Bokelman) Wolff and Esther (Bokelman) Depue, and brothers Norman Bokelman, Leonard Bokelman and Kenneth Bokelman. Max is survived by his wife Edith and his children and grandchildren and his brothers William Bokelman of Texas, and Herman Bokelman of Florida and his sister Lola (Bokelman) Legget of Southern California. Private services were held at Lima and Capagna Mortuary and graveside at the Gate of Heaven cemetery.

 

Lt Col David S. Lydon, USAF (Ret.), of Colorado Springs, passed away on February 18, 2021, at the age of 84. Dave was born September 10, 1936 in San Diego, California, to Richard and Elizabeth Lydon.
He graduated from San Diego State University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts in Science, Math and Mechanical Engineering. Dave went on to join the U.S. Air Force serving as a meteorologist in the Air Weather Service. His assignments took him to South Korea; Riverside, CA; Berlin, Germany; Big Spring, TX; Washington D.C.; Azores; and Colorado Springs, CO. During his military career he earned his Master of Professional Meteorology from St. Louis University, was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and achieved the rank of Lt Colonel.
Dave was married to Joan Carol Rietesel August 10, 1963, in Chesterton, Indiana. In 1980 Dave and Joan moved their family to Colorado Springs, CO where he retired from the Air Force two years later. He earned his Master of Arts degree in Computer Resource Management from Webster University and worked for Unisys Defense Systems as Senior Systems Test Analyst, and also worked for Hughes STX, and Northrop Grumman in satellite communications and networking. In 2007 he retired. He was a member and deacon of First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, CO since 1982. Dave is survived by his wife Joan (married 57 years); brother Stephen Lydon; son Benjamin Lydon (Paula); daughter Carrie Larson (Joel); daughter Susannah Barnes (Loren); and grandchildren Rosemary, Amanda, Sondra, Christopher, and Matthew. Predeceased was his son Matthew Lydon.
A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church on March 25, 2021. He will rest at Pikes Peak National Cemetery in Colorado Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be mailed to Colorado Springs Downtown Lions Club, 1419 N. Tejon, Colorado Springs CO 80907.

Betty Sue Davis-French, spouse of Col USAF (Ret.) Larry French, 87, of Elizabethtown, KY, passed away peacefully at her home on Thursday, February 11, 2021. Bey Sue was born February 11, 1934 in Vine Grove, KY. At ten years old she accepted Christ as her savior at Vine Grove Methodist Church. At twelve years old, she started playing piano and later the organ for the Vine Grove Baptist Church. She performed as a varsity cheerleader at VGHS all four years. In 1952, she cheered VGHS basketball team for their first and only sweet sixteen tournament. Upon graduation, she received the DAR outstanding student award. In 2019, she was inducted into the North Hardin athletic hall of fame. On her first day at WKU she met her then Junior husband while signing up for classes. They had their first date a year later. They married on Valentines day in 1956 while her husband was in USAF flight school. During their many travels as a military family for thirty years, Bey Sue was an active officers wife and led the officers wives club at several bases. In 1994, they returned home together to Kentucky. Bey Sue was an active member of St. James Catholic Church, a member of DAR, and past president and past district governor for the E-town women's club. She is survived by her husband, Colonel Larry French; her daughter, Suzanne (Shawn) O'Donnell of St. Michaels, Maryland; son-in-law, Kevin Welp of Elizabethtown; and three grandchildren, Kyle O'Donnell of Maryland, Ryan (Kelly) O'Donnell of North Carolina and Jessica Welp of Elizabethtown. She was preceded in death by her parents, Nannie Lewis Davis and Lawrence Davis; her sister, Doris Stovall; and her youngest daughter, Lara Welp. A memorial service will be held at a later date due to Covid-19. In lieu of flowers, the family asks to please donate to hps://hosparushealth.org/donate/ Condolences may be expressed online at www.brownfuneral.com.

http://www.brownfuneral.comGlenn FullerDr. Glenn L. Fuller, Lt Col USAF (Ret.) was born in Middlebury Center, PA 31 August 1930 and passed on 9 February 2021 at his home in Memphis, TN. He had a distinguished career of 25+ years as a Meteorologist in the USAF, retiring as a Lt Col in 1975. He served in two wars—Korea (Weather Reconnaissance) and Vietnam (Deputy Squadron Commander/Operations Officer.) Among his awards was the Distinguish Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Metal, Air Medal with two OLC, the Bronze Star, Korean Service Ribbon w/four OLC, Korean War Service Medal, etc... Returning from Vietnam he taught USAF ROTC at the University of Memphis. After ROTC he was assigned to the Air Force Global Weather Center in Omaha, NE as the Assistant Director of Operations for Communications. After retiring he worked for approximately 15 years at the University of Memphis. Glenn graduated from Omaha Municipal University (BGE), Florida State (BS), and the University of Memphis (MS, Ed.D.) He is survived by his wife Dorothy of 68 years, two sons, Wayne, and Matthew, one daughter Leslie Ann Olswanger, two granddaughters Jennifer and Tara and two sisters who live in Pennsylvania. Glenn and Dorothy were charter members of the Air Weather Association and were members of many professional, military and civic organizations. Donations in Glenn’s memory can be made to the Emmanuel Methodist Church, Parkinson's Foundation, or a charity of choice. Services and memorial information at
https://www.memorialparkfuneralandcemetery.com/obituaries/Glenn-Fuller-2/

 

David smartLt. Col. David Earl Smart (USAF Retired) passed away peacefully February 2, 2021 in Columbus, GA.
David was born August 18, 1935 in Greer, SC. He was the only child of Thurman and Ethel Smart (nee Moody) and grew up in Liberty, SC before moving to Greenwood, SC. He graduated from Greenwood High School in 1953 then enrolled at Clemson Agricultural College (now Clemson University). At the time, Clemson was an all-male military school and this is where he began his long military career. He graduated in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Textile Engineering and one week later on June 9, 1957, David married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Alexander.  After graduation from Clemson, David received his Air Force commission and joined the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant. He and Barbara immediately moved to Texas where he enrolled at Texas A&M receiving a second Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology in 1958. David later attended a continuing education program at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu and eventually earned a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University.  David was a member of the US Air Force Air Weather Service for his entire military career. While stationed in Puerto Rico, David supported the “Hurricane Hunter” team dangerously flying directly into hurricanes to gather critical weather information. In 1968, David served in Thailand and Vietnam as a meteorology officer supporting combat flight operations in a leadership role during the Vietnam War. David was ceremoniously awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious action in Vietnam and was recognized with additional service commendations. After Vietnam, David and his family were stationed in London, England for several years.  After a long and distinguished military career having lived in Texas (twice), New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Alabama (twice), Nebraska, England, Illinois and Georgia, David retired from the Air Force in 1984 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He and his family remained in Columbus, GA where he had served his last military assignment at Fort Benning. His fondness of the mild climate, his close friends in Columbus and finally being near his family roots made the choice of staying in the Southeast and particularly, Columbus, an easy decision.  His working career was not over as he went to work in the private sector in Columbus for Morton Machine Works as a Procurement Manager. He later joined Lummus Supply and then served as Business Manager at St. Paul United Methodist Church before finally deciding to enjoy the remainder of his life in retirement.  David was very active in the Columbus community. He served on the Brookstone Homeowners Association Board and was Secretary of the Columbus Exchange Club for many years. He volunteered as an usher at both St. Paul United Methodist and St. Luke United Methodist Churches. In addition, he found time to volunteer as a golf cart driver at Martin Army Hospital, Fort Benning helping patients and visitors get from their cars to the front door. David was also one of the founding members of the Chattahoochee Valley Clemson Club where he loved spending time with the Clemson football coaching staff when they visited the Columbus area. He and Barbara enjoyed attending shows at the Springer Opera House and River Center, cheering on the Clemson football team at games in Death Valley and watching their two grandsons participate in sporting and school events in the Atlanta area.  He and Barbara loved to travel the world on ocean and river cruises. In addition to visiting such places as Russia and Israel, David was particularly fond of riding camels in Egypt. Throughout his life, he stepped foot on every continent except Antarctica. As their world travels slowed down, they made up for it enjoying retirement at Spring Harbor in Columbus where they participated in many social activities and had a tremendous group of friends.   David was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. He proudly served our country and was a man of great Christian faith. We will miss him always.  He was proceeded in death by his parents and by his loving wife of 63 years, Barbara Smart. His death followed hers by only 11 days and we are comforted by knowing they are together eternally.  He is survived by his son, Tony Smart and his wife Susie of Suwanee, GA; his daughter Lisa Walker and her husband Richard of Roswell, GA; his grandsons Michael Smart and Evan Smart of Suwanee, GA; his sister-in-law Betty Avery and brother-in-law Frank Alexander of Clinton, SC; his niece Kim Windsor and four nephews Greg, Kevin, Tim and Todd Alexander all of Clinton, SC.  A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 10:00 AM Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 4071 Macon Road, Columbus, GA 31907. David will have a private burial with full military honors at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org).

Raymond A. “Buzz” Kandler, LtCol USAF (Ret.), 73, of New Baden, IL born Sept. 22, 1947 in Milwaukee, WI died, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021 at his home. He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church and a mentor of the Robo Raiders FTC 7129 in Mascoutah, IL. Buzz was part of many horseshoe leagues and was an avid St. Louis Cardinals and Green Bay Packers fan. He was extremely proud to attend the Ice Bowl at Lambeau Field in 1967. He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond H. and Edith, nee Fossum, Kandler. He is survived by his wife, Susan, nee Reisner, Kandler who he married in Cecil, WI on June 15, 1969; a son, Kyle (Josephine) Kandler of New Baden, IL; two daughters, Karen Lea (Eric) Saemann of Deerfield, WI, Kelly Kandler of New York, NY; seven grandchildren, Randy (Sally) Arcega, Jinky Arcega, Mark (Gladys) Arcega, Jose (Chantell) Arcega, Kricia (Raphael Cruz) Kandler; Geoffrey and Meghan Saemann; eight great grandchildren, Geross, Ian, Nia, Quinton, Zander, Madison, Hayden, and Maddux Arcega; three sisters, Kathy Johnson of Green Bay, WI, Kristen Berken of Madison, WI, and Judy Steffens of Green Bay, WI; also survived by numerous, nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church, 101 S. Railway St., Mascoutah, IL 62258. Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting mollfuneralhome.com. Visitation: From 5 to 8 PM Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 at Moll Funeral Home in Mascoutah, IL and from 9:30 to 10:30 AM Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 2021 at Zion Lutheran Church, Mascoutah, IL. COVID-19 restrictions will be followed, face coverings required, and social distancing, with a limited number of visitors in the funeral home and church at any time. A funeral service will be held 10:30 AM on Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 2021 at Zion Lutheran Church with Pastor Kirk Clayton officiating. Burial with military honors will follow in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.

James R. Raudy, Capt USAF (Ret.), 77, passed away on January 21, 2021 at UCI Hospital, Orange, CA, with family at his bedside. He was born in the Portland, OR area on November 25, 1943, the son of John B. and Veldna E. (Hill) Raudy. James graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, Class of 1961. He served as a meteorologist in the USAF and retired as a Captain. He entered the military as an enlisted man and his brother, John H. Raudy, Lt. Col., US Army, swore him in as a 2nd Lt. While in the military, he met and married his sweetheart, Sally Jennings, and they eventually settled in Vacaville, CA. They met in a bowling alley in England and shared their love of the sport throughout their lives. After retiring from the military, Jim secured a position as a staff meteorologist for the State of California and retired after serving for over 20 years. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his spouse, Sally, and his brother, John. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Grace E. (Crozat) Raudy; nephews, Daniel R. and John H. Raudy; niece, Laurie A. (Raudy) Meredith; sister-in-law, Ann Stewart; brother-in-law, Bob Stewart; nephew, Daren M. Stewart; and his beloved poodle, Biscuit. Per his request, no services will be held. In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations can be made to your local Humane Society.

Albert W. Starbird, 97, died at home in Solon, ME, Jan. 2, 2021. He was born in Skowhegan Nov. 4, 1923., the only child of Elwyn and Nellie Brophy Starbird. Al is survived by Lois, his wife of 71 years; his son David A. of Solon, and his wife, Cathie, his daughter Barbara A. of Solon, his daughter Karen L. of Dunstable, Mass., and his son, Alan D. of Dunstable, Mass. and his wife, Patti. Al is also survived by seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. After graduating from Solon High School in 1941, Al attended the University of Maine for one semester before joining the United States Army Air Corps 15th Weather Squadron, where he was a weather observer in New Guinea (WWII Pacific Theater from 1943 to 1946). Despite contracting malaria, Al returned to the University of Maine in 1946, receiving a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1949. He also took courses in Business Administration and Forestry. Al continued his engineering education in the ’60s and ’70s and received his M.S. in Engineering Management from Northeastern University, Mass in 1971. While attending the University of Maine, Al met Lois Deering of Denmark. They were married on June 18, 1949 in Orono. Following his graduation, Al worked at the family lumber mill in Solon. In 1952, he left Solon Lumber Company for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in Connecticut. He worked there for seven years, mostly in the area of nuclear powered aircraft. From 1959 to 1982, Al worked for Technical Operations in Burlington, Mass., the Datametrics Division of CGS Scientific Corp in Watertown, Mass., and Littleton Research and Engineering Corp in Littleton, Mass. During that time, he worked in numerous fields including nuclear shielding, vibrations analysis and ship superstructure analysis. In 1982, Al moved back to Solon, returned to the Maine woods, and established Starbird Timberlands. Al’s main interests were in the outdoors. He hunted and fished from an early age and played baseball in high school and college. A promising college baseball pitching career was limited due to the malaria he acquired during his military service. He had the unique experience of being hit by lightning twice. Albert returned to Solon from years in engineering and spent his last years as he began them – involved with the Maine woods. After returning to Solon, he loved snowmobiling and ATV riding, “to keep an eye on things in the woods and fields.” He was able to do this into his mid-90s. Al was active in many organizations and town offices. He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Mechanical Engineering Society, the Air Weather Association and the 15WS and 20WS Alumni Association where he enjoyed attending the reunions. He was a Mason and a member of Keystone Lodge of Solon, Royal Arch Chapter, Commandry, a member of the Aleppo Shrine in Massachusetts, and the Kora Shrine in Maine. Al was on the Solon Planning Board and the Solon Budget Committee. He was a charter member and treasurer of the Solon Historical Society and an active member of the Solon Snowhawks Snowmobile Club. Al was member of the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway Committee, which was instrumental in developing the scenic rest area on Robbins Hill. A memorial service and burial will take place in Solon sometime in the spring. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Giberson Funeral Home and Cremation Services. To leave a condolence for the family and to view the online obituary, please visit http://www.gibersonfuneralhome.com. Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children at website: https://donate.lovetotherescue.org

Susan WaldenSusan M. (Bon) Walden, 72 of Williamsburg Virginia, passed away Tuesday, January 19, 2021. The daughter of George Bon and Helen (Wiederhold) Bon, she was born in Syracuse, New York on April 13, 1948.
Sue graduated from Fayetteville Manlius High School in the Class of 1966. Enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1969 and stationed in Omaha, Nebraska, she met Steve Walden and they were married. Their son was born in 1971 when Sue received her discharge and followed her husband to assignments across the country. In 1983, they returned to Omaha, where their son Christopher was kidnapped and killed. The Air Force suggested moving out of the Omaha area and sent them to Langley AFB in Hampton, Virginia. Sue was active with the Officer Wives’ clubs during their active-duty days. She was elected to the OWC boards a total of six times on three different bases.

After Steve retired, Sue took a variety of jobs on the Virginia peninsula. She also continued her charitable endeavors and was on the board of Sentara Hospital Auxiliary. She enjoyed playing tennis, bowling, Mahjong and playing with her fur babies.

Sue was preceded in death by her mother, father and her son, Christopher. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Steve.

In trying to protect those who are vulnerable during this time, there will be no funeral or memorial service in Virginia. Interment will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St Louis, MO in the near future.

Rich VogtRetired Colonel Richard J Vogt passed away January 8, 2021 due to the COVID-19 virus.  He was born on March 31, 1945 to Herb & Ella Vogt in Elk City OK. He grew up in Corn, Oklahoma and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Chemistry from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He earned his Master of Science degree in Meteorology from Texas A&M University.  Colonel (Retired) Vogt was a decorated US Air Force veteran who spent more than 25 years committed to the service of his country. He was a meteorologist and his career included executive level experience as a colonel in a variety of key leadership positions. He served in diverse locations throughout the United States as well as overseas in Korea, Japan and Germany. His duty assignments included war zones in Vietnam and Iraq. He received numerous military awards, including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal.  Following his Air Force career, he served in the federal civil service for 21 years as Deputy Director and Director of US Nexrad Radar Operations Center (ROC) in Norman, OK.  In his retirement he volunteered at the Weatherford Food & Resource Center. He was active in his faith and sang in the chancel choir and served on the Board of Trustees at First United Methodist Church.  Those left to cherish Richard’s memory include Cheryl, his wife of 55 years, his daughters Corinne Hipps (Daniel) of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Kelly Poarch (Scott) of Frisco, Texas. Grandchildren Max, Sam and Taylor. Sisters Mary Anne Couch and Karol Dillard (Charles) of Weatherford. He had numerous loved nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.  He was a humble, soft spoken, reserved and hard-working man. He cherished his entire family and adored his grandchildren.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Weatherford Food & Resource Center, 122 S. 8th Street, Weatherford OK 73096. 

Further information at:  https://www.lockstonefuneralhome.com/obituary/richard-vogt

 



Ralph Dempsey Crago,(LtCol. Ret) 96, of Swansea, Illinois, born Saturday, September 15, 1923 in Chillicothe, Ohio, peacefully entered his heavenly home on Friday, July 3, 2020 at home in Swansea. He was the son of Arthur H. Crago and Carrie B. nee Dempsey of Chillicothe, Ohio. He had a long, happy marriage of 63 years to Edith Mae McKean from Warren, Ohio. Ralph was a veteran of three wars, WWII, Korea, & Viet Nam. He served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps and later in the United States Air Force. He remained in the Reserves after WWII and when called back to serve during Korea, he decided to become a career officer in the USAF.  He spent his Air Force career in Air Weather Service serving at Shemya AFB, Alaska; Nashville & Knoxville Tennessee; Anderson AFB, Guam; Offutt AFB, Nebraska; USAFE headquarters, Wiesbaden, Germany; and Scott AFB, Illinois.  While stationed on Guam, a major part of his job was to fly WB-50's into typhoons to gather weather data, many times flying home on a "wing and a prayer". He retired in 1968 as a Lieutenant Colonel. After his military career, he was employed as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the State of Missouri for 17 years. Ralph was a graduate of Centralia High School in Chillicothe, Ohio. He was the last surviving graduate of the Class of 1941. He attended The Ohio State University for 3 1/2 years when he was called back to serve during Korea. He completed his Bachelors in Mathematics at Maryville College in Tennessee and later received a Masters in Guidance Counseling from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He was a life-long Methodist and a member of Union United Methodist Church in Belleville, IL. He served alongside his wife as Sunday School superintendent and Youth group leader in multiple churches and was active on many Boards and committees within the church. He was a member of the American Legion, VFW, and Retired Officer's Association. Ralph was a farm-boy at heart, an avid reader, rarely missed an Ohio State football game, and loved being with his family. Though very quiet in nature, even until his last days, he was quick to provide sage advice to his sister, children, and grandchildren. One of his Air Force ER's stated that "when Ralph speaks you better listen." He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and his brother, Arthur Gene Crago. He is survived by his sister, June C. Ginther of Chillicothe, Ohio; his children: Carrie D. Crago of Swansea, Illinois, and Ralph D. (Jill) Crago, Jr. of Gilbert, Arizona; his grandchildren: Claire, William, Vincent, Emily, Libbi, and Shaelani Crago and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorials, In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Union United Methodist Church - Music Ministry, or the Wounded Warrior Project. Visitation: Friends may call from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, July 13, 2020 at Kurrus Funeral Home in Belleville, Illinois. Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, July 13, 2020 at Kurrus Funeral Home with Rev. Dennis D. Price officiating. Interment will be held at Grandview Cemetery in Chillicothe, Ohio on Thursday, July 16, 2020.

 

 

 

 

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