After graduating in 1957, attended Phillips University for one year then I transferred to Oklahoma State for the remaining time graduating in 1962 with a bachelors degree in chemistry. In the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity at OSU with Jim Butts, Don Pierce and Tom Sailors. In 1962 I started training at James Connally AFB (Waco) TX as a Navigator. As a navigator I flew the T-29, KC 135 and B-52 aircraft. Applied for pilot training and assigned to Vance AFB, OK. After pilot training I was assigned to the new F-111A at Nellis AFB NV, but when the aircraft was grounded we returned to Vance and flew in the T-38. Next went to Florida to train on the A-1 “Skyraider” with end assignment at Pleiku Vietnam. After one year in Southeast Asia returned to Webb AFB in TX and flew the T-38. At Webb also served as the Executive Officer to the Operations Commander. Next selected to attend school at Maxwell AFB, AL and also completed work on my Masters degree from Auburn University. Next was a move to Sheppard AFB, TX where I was the Director of Stan Eval and a squadron commander. In 1978 we moved to Elmendorf AFB AK and I was the Director of Safety for Alaskan Air Command. I was attached to the 43rd Tactical Fighter Squadron (F-4E and T-33) for flying while stationed in AK. Recall flying several sorties where we could see Russia airspace. In 1981 reassigned to Vance (after pilot instructor training in San Antonio TX) where I flew in the T-37 aircraft again and served as the Deputy Commander for Operations. In 1984 moved to Keesler as a Group commander and later the Wing Vice Commander. In 1988 we moved to Randolph AFB, TX as the Director of Training Programs. Retired from the Air Force in 1991 and went to work for Northrop Grumman as a T-37 simulator instructor pilot at Vance AFB, OK . In 1995 the company changed to LSI, but work stayed the same–in 2005, I converted to the new T-6 Texan II. In January 2016 retired from civil service and started working as a volunteer at Vance AFB in the retired activity office. Married to my wife Sharon since 1961. While in the Air Force, we lived in 25 different homes in 29 years. Sharon took care of our two kids when I was on temporary duty assignment or on a remote overseas assignment. Our son (also and OSU Grad) is an architectural engineer and runs his own business in San Antonio TX area. Our daughter (also and OSU Grad & OU certified legal assistant)) works for the Law Firm in Enid OK.
Some of you may remember me from elementary school, or junior high…..Unfortunately, I have not kept up with any classmates since moving during my Sophomore year from Enid to Great Bend Kansas……In Enid I attended a couple of grade schools (plus a country grade school in the 3rd grade), and both junior high schools (at that time we only had two…you may have more by now)
Jim reached me by phone the evening we returned to Topeka after both Bill’s and my high school 50th reunions. I had not been aware of any communication within our class until then. Such a happy coincidence to have had all 50th reunions on that same weekend.
So I will try to do a quick overview of these last 60+ years….I finished high school in Great Bend and attended Emporia State Teachers College…never really intending to teach… I just wanted to go to a school with my new friends and I did not know much about Kansas colleges….Bill and I met in our freshman year at Emporia and were married 2 years later. We have one daughter and one son…..happily we all ended up coming back to Overland Park/Leawood /Mission Hills, Kansas. Each of our children and their spouses have 4 kids….the last two just now leaving for college in August. It’s been a great ride…
Bill went to work for the Santa Fe Railroad in Emporia and I started out doing ‘babies’. Within 2 years he began to be transferred and I pretty much loved all of it. We lived in Iowa, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, back to Kansas. The Midwest is a very nice place to raise children…in our book!
My job was to do the kids, run our social life and find friends…I jumped right on that assignment!…Along the way in our moves I was a Welcome Wagon Hostess, American Lung Association of Kansas special event fund raiser, Freedom from Smoking non-smoking program…. American Heart Association of Kansas special event fund raiser, Naperville Heritage Society special event fund raiser. I have put on 5K runs, 10K runs, Civil Wars, Cider Days arts and crafts festivals, Nations Fest, a Victorian Christmas & misc. I was a Secretary during 4 Kansas State Legislative sessions (annual 3 month sessions at that time). I used to love politics and I learned a lot with every job/event/activity I ever took part in.
I recently realized I had been too deeply involved in Duplicate Bridge for the last 30 years…since downsizing/rightsizing into our new home a couple of years ago I pretty much gave up bridge and I am making new friends, learning about flowers, going through ‘stuff…..etc. We have been richly blessed with family, good friends and our faith!
I fear I have rambled on way too long…..You may have to shorten this…..