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Passings 2010 -Return to "In Memory Of..."

Robert PiperRobert Piper passed away peacefully from this world on December 31st in the early evening. At his side were his wife and caregiver Karen, and his beloved dogs, Alphie, Spanky and Sobie. He amazed us all and hung in there for his 80th birthday and Christmas, and had us laughing many a time. Robert was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 14, 1930. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 for four years, and left as a flight engineer on the B-29. He followed his childhood dreams of flying, and retired as a 747 Captain with Pan American World Airways after 34 years. Bob and his family moved from New York, to California, and resided in Pacifica. READ MORE>>>

Alan N. Lobeck, 91, loving husband, father, grandfather and friend, passed away Friday, Dec. 31, 2010. Al Lobeck was a Pan Am pilot in Miami until his retirement. Lived in the Homestead / Redland area. More>>>

Bill CarpenterBill Carpenter recently passed away peacefully on January 5, 2011, at the age of 91, to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His family and friends knew him as Jiggs. His first and only job (other than a trveling circus during high school) was with Pan American World Airways from 1941 to 1991, the year of their dissolution. Read more >>>

Bob Sopjes died in October 2010. He was based in SFO. No further information is available.

Leonard Goodman (1916-2010).  After service in the army in Alaska during World War II, Leonard Goodman joined Pan American World Airways as a pilot.  He flew first out of San Francisco, then Frankfurt a. M. in Germany, and finally, as Captain, New York.  In his last working years he flew 747s. He retired in 1976 after 30 years of service to Pan American and moved to Georgia in 1979. 

Peter Sakellarides, known to many as "Pete the Greek" passed away on Nov. 8, 2010 at the age of 88. Pete was sworn into the U.S. Naval Reserves and assigned to Pan American Airways Naval Facility at LaGuardia after the end of World War II. He later joined Pan Am at JFK and then at Miami Airport. During his 34 years of service to Pan Am, he lived and worked in many countries around the world, retiring from Pan Am in September 1977, and then spent the next 25 years travelling around the world over 40 times. Pete cherished the friendships he had made all over the world. He had a rich and full life surrounded by the love of his family and friends.

Blake W. Hirsh passed away on 11/29/2010. All those who flew with him admired him. His legacy, aside from love for his large family, is the service and devotion to the welfare of his fellow pilots. He was a M.E.C. chairman.

Captain Fielding Clayton died on 27 Oct, 2010. He was with Pam Am from 1948 until 1979, and last resided in Ft. Worth, TX, flying both Atlantic and Pacific routes. His widow, Betty still is in Ft Worth.

Marvin F. Dixon passed away at age 86 on Oct. 21, 2010. He served as a fighter pilot during World War II for the US Navy, retiring as a lieutenant. He served as a pilot for Pan-Am for many years, retiring in 1979. He and his wife Shirley were members of the Shiloh United Methodist Church near Wright City, MO.

Ruth V. Hirsh, beloved wife of Blake W. Hirsh, a former 747 Captain based in SFO and SEA, passed away on Oct. 25, 2010. More here>>>

James D. "Dick" Condon passed away on October 11, 2010. Dick was part of the group assigned to Frankfurt in 1960 and he returned to SFO as a 1st officer in 1966 +/- out of BER.

Jack L. Ditzel - former Chief Pilot in Berlin, passed away in Concord, CA. Jack was a true Pan Am soldier who served his fellow airmen very well for many years both as an ALPA Rep and a Chief Pilot. Born 12/16/1936 in Dayton, OH, his final flight west October 28, 2010. Jack is survived by his devoted and loving wife Ami, his 6 children: He was based in San Francisco and later in Berlin, Germany, where he was the Chief Pilot for Pan Am until the Wall came down, a total of 27 years. Thereafter, he flew for Delta Air Lines until his retirement in 1996. He will be missed dearly. Read his obit here>>>

Captain Robert Eugene Bogle passed away on Nov. 1, 2010 in The Villages, FL. He flew for National and Pan Am and eventually retired from United Airlines 1989. Read his obit here >>>

Hakon "Whitey" Rosenquist, passed away on October 9, 2010. Hakon joined Pan Am in 1940. After a stint of 10 months in Fish Lake, Africa, he became a Pan Am flight engineer in 1942. He will be missed.

Jack Omohundro passed away in Louisiana. Further details when available.

William Lincoln (Bill, Willy, Chief and W.W.) died quietly on September 22, 2010. He was born of Alva and Anna Marie Lincoln on April 16, 1916, and lived on their homestead ranch in Ravendale, Lassen County. 

With a reputation of being able to fix anything, he and his buddies built their own airplane, had the privilege of servicing Amelia Earhart’s airplane, and proved a chicken could fly.

Upon graduation in 1937, Willy was hired by Pan American Airways and sent to New Caledonia. Later, he was transferred to Midway Island and served as chief mechanic. 

It was there he witnessed a huge fleet of ships headed toward Hawaii, and contacted Pan Am in New York, who immediately contacted the White House. 

He received a two-word answer back: “Thank you.” In 1944, he received his diploma from Pan Am as a flight engineer and commenced on a 35-year journey as a clipper ship pioneer. Read more>>>>

John Harris, former chief pilot for Pan Am at JFK, and chief pilot many years for Orbis flew west on Sept 22, 2010 after a long battle with cancer. John retired in 2001. Memorial service in
Cos Cob Oct. 13 at 2 p.m.

Daniel Logan SteenDaniel Logan Steen was born September 15, 1920, in a farm house in the Red Top community in Young County, Texas; he flew west into the Lord's hands from Conroe on September 4, 2010.The family will receive friends on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Read more >>>

Randolph Ray Bing, 83, of Spruce Pine passed away Monday August 23, 2010 in the Blue Ridge Regional Hospital.  Born in Charlottesville, VA, he was a veteran of the US Army and worked as a Flight Engineer for PanAm where he retired after 39 years of service.  He was a graduate of the Miller Military Academy in Richmond, VA where he was valedictorian and he also was a graduate of the University of Virginia.  He volunteered for AARP for 25 years doing free tax services.  He was an avid golfer and was a member of the Grassy Creek Country Club.  He also was a member of the flight crew for the Press Corps of Presidents, Reagan and Carter.

Jim Greene passed away on Sept. 8, 2010 at his home in Coral Gables FL surrounded by his wife Judy and family after a long struggle with cancer. Jim had served with the USMC prior to coming to Pan American and Delta. Our sincere condolences are extended to his family and friends.

James W. Etchison, flight engineer, died August 27 2010 at age 97 in Mocksville, N. C., where he had been born. He started his career as a mechanic with Pennsylvania Central Airlines in 1935, and joined Pan American Airways in September of 1936. Read more>>>

Jane T. Omohundro, wife of Jack, passed away March 1, 2010 at the age of 89 after an accident and operation from which she did not recover. Jane traveled with husband Jack, going to almost every continent in the world. Says Jack: "We had 43 wonderful years together and [she] is greatly missed."

Lilo Brissette, wife of Les Brissette, passed away on July 3, 2010 after a long illness.

Charles Morris died August 5, 2010. A retired PAA Captain for many years, he was in his mid 90's and had been quite ill for some time. He is survived by his wife Sara, children & grandchildren.

Norton D. Pladsen (Nort) was a member of the Clipper Pioneers and lived in Caldwell, ID.  March 5, 2010 was given as the date of his passing.  Nort was a pleasant crewmember to fly with with a good sense of humor.  

Hugh Huddleston passed away on June 12, 2010. He had pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife Liz, 3 children and 10 grandchildren. He was hired by Pan An in August 1956, and retired as a Captain on the 747.

J. Richard Bergad passed away on July 27, 2010. He died in peace at the local hospital. He will be buried in the 'familyplot' in Greensburg, PA within a few days. There will be a 'celebration of life memorial serivce' at a later date.

If ever anyone could say: Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth, it would be Dick. The last 18 months were surly for such an active, in-control guy, just sitting in his fancy recliner watching himself waste away.

Dan Cooper, Flight Engineer, died July 14th in Modesto. He had emphysema. No services will be held. Dan was 78.

Evelyn Maxine Prater, 85, loving wife of Lynn Prater, passed away peacefully on June 26, 2010. Read more here>>>

George Jefferson Price, a Pan Am pilot who flew seaplanes out of Dinner Key during World War II -- and the only civilian aircraft in the 1948 Berlin airlift -- has died at 96 on October 4, 2009. Read his story here.

Willis H. Kleven of Chester, Conn. passed away on July 8 2009 at the age of 91. He was a Pan Am flight engineer for 35 years and retired in 1977. Willis flew out of Kennedy Airport and was a crew member of the historic Inaugural Flight non-stop N.Y./ Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires/N.Y. Dec. 5 and 6 1963 5436 miles in 605 minutes. He enjoyed an active life playing golf, fishing and hunting into his 90's. He will be missed by all.

Hugh P. Huddleston passed away. No other details are currently available.

John Ferruggio, hero of 1970 Pan Am hijacking, passes at age 84 in Milton, MA, formerly of South Boston, passed away on June 19, 2010 at Milton Hospital of a sudden illness. He was born July 6, 1925 in Boston, MA, graduated from South Boston High School and served as a Pharmacist Mate 1st Class in the Navy (loaned to the Third Marine Division) from 1943 to 1946. He was part of the historic battles - Guadal Canal, Guam, Iwo Jima and received the WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific 2 Stars and America Area ribbons. John worked as an In-Flight Service Director for 27 years for Pan Am. While working for Pan Am on September 6, 1970 Flight 93 was hijacked; John was considered to be the lead person with saving the lives of 176 people. A documentary was made by PBS called "Hijacked" regarding this incident. See his story here.

Retired Pan Am Flight Engineer Robert J. Messler passed away April 29, 2010 at St. Claire's Hospital, Denville, NJ.

Donald ReidDonald James REID November 17, 1936 ~ May 29, 2010 After battling a debilitating illness for twenty-three years, Don Reid, has finally been liberated and has found peace. Following an honorable discharge from the Navy, Don worked in the engineering and architectural design fields for several years while pursuing civilian flight training. Don went on to have a 25 year career as a commercial airline pilot with Pan American World Airways. Don was initially based in Seattle and flew Boeing 707s. Despite his plane being repeatedly shot at, Don volunteered to fly into and out of wartime Vietnam carrying supplies and personnel while Pan Am was under contract with the military. More >>>

Thad Eksrand passed away recently (June 2010). Although not a PAA crewmember, Thad was a past president/boardmember of the Outrigger Canoe Club in HNL, and was 'instrumental in the admission of over 100 Pan Am cockpit crew-members during the 50's and 60's. He was a true friend and supporter of Pan Am


Burleigh B. WoodBurleigh B. Wood, Sr. passed away on April 10, 2010. Burleigh was born on October 27, 1934, in Seminole, Oklahoma, to Mr. Paul R. Wood and Mrs. Margret C. Wood. He moved to Hobbs, New Mexico the summer of 1941 and finished High School in 1952.

In July of 1964 he hired on with Pan American World Airways as a Pilot Engineer and attained Captain on the B-707 then Captain on the B-747. In 1986, Pan American sold its international routes to United Airlines and Burleigh was one of the Captains on the B-747. Later, he transferred to United where he finished out his career as an airline pilot. During this time, Burleigh was blessed with twin girls on July 23, 1963. Monica Leigh Wood and Marie Ann Wood, followed by a son, Burleigh B. Wood Jr., on December 26, 1967. More >>>

Dinny DinsmoreCaptain Marion (Dinny)Dinsmore made his final trip after a short bout with Bronchitis and Pneumonia that proved to be just too much for his 97 year old aching body. As it quite often happens Dinny lost his beloved wife a short time ago after several years of being her caretaker. She was suffering from the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and Dinny was at her side everyday. It took its toll on him and after she passed he didn’t have much to live for.

He was born in 1912 and lived through it all as fine God fearing man; WWI, the roaring twenties, depression, WWII (Lt. Col. Retired) and a full career with Pan Am. Read more >>>

Tom L. Miller was a Flight Engineer with Pan Am for 28 years. He flew out of SFO for a number of years until we moved to Los Angeles area...where he flew out of LAX until he retired in 1983.
Tom passed away March 1,2010 from Alzheimer's and Parkenson disease. He was 80 years old . Tom and his wife Anna were married 60 years and had three beautiful daughters, three grandchildren and one great grandson. Tom fought a long battle with Alzheimer's

Anna says: "I know he is in a better place now.....but I miss him so very much.I am thankful for the years we did have together."
We miss all of our Pa n Am friends....we lost touch with so many friends.

Memorial for Tom on April 10,2010 at 2p.m. at Quail Run Club House in Paso Robles, Ca.93446

Connie Mazzarella, former JFK flight attendant, advises that Capt. Al Berry passed away on December 12 in New Milford, CT. No other details are available.


Ann JurasekRetired Pan Am Switchboard Operator, Ann M. Jurasek, age 82, of 3017 Fortesque Avenue, Oceanside, New York, a former resident of Banner Elk, North Carolina and Tampa, Florida, died Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside.

Ann Jurasek is survived by her husband Frank; two daughters, Linda Petrizzi of Oceanside and Nancy Preudhomme of West Babylon, New York; two sons, Robert Jurasek of Miami Beach, Florida and John Jurasek of Apple Valley, California, and one brother, John Mahoney and wife Lillian of Tampa, Florida. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, a number of nieces, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Funeral arrangements for Ann Jurasek will take place in Boone, North Carolina; dates are still pending.

Memorial contributions may be made to Nassau County American Legion, (Legacy Fund), in care of Frank Colon, 85 Cleveland Avenue, RVC, New York, 11570.
Online condolences may be sent to the Jurasek family at www.hamptonfuneralservice.com.
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is coordinating all arrangements on behalf of the family.

William Louis Hussman passed away peacefully at his home in Minden on February 4, 2010 at the age of 88. He instructed military pilots when the war broke out and then was hired by Pan American Airways in 1943, retiring after 35 years in 1978. His career began aboard the early Pan Am Clipper flying boats based at Treasure Island and ended with a smooth landing in San Francisco as captain aboard the Boeing 747. He was highly regarded as a pilot by the company and his fellow employees and considered a real gentleman and an all around good guy by all. Read more >>>

Melvin J. Fuller took his final flight at age 88 on January 28, 2010 in Santa Rosa, CA. Mel was born on the second of February, 1922. He liked to mention that he and Charles Lindhberg had the same birthdate, only his (Mel?s) was 20 years later.

He led an exemplary life -- working hard and playing hard, along side of his loving wife, Pearl, of 67 years. A pilot for Pan Am for 36 years, he never missed a flight. He was fond of saying flying for PanAm was such a great adventure, that if PanAm ever became aware that how much he enjoed his job, would have flown for free.

He was an enthusiastic Rotarian, a happy hiker and a great tennis player. A man that all who had the privilege to know admired. He will be sorely missed by his many friends and all of his family. He'd requested no services, donations to Hospice would be nice.

His obit/Guestbook may be found at www.marinij.com/obits

Capt. R.W. Savory passed away in January 2010, in Santa Rosa, CA. He had reached the venerable age of 100, last October.

Edmund Buchser, Jr., retired Lt. Colonel, United States Marine Corps, and retired Pan Am captain, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, passed away, January 10, 2010. More >>>