Passings - 2008

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Arthur Edward Hillier, 88, died Dec. 12, 2008 in Portola Valley, CA in the home he built and loved. Born in Ogden, Utah, he grew up in Salt Lake City. He learned to fly in the Army Air Corps, where he later served as a glider instructor during World War II. He was hired by Pan American World Airways, where he first flew the China Clippers out of Treasure Island. He finished his aviation career 38 years later as a 747 check captain at SFO. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, four children and their spouces, and 3 grandchildren.

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Jack Hunderford passed away July 24, 2008 at the young age of 92. He was born November 2, 1915 in Vallejo, CA. Jack's Pan Am career spanned 32 years and he had the good fortune to spend an additional 32 years in retirement in Incline Village, NV. He was a great person to fly with and the crew members enjoyed his zany sense of humor. He will be missed by all who knew him. (nm)

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David F. Edgerly - Dave died on October 28, 2008. He was riding as a passenger in a bi-wing acrobatic homebuilt when it crashed near his home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dave flew 87 combat missions in Vietnam and flew with Pan Am from 1966 to 1991. After retirement, Dave was the commander of the Civil Air Patrol's Wasatch Squadron in Salt Lake City. He also skied with the PAA ski team for most of his career.

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Thomas Bramlett McGahey, Jr., 85, died December 28, 2008 at Florida Presbyterian Homes of cancer. He was born on December 12, 1923 in Miami to Thomas Bramlett and Maude (Willard) McGahey. Mr. McGahey proudly served his country during World War II in the US Army Corp and with Pan American Airlines. After the war, Mr. McGahey worked in the family business, McGahey Chrysler Plymouth Motor Company of Miami. He retired as a bank officer from City National Bank of Coral Gables. Tom had a life-long love of competitive sailing. He was a former member of Coral Reef Yacht Club, where he served as a past Commodore.

Tom flew the Clippers out of Dinner Key and was a Boeing 307 Captain. Tom's logbook today rests in Boeing's rebuilt 307, now museum preserved. Tom left PAA in 1947 to join his brothers in their Chrysler Plymouth dealerships in Miami, Fla. His son, Tom Jr. is a FedEx Captain.

Tom is preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Mary Moore McGahey. He is survived by his daughter Melinda Lytton (Bill) of Madison, MS; sons, Thomas B. McGahey III (Kathleen) of Palm Coast, FL, and Willard M. McGahey (JoAnne) of Bostwick, FL; eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Burial will be in Miami.

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Donald F. Robbins passed away on Dec. 5, 2008 in Franklin, North Carolina at the age of 94. In his youth, Donald "Doc" Robbins developed a love of flying. Me. was an instructor at Embry-Riddle Aviation Co., and also served as a flight surgeon where he received the nickname "Doc." He signed on with Pan Am as a co-pilot on a DC-3, became a crew member on Pan Am's Boeing 307s, and subsequently piloted every plan Pan Am owned, all the way up to the Boeing 747, which was introduced in 1974. He was one of Pan Am's most senior captains and was rated by the airline as a Master Ocean Pilot. He was actively involved in Boy Scouts, and positively influenced the lives of many people.

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Marilynn{Lynn} Neff, wife of Captain Henry Neff, passed away October 16,2008. Her 84th was to be on the 22nd. Death occurred due to chemo and radiation for colon cancer. Lynn was a graduate from the University of Wisconsin and an avid Badger fan. She was hired by Pan Am as a FA trainee. Lynn and other members of her class were sent in December 1946 to Pan Am's new base at Houston, TX. Lynn and Henry were crew mates on many flights and were married May 1.1948. She is survived by Captain and Mrs D.T. Neff {American Airlines}. Tamra Neff Taylor and two grandchildren, Bailey and Michel Taylor.

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Wally Kean passed away November 11th 2008 approxemately 1 month after being diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. He flew out of Seattle, San Fransisco and Los Angeles, a total of 32 years.

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Martin Richard Haymond was born in West Palm Beach, FL during the great hurricane of 1935. His parents were the late Luther and Clara Haymond. At twenty years of age, he married his sweetheart, Joy. They had four children together, and Martin proved to be a caring and devoted father. When his boys became boy scouts, he involved himself by becoming a boy scout leader. He enjoyed traveling and boating and hiking with his family, among many other activities.

Martin learned to fly in the Navy, becoming skilled at taking off from and landing on aircraft carriers. He continued to serve his country in the Navy reserves while he went on to have a long career as an airline pilot; more than thirty years with Pan American (until they collapsed), and ten years with United Airlines.

Martin always strived to be faithful to God. He served many ways in the church, from teaching to building and maintenance work. He was a loved and respected member of Key Largo Baptist Temple in Key Largo, FL and Antioch Baptist Church in Waynesville, NC. He also was a Gideon, dedicating himself to the spread of God’s Word.

Since his retirement, Martin and Joy have been busier than ever building a nonprofit Christian family camp in Waynesville, NC. It is called Mountain Top Experience. This endeavor has come from a lifelong desire to help families draw closer to each other and to God.

Martin leaves behind his wife of fifty-three years, Joy Haymond; two sons, Lee Haymond and spouse Cynthia Johnson, and Ben Haymond and his wife Anne; two daughters, Laura Bell and her husband Bobby, and Holly Turner and her husband Jeff; eight grandchildren, Shannon, Matthew, Missy and Hannah Bell, Nathan and Justin Haymond, and Lindsey and Nicholas Turner; and two great-grandchildren, Rhiannon Bell and Kylie Bell-Hinnant. He is also survived by his sister, Gladys Moschera, and two brothers, Gordon and Ken Haymond.

He is loved and sorely missed by a great number of friends and family; but we know we can celebrate the start of his new and exciting life with the Lord. (M)

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Robert Dorflinger Beilman, 98, died Dec. 1, 2008, at Indian River Medical Center, Vero Beach. He was born in White Mills, Pa., and lived in Vero Beach for six years, coming from Coral Gables. He was a pilot with Pan American World Airways for 26 years. He was of the Catholic faith. Survivors include his daughters, Roberta Francesconi of Winter Garden and Marina Wright Adams of New York City; stepsons, James Bernard Kilgore of Princeton, N.J., and John Harvey Kilgore of New York City; stepdaughter, Kathryn Kilgore of Key West; sister, Rita Croos of Port Jervis, N.Y.; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Louise Beilman. SERVICES: A memorial service will be at a later date. Arrangements are by Strunk Funeral Home and Crematory Vero Beach. (M)

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On September 23, 2008 Don and Judy Stubbs died in an auto accident. Don and Judy were driving on an Interstate near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on their way home to Scottsdale, AZ. Witnesses said that their vehicle was traveling in the slow lane and veered toward the fast lane and then corrected back to the slow lane. A few seconds later, their vehicle turned sharply left, crossed the fast lane, went across the median, across the two oncoming lanes of traffic, never hitting any oncoming vehicles and crashed into a bridge abutment, killing them both instantly. The coroner's investigation revealed that he was about 98% certain that Don had had a heart attack. Witnesses stated that they never saw any brake lights come on. It was concluded that Don probably had the cruise control set.

Don and Judy were both 65 years old and had known each other since high school days. (N)

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Holland "Dutch" Redfield 1916-2008

"The Final Touchdown"

During a lifetime in aviation, I have experienced only one forced landing. It was not difficult. The dead-stick glide began at three thousand feet. There were several suitable fields from which to choose. Things worked out nicely. Yet I know that I have one more forced landing lurking and waiting for me out there. I believe that at this stage of my life, I am ready for it. Perhaps there will be warning, maybe not.

Will there be time for me to plan a good approach to this final touchdown? Will it be a hasty no power, no options, straight ahead steep descent to a walloping hard touchdown? Or will it be a soft afternoon peaceful glide? More >>>

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John A. Steele passed away on Sept. 28, 2008. he would have turned 88 on Dec. 7th. His career included flying for the FAA as an air carrier inspector, for Southern Airlines, then joined Pan Am where he flew 707s and 747s. After retirement, he was hired by Pan Am Academy in Miami to train pilots from all over the world.

John SteeleFrom aviatorspost.org:

Veteran combat pilot, World War II and Korean conflict Commander—and model airplane buff— John Steele is a Command Pilot with 6000+ flight hours.

Winning first prize in a model airplane contest in 1938 launched Colonel Steele's flying career. The prize was a pilot training course in a J-2 Cub at McCormick Field, Staten Island, NY. Eventually, he earned his private pilot license.

He entered the Army Air Force In April 1941as a Flying Cadet. After completing Primary flight training at Jackson, MS (Stearman PT-17), Basic at Gunter Field, AL (Vultee Valiant BT-13), and Advanced at Barksdale Field, LA (Beechcraft AT-7, Cessna AT-8, Martin B-10, Douglas B-18, Lockheed A-28), he received his pilot wings and, on his 21st birthday—December 7,1941— was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant.

While serving as a B-24 Instructor Pilot at Davis Monthan AB, AZ in 1942, he was named Commander of the 716th Bombardment Squadron and was soon deployed to the 15th Air Force in Italy. He flew 50 combat missions over Germany, Austria, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Poland and Hungary including six missions to the Ploesti oil refineries—one of the most heavily defended targets of World War II.

Colonel Steele completed the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, KS in 1945. He joined the New York Air National Guard the following year and was appointed Commander of the 106th Bomb Group (B-26) at Floyd Bennett Field, NY. During the Korean conflict, he was Deputy Commander of the 106th Bomb Wing (B-29) at March AFB, CA. He later transferred to the Fifth Air Force at Yokota AB, Japan, where he was Commander of an Air Refueling squadron (KB-29 and KB-50) which pioneered the Probe and Drogue refueling system, now used by all services.

Colonel Steele retired in 1961; he is a Command Pilot with more than 6000 flying hours. He then joined the Federal Aviation Administration as an Air Carrier Operations Inspector and Airman Certification Specialist. He joined Pan American World Airways in 1966 as a Flight Instructor and check pilot. He retired from Pan Am in 1981 as a Boeing 747 Check Captain with 26,000 flying hours. Presently, he is a consultant for the Pan American International Flight Academy in Miami, FL, which trains Boeing 747 pilots and flight engineers of U. S. and foreign airlines and military forces. (n)

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Warner Bobbitt (Dub) Lyle - Nov. 27, 1920 - Nov. 14, 2008 Dub was born on Nov. 27, 1920, in Wichita Falls, Texas, to James Warner and Winnie (Bobbitt) Lyle. He spent his childhood there with his brother Bill and sisters Dorothea and Bonnie. While he was 19 and attending Midwestern University, a teacher mentioned that he knew a man who gave flying lessons. The comment would lead to "the best decision of my life" as Dub began a 39-year career as a pilot with Pan American World Airways. It would also introduce him to a petite Pan Am stewardess who would later become his wife of 61-years, Mary Thomas. In 1942, Dub began his journey as a commercial aviation pioneer handling the bowlines on Pan Am 314 Seaplanes worldwide. Hired at the same time were a half-dozen fellow Texans who would accompany Dub on his journey with Pan Am and remain life-long friends. Mary and Dub wed in 1947 and started their family of three children: Kathy, Patti, and Jim. In 1950, Dub was transferred from Miami to Seattle's Boeing Field, enabling Mary to settle the family in her hometown of Tacoma. Five years later a promotion to captain led the family to Long Island, New York. In 1963, Dub became a senior captain of Pan Am's new 747 jumbo jet, and the family returned to the Tacoma area and their beach house on Minter Creek, Gig Harbor. Dub retired from Pan Am in 1980 and spent the next 28 years enjoying life at Minter Creek, traveling the world as a tourist, attending annual conferences with his retired Clipper Pioneer colleagues, and playing golf and gin rummy with his friends at Tacoma Country and Golf Club. He is survived by his wife, Mary; children Kathy Lyle, Patti and her husband James Christenson, and Jim Lyle; grandchildren Emy Lyle, Kellie Christenson, and Eric Christenson with his wife Julie, and great-granddaughter Melissa. The family wishes to extend their appreciation to the staff at Manor Care for their care and support during the final months. At Dub's request, no services will be held.(M)

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ROBERT (BOB) C. HOWARD - Redmond, WA - CLIPPER PIONEERS MEMBER. Bob, passed away peacefully at the age of 98 years on November 10, 2008 in Bellevue, WA. Bob retired from PAA on September 29, 1970 after 37 years of service. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Eleanor (Ellen), a son, Glen and a daughter, Caroline, plus four grandchildren. (M)

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FEO Don Sheehan on November 11, 2008, from a stroke. He was 2 weeks shy of his 80th birthday. He transferred to UAL a number of years ago and retired there. (NM)

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Dock R. Lee, Flight Engineer, died of cancer on November 7, 2008 at age 95. After eight years in the Marine Corps Dock joined Pan Am in 1940. He retired in 1973. His career spanned the B-314 seaplanes into the Boeing 747 era.. While assigned to the B-377 Stratocruiser and later the DC-7C Dock was instrumental in developing highly successful training programs for flight engineers..He is fondly remembered by those who worked under his ever-watchful eye. Dock is survived by a brother, Robert E. Lee, who was also a Pan Am flight engineer.(M)

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Paul Chorbajian of Lloyd Neck, NY, passed away July 22, 2008 after a long illness. He was 88.
Paul began his career in aeronautics in 1939 as an engine mechanic. In 1943 he was hired by American Export Airlines as a Flight Engineer. In 1945, American Export Airlines became American Overseas Airlines (AOA), which was then sold to Pan Am in September 1950. From 1950, until his retirement in January 1985, Paul flew many aircraft, ending his career on the 747.

Paul also spent his entire airline tenure involved with the F.E.I.A., serving 20 years as F.E.I.A. President and 9 years as Vice President, often acting as negotiator, arbitrator and mediator, skills he would continue to use long after his retirement from Pan Am.
Paul had a great sense of humor, thirst for knowledge and love of flying. He was known to have said on many occasions, “How lucky am I that I’m doing the one thing (flying) I absolutely love to do. And, they pay me to do it!”

The National Mediation Board (NMB) recruited Paul in February 1985 as a mediator of railroads and airline carrier labor disputes in the Northeast region. He retired in January 1997.
Paul is survived by his wife of 56 years, May a former Pam Am Stewardess, his seven children, Carol, Judy, Paul, MaryEtta, Peter, Philip and Annie, his twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. We miss you…(M)

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John Buren 77 of Williamsburg and Princeville, Hawaii died Wednesday, November 5, 2008.

He was born in Tacoma, Washington and lived in Williamsburg for 33 years. He was a member of Christ Memorial Episcopal Church in Kilauea, Hawaii.

Mr. Buren graduated from Stanford University where he was a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity, played on the golf team, and was a member of the Magnolia Athletic Club.

After college graduation, he became an officer in the United States Marine Corp, and was designated Naval Aviator in May 1955. He bravely defended his country in Laguna Beach, California where he was a jet fighter pilot.

Mr. Buren was a retired airline pilot. He flew 25 years for Pan American World Airways and 51/2 years for United Airlines. During his career, he was part of the Internal German Service for Pan American based in Berlin, West Germany.

He is survived by his wife Nona; daughter Deborah and Don Wilson; son Michael Burren; three grandsons Lane Wilson, Johnathan and Jarod Buren and three step-children and grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 7, 2008 at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the Lackey Free Clinic at 1620 Old Williamsburg Road, Yorktown, VA 23690.

Nelsen Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements. On-line condolences may be registered at www.nelsencares.com. (M)

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RONALD H. WEAVER, of Coral Gables, FL, passed away on Friday, October 10, 2008.He was born February 1, 1942, in Rutland, VT, the son of Claude & Helen Weaver. He began his lifelong career as a pilot in 1966 with Pan American World Airways, where he achieved the rank of captain.

He worked for Pan Am for 25 years until 1991 and continued flying for Delta Airlines, as a captain, until his retirement in 2002. Throughout his life, he was an avid traveler and enjoyed fishing. Mr. Weaver is survived by his wife Ann Quinn Weaver, brother Rick Weaver and sister-in-law Mani Weaver. He also is survived by an uncle, aunts, nieces and nephews.

A mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 17, 2008, at Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that any donations be made to Cross Catholic Outreach Projects #0122 or #0130, which support children's education around the world, by calling 800-394-8545. (NM)

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Charlie H. Stewart passed away at his home in Poway, CA on Sept. 13, 2008, at the age of 83. Charlie joined the Navy as a teenager and was an aerial gunner on a Douglas SBD dive bomber in WWII. He joined the Air Force in the late 40's and flew as a pilot on B29s in the Korean War, flying 10 missions. He joined Pan Am in January, 1956. Being furloughed for four years, he flew as a Captain for JAL and , after being recalled to Pan Am, climbed the seniority list to Captain on the B707 and B747. He is survived by his wife, Richie, three daughters, and five granddaugters. A grandaughter predeceased Charlie. (NM