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Passings 2011 -Return to "In Memory Of..."

William RossF/E Bill Ross - William Vincent Ross, 79, of Franklin, passed away Saturday, December 24, 2011. After injuring his arm, Bill joined the US Navy during the Korean War. His experience working on aircraft carriers led to a career with the airlines. He was first a mechanic for Northwest and then as a flight engineer with National and Pan Am airlines, providing him the opportunity to travel the world. In his spare time Bill combined his varied interests with his entrepreneurial drive. Click here to leave condolences for the family. MORE>>>


Peter VendikosPeter J.  Vendikos-Died of a sudden  heart attack  at home with grandson and wife at side on November 2, 2011, he was 88. Born on June 17, 1923, in Brooklyn NY to Greek immigrants Stella and Elias Vendikos. Served in World War II in Germany and France. Married Athena Averinos in 1946, and then moved out to Long Island in 1957 and raised three daughters Stephanie, Christine and Daphne. He also had three grandchildren Brian , Philip and Alexa. He flew for Pan am as a flight engineer for 32 years before he retired in 1986. Enjoyed his job immensely for the time he flew in Pan am's heyday in the 60s and 70s, and had many interesting stories. He is also survived by three son-in-laws, Barry, James and Larry. Barry was especially influenced by Peter and became a Flight engineer himself. Peter was very proud of his time with Pan am.


Ralph Kuethe – Born December 8, 1919 in St. LouisMO, passed away on December 31, 2011 in Silver SpringMaryland after a long battle with cancer. Ralph began his flying career as a Primary Flight Instructor for the Army Air Corp in MonroeLA. He began with Pan Am in BrownsvilleTexas in 1942. He spent 18 years in Miami flying the CW-46, DC-3s, -4s, -6s, and L-49s. In 1962 he transferred to the IGS and spent 15 years in Berlin on the DC-6 and B-727. He finished his career in 1979 flying the B-747 at JFK. He was married to the former Claire Sheehan Kuethe for 62 years, was predeceased by his daughter Francesca, and survived by his four children, Stephen, Christine, Gregory and Alexander.


Alex Vucetich - Surrounded by friends and family, Alex passed peacefully at UCSF Medical Center on Dec. 8, 2011.  A long-time resident of San Francisco, he was 89.  Born on July 24, 1922, in Seattle, WA to Clorinda (Raggio) and Danilo (Daniel) Vucetich, Alex arrived in San Francisco at the age of two, and spent the remainder of his life in the Merced Manor neighborhood near Stern Grove. Alex was a member of the U.S. Naval Reserves.  He attended City College of San Francisco before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942.  Serving as a First Lieutenant, Alex flew in WWII and had his own crew at a very early age.  After his discharge in 1945, Alex joined the reserves and went to work for Pan American Airlines.   He retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve in 1968 and retired from Pan Am as a Captain in 1976. MORE>>>


Peter D. Robison, 86, passed away on Nov. 24, 2011. He ws a pilot and captain with Pan American World Airways out of John F. Kennedy Airport for 30 years before retiring.


George C. Schrecongost Jr., 92, died Sept. 16, 2011, at the VNA Hospice House, Vero Beach. He was born in Rural Valley, Pa., and lived in Vero Beach for 20 years, coming from Long Island, N.Y. Before retirement, he was a flight engineer for Pan American Airways. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Vero Beach. Survivors include his sons; Lyle Schrecongost of Long Island, N.Y., and Brent Schrecongost of Vero Beach; daughters, Carol Duffy of Bayport, N.Y., and Linda Terry of Patchogue, N.Y.; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Willifred Schrecongost.


William Armstrong (SFO First Officer) passed away on Sept. 24, 2011 in Manilla from complications of Alzheimer's. He flew the 727, 707, and 747 and was a copilot for PanAm, with a colorful careeer during his Hong Kong and Berlin assignments.


Frederick Richard ClarkFrederick Richard Clarke August 10, 1931 - December 2, 2011 Fred passed away at his home in Novato, CA surrounded by his three children after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. fter retiring from the Air Force as a Captain he spent 30 years as an airline pilot for Pan American Airways and United Airlines, based out of San Francisco International Airport. The Clarke family moved to Novato in 1967 and has enjoyed being a part of the community. MORE>>>



Elliot A.. BillingsElliot A. Billings died at Falmouth Hospital on Monday, November 7, two weeks shy of his 99th birthday. While stationed in Quantico, VA, he was introduced to Priscilla Robb of Washington, D.C. and Falmouth, MA. They married in 1937 after Elliot had begun his career (1936-1972) in commercial aviation for PAN AM. Considered a “pioneer pilot,” he opened various routes, flying to the Caribbean and Latin America out of Dinner Key/Miami, FL, across the Pacific Ocean out of Oakland, CA, and to Africa & Europe from Long Island, NY. He returned to Miami in 1941, and during the Second World War, flew with the Air Transport Command out of Miami across the Atlantic as far as Karachi. He wrote that “Since PAN AM was the only American outfit flying overseas prior to WWII, those who were on the Atlantic were taken over by the Air Force/ATC, and those on the Pacific were taken over by the USN/ATC.” MORE >>>


Gordon Joseph CupplesGordon Joseph Cupples, 74, died November 18, 2011 of a heart attack while evacuating from a fire in Southwest Reno. Gordon was born May 20, 1937 in Reno, Nevada to William and Jean Cupples. He grew up in Red Bluff, California, attended Oregon State College in Corvallis before joining the Marine Corps and becoming a Naval Aviator. After six years of flying A-4D's he joined United Airlines in 1965 domiciled in San Francisco. He relocated to Reno in 1976 and continued his 32-year career with United, retiring in 1997. MORE>>>


Joseph Reagan ThomasJoseph Reagan Thomas - Joe, also known as "Buddy" to his friends in Arkansas, was born December 21, 1930 in Glenwood, Arkansas to Dr. Joseph E Thomas and Catherine R Thomas. He grew up in country learning to camp, hunt, fish and ride horses. He joined Pan American World Airways in 1966. His career with Pan American spanned over 25 years; he joined as a Fight Engineer was promoted to Captain. He was based in Hong Kong, San Francisco, Berlin, New York, Washington D.C. and Miami. Joe was a Civil Air Patrol Volunteer and Flight Instructor. MORE>>>


Trevor Spencer passed away Nov. 8, 2011 from cancer. He started with Pan Am Sept. 1956, and after the second furlough, did not return. He was an executive pilot for Kaiser until retiring.


Joseph Reagan Thomas, 80, of Willington, FL and Nashville, AR, passed away on Oct. 19, 2011. Joe, also known as "Buddy" to his friends in Arkansas, was born Dec. 21, 1930 in Glenwood, AR. After flying for the Air Force and with several other companies, he joined Pan Am in 1966. His career with Pan Am spanned over 25 years, retiring as a Captain. MORE>>>

John R. Weil Jr.(Johnny) passed away on Dec. 19, 2007. John Russell Weil Jr., was 82. He served as a photographer for the Navy during World War II, and retired as an airline captain for Pan Am in 1985 after 33 years of flying around the world. More>>>


Brantley (Brant) Millis Eubanks, 70, passed away suddenly after a short illness on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at home. Brant leaves his beloved partner of 45 years, Alfred Beliveau, as well as his many friends throughout the world. Brant was born in Piedmont, Calif. on August 30, 1941 to Brantley Sr. and Alice Eubanks. Brant earned a BS in Business from Menlo Business College. He also attended Naval Officer's College and served four years as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and was in the reserves for four subsequent years. Brant oversaw the on-base housing for the entire Newport, R.I. naval station. He also acted as an attorney for anyone having a Captain's mast. Brant worked for Pan American World Airways for 30 years, five as a flight service supervisor and 25 years as a flight attendant/purser. He was in one of the first male flight attendants hired by Pan Am. After Pan Am, Brant flew with Delta Airlines for ten years and retired in 2002. Brant traveled to the far ends of the earth and made many friends along the way. He loved his career as a flight attendant and missed it so much after he retired. Brant belonged to the Pan Am Desert Dwellers, a group of former Pan Am flight attendants who meet once a month for a social gathering. Brant will be remembered for his warmth, his loving and giving nature, his compassion, kindness and charm. He was a true gentleman. He will be sorely missed by his many Pan Am friends. Brant, with his partner Alfred, lived almost their entire lives together in Connecticut. They moved to Palm Springs in 2002.


Jackie Donald Grant (Jack), 72, of Stockbridge, GA, passed away peacefully Saturday morning October 8, 2011. Jack was a Navy veteran and had a long career with Pan-American and Delta Airlines. Jack was a well rounded sportsman during his life and always the life of the party providing never ending jokes. He and his wife of 54 years, Dianne, shared an exciting and loving life. He was the devoted father of Kim Ryckewaert (husband, Rob) and Rhonda Rettstadt (husband, Rich) and the loving Grandfather (PaPa) to Megan Fantozzi, Robbie Ryckewaert and Brandon Fantozzi and step-Grandfather to Christy Rettstadt. He held dear his sisters, Donna Freeman, Deniece Oehmsen, Debbie Schirra and Darin Rager. He was close to Doyle Renolds along with many cousins, nieces and nephews. If you would like to make a donation in his memory the family supports JDR, Juvenile Diabetes Research. A memorial celebrating his life will be held at a later date.


Joseph Antone Deichl. Born November 13, 1921 in Hardin, Montana, died September 27, 2011 in Seattle.  Joe was a former Chief Pilot here Joseph Deichlin SEA.  He passed away Tuesday morning in Swedish Hospital of natural causes. Survived by Edna, his loving wife of 69 years; children, Richard (Leslie), Robert (Patricia), Bruce (Elayne), and Brian (Gail); 11 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren, sister Lucille Poepping, nieces, nephews and many friends. He attended Gonzaga University, entered the Army Air Corps in 1942, flew 50 missions in B-17’s in the No. African and Italian Theatres.  Thereafter, he enjoyed a 36 year career flying for Pan American Airways, retiring in 1981. 



Capt. Harry L. Weber, 70, of Danbury, died on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011 in Falls Church, VA as a result of injuries sustained from an aiplane crash in Hegesville, West Virginia.


Joseph Antone Deichl - November 13, 1921 - September 27, 2011. Joe passed away from natural causes in Seattle, Washington. He was born of German immigrant parents and raised on the Crow Indian Reservation in southeast Montana, where his father was a blacksmith. He attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wa., but his education was cut short when war broke out. He joined the Army Air Corps and flew 50 missions in the B 17 out of North Africa and Italy. He was interviewed by Lodi and hired by Pan Am in 1945. He began his new career in New York flying the B 314 and later became Chief Pilot in Seattle and finished his career in the B 747 in 1981. He is survived by his wife, Edna, of 69 years, 4 sons and daughters in law, 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He was highly respected in the aviation community and will be missed by all.



Richard Wayne Willis - August 14, 1920 - July 21, 2011.
Dick passed away after fighting a courageous 2 year battle with leukemia. Born in Muscatine, Iowa to parents Jesse and Clint Willis, Dick was the middle of 3 strapping brothers. Dick graduated from the US Air Force Cadet Academy in 1941. His impressive aviation career spanned 4 decades; he piloted and instructed on nearly every aircraft from bi-planes to 747 jets. His piloting expertise included Air Force participation in WW2, US Air Force flight instructor, air assistance in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and 747 Captain w/ Pan American Airlines. Read more>>>


Captain James Richardson Ainsworth, aged 79, passed away peacefully in Las Vegas the morning of Friday, Sept. 9, 2011, with his family by his side. By the end of 1966, Jim and family moved to the island of Guam where he flew as Captain on the last of the legendary Pan Am flying boat service throughout the Western Pacific Islands. In 1968, looking to return to the mainland, the family settled in Las Vegas. In 1970, Jim was one of the first pilots to fly the B-747, which he flew world-wide for many years.


Brian Carroll passed away on Sept. 11, 2011 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Further details when available.


Peter Hamilton McIlwain, 73, of Pleasant Valley, Bucks County, passed away peacefully on June 22, 2011 with his family at his side. Pete was born in Hanover, Pa, the son of the late Hugh T. and Evelyn (Thomas) McIlwain. His passion was flying. Between serving his country in the United States Air Force and flying for Pan Am and United Airlines as a dedicated captain, he flew for over 40 years. He attended The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J. and Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. He was a loyal and generous family man and friend who when not in the skies enjoyed spending time on his farm. He is now where he always loved to be...navigating the heavens. Survivors include: Pete's beloved wife Rosi K (Kogel) formerly from Duesseldorf, Germany; daughter, Natalie A. McIlwain of Cincinnati, Ohio; Edward K. (Ned) McIlwain of Seattle, Washington; brothers Robert M. of Bernardsville, NJ and Hugh T. of Annville, Pa.


Roger CaronRoger Camille Caron passed away on Aug. 8, 2011 in Florida. Born in Springfield, MA on Sept. 30, 1930, Roger flew as a Captain in the USAF, stationed at Dover AFT, DE. He later became a pilot for Pan American and retired as a 747 captain in 1990 after 34 years of service. Roger was a devoted father of 4, and grandfather of 10. He was an avid sailor enjoying the water with his family and numerous friends. He was a member of the Pan Am Clipper Pioneers, Miami elks Lodge #948 and Matheson Hammock Yacht Club. Roger passed away surrounded by a large loving family and his devoted wife, Joan. Roger will be deeply missed. A mass was held at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Coral Gables on Aug. 27th.


Harold (Hal) O. Roeske, age 79 of Roxbury, died August 17 at New Milford Hospital after battling Leukemia. He was born Jan. 1, 1932 in Wautoma, WI on th family farm. After high school, he joined the Air Force and served his country in the Korean War. He then flew for Pan Am for 35 years and United Airlines for six years fora 41-year career as an airline pilot. During this time, he and his son rebuilt a 1948 Luscombe, which he could be seen frequently flying through the New England countryside. He loved spending time with his family and young grandsons and was an avid world traveler, reader and family historian. A resident of Roxbury for almost 40 years, he was a member of the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Morris. He is survived by his wife Karin; son Alexander Roeske; two grandchildren and many other family members.



Edward Aloysius JakleEdward Aloysius Jakle, family patriarch and symbol of his generation, died peacefully in his Los Altos home of 66 years on May 20, 2011, at age 92. Ed's heart belonged to flying. He learned to fly after college in 1940 (and taught Rick to fly - Alice Rickey Jakle, who flew in the WASPS, and who passed away in 1996) and became an instructor during the early years of WWII. He joined Pan American Airways in 1944 when it was under contract to the Navy, eventually flying every aircraft Pan Am had to offer, from the Pan AM Clipper Flying Boats to the first commercial jets to the mighty 747. He and Pan Am opened ports in Asia and the Pacific that we now take for granted, and ended his career as captain on the famous "Pan Am Flight 1: Around the World"."

He had been active for the Pan Am pilots as their representative in ALPA and following retirement became active in the Clipper Pioneers, organizing, arranging and then participating together with his wife Alice, in several trips of retired Pan Am pilots and spouses.

He is survived by three sons, John, Christopher, and David (who is a Captain flying for Alaska Airlines, and who was blessed to have been Edward's last flight--Flight 1, Around The World).

Hal Roeske, former JFK and IGS Captain passed away very recently. He will be cremated and a service will be held locally before his ashes are returned to Wisconsin, where the family has a farm. More to follow.


Capt. William "Bill" J. Drake passed away in May 2011 from complications from cancer. Hired on with PAA in 1966 then went over to United in 1986. He leaves behind his wife Helen and only son William. Bill was based out of New York when flying for PAA.



Steve Allen Staples, 47, of Makanda, IL, died Monday, July 25, 2011 in an accident while flying his favorite Piper Cub J3C at the annual Experimental Aircraft Association convention in Oshkosh, WI. He flew everything from night cargo to Hollywood celebrities while piloting turboprops, business jets and widebody airliners for Pan Am, ExpressOne Airlines, American Trans Air (ATA), NetJets and Capital Cargo International. At the time of his death he was a Boeing 747 First Officer for Kalitta Air Cargo. MORE>>>


Dale W. Wagoner, age 76, died Friday, July 22, 2011, in HamotHos-pital, Erie, PA. He was born on November 3, 1934, in Beaver Falls, PA, a son of the late William Earl and Ada H. Keil Wagoner.

Dale was a retired Air Force Captain and had also retired from Pan Am as Chief Flight Engineer. He was a member of the Pan Am Historical Society, Erie German Club and he flew the back up plane for President George H. W. Bush, when he made a surprise visit of the troops in Kuwait. MORE >>>


Dr. Harvey Beebe, Jr., 83, of Little York, Alexandria Township, NJ, passed away Thursday, October 21, 2010 at Easton Hospital. He served in the Navy and was a veteran of World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He worked as a captain and pilot of 747's for Pan American Airways for 32 years before retiring in 1987. MORE >>>


Nelda Hoover Ashcraft passed on July 6, 2011 after a long illness. She was happily married to Howard William Ashcraft for 61 years.


Capt. Victor A. Urbach passed away on June 16.  He was 91. Vic decided at the age of six that he wanted to fly airplanes.  He attended Indiana Technical College, where he received his pilot's license and became a flight instructor in 1942.  Prior to joining Pan Am in June 1944, he trained Royal Air Force cadets in Florida during World War II.  He began his career in Miami and later held positions in New York and San Francisco where he was highly respected and received numerous commendations.  He retired as a 747 Captain after 36 years with Pan Am.  He is survived by his second wife of twenty years, Olestra (Pat) Urbach of Danville, CA. (nm) 


Ray C. Gerber (92) died suddenly following a fall during his walk. It was either today or yesterday (7/9/2011), as Jinny Rawlinsonspoke to him yesterday or the day before....He did a lot of work and spent freely of his time working on benefits for all former Pan Am employee's following Pan Am's demise.


Donald Earl Holman died March 30, 2011 at home in Napa, CA of natural causes. He was born November 13, 1915 in Long Beach, CA. Don graduated from UCLA, joined the Navy, and in 1940 married Freda Kiskaddon. He had a long career with Pan American Airways during the Golden Age of aviation. After duty on the flying boats out of Treasure Island, he was Captain on the DC 3,4,6,7, 8, Lockheed Constellation and B747. During his career he lived in Berkeley, CA, Miami,FL, Guatemala, Metairie, LA, Roslyn, NY, Woodside, CA, and Ridgefield, CT. When he retired from Pan American he continued his hobbies of making wine and playing golf. After living in Ridgefield for thirty two years, Don and Freda moved to Napa where they lived for twenty seven years. Freda preceded him in death in 2007. He is survived by his son Peter and wife Vicki, daughter Sarah and grand daughter Thea Kennedy


Hugh Gourdin passed away peacefully in Oakland, California on June 23, 2011. Hugh was born in China and moved to San Francisco when 12 years of age. Upon graduation from UC Berkeley with a degree in mechanical engineering (and a Phi Bet Kappa key) he joined the PAA Maintenance Engineering department at Treasure Island and became a Flight Engineer in 1942.
He is survived by his wife, Leigh, and two sons, William and Kent.
In accordance with his wishes his ashes will be scattered over the Pacific Ocean outside the Golden Gate.


Gerald K. Holth, age 91, passed away on Thursday, June 23, 2011 in Sebring, FL. He was a pilot for Pan American World Airways for 35 years, flying out of Miami and San Francisco, retiring as a 747 Captain in 1980.


Pete McIlwain passed away peacefully on June 22, 2011. He had had a stroke the week before his death. A Celebration of his life is scheduled for July 9th at the farm.


Pete Bendzlowicz was killed in a small plane crash on June 13, 2011 near the Chester Airport - reportedly engine trouble in a Piper PA24-250. Reportedly, his son's airplane. Pete lived in Wading River, Long Island.


Fred Graber passed away on April 20, 2011 at age 93. He joined Pan Am in New York, transferring later to SFO, where he retired. His Pan Am service was interrupted by a recall to active Navy duty during the Korean War.



John B. Powers passed away on June 7, 2011 at his Denver, Colorado home.  He would have celebrated his 75th birthday in July.  He is survived by his son Chris and two grandchildren, along with his former wife Sydney Powers.   At the time of his death, John was still active in the aviation community, flying his Beechcraft Baron and teaching flying proficiency for the American Bonanza Society.  John served in the U. S. Army.  His flying career began with Pan Am in the early 1960’s.  He served as a 747 Check Pilot and as Chief Pilot at the JFK base.  When Pan Am sold its Pacific routes to United Airlines in 1986, John went to UAL where he served as a 747 Check  Pilot until his retirement in 1997.


Wilber PickeringCaptain Wilbur W. Pickering, “Pick,” made his final ascent on April 3, 2011, with family by his side to see him off as he took to the skies. In 1950 he joined Pan American Airways and began a long and distinguished career as an airline pilot until his retirement in 1983, circling the globe more times than can be remembered.  He made captain in 1967 and spent many years flying 747s prior to retiring.  He was based out of San Francisco until 1972, when he took a three-year assignment in Berlin, Germany.  He finished his career flying out of Los Angeles.  Wil was highly respected and liked by his colleagues for his impeccable flying record, congeniality, and professionalism.  He made life-long friendships in both the military and Pan Am that he kept up faithfully over the years both informally and formally, as a member of a number of airline pilot and military associations.  He loved attending annual reunions and traveling all over the country to see old friends, playing golf or volleyball with them, or just staying connected. Read More>>>


Captain Peter G. Paskalis died March 25, 2011 at home in Westchester, PA. Peter flew for PanAm from 1964 until the doors closed, as a 747 captain. He retired in 1994 with Delta Airlines. He leaves his wife Lynne and sons Jean-Paul and Alexandre, who grew up as part of the PanAm family.


Robert Alexander Ingalls, passed away on April 13th, 2011.


Wesley Monsen, died peacefully, May 2, 2011, at the age of 89 in Roseville California.   He retired as a 747 Captain with Pan American Airways in 1982;  after 38 years of service, flying out of Seattle, Hong Kong and San Francisco. He was married to the late Mary Beth Monsen and is survived by three of his six children, Douglas, Susan and Chris; and nine cherished grand-childen.


Catharine G. Sherron, wife of Captain Roger Sherron, passed away on December 20, 2010, at Santa Rosa, California.


Woods Kennard "Woody" Rawlinsonpassed away from heart failure at the age of 91 on March 31, 2011. He was a pilot for Pan American World Airways, spending his first year in Africa, flying DC-3's. He spent time flying to Alaska as the Navy contracted with Pan Am for flight operations during WWII. He retired as Captain ater 37 years of meritorious service and traveling the world. He is survived by his wife Jinny of 69 years; his 3 children, and other family members.


Matthew N. Masem, 87, died April 4, 2011 at The Treasure Coast Hospice Residence, Stuart. Before retirement, he was a pilot for more than 35 years with Pan Am, based in New York. He was a World War II naval aviator who flew a Grumman Hellcat in over 40 missions over Japan. Survivors include his daughter, Candace Masem of Hendersonville, N.C.; two grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty in 1998; and daughter Sherry in 2003.


Frederick E. Muhl passed away on April 6, 2011 at the age of 93. He joined Pan Am in April, 1942. Wartime promotions were coming fast and he was promoted to Reserve Captain November 1, 1943 and full Captain February 6, 1944. He flew as Captain for 34 years, until airline mandatory retirement at age 60, forced him to retire. Fred loved every moment of his flying career and always said that he never worked a day in his life. ”I flew for “Pan Am.” Read more >>>


Captain Fred Vanderhoof passed away on March 26, 2011. He flew off the USS Yorktown, where he was awarded 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 5 air medals. In 1945 he began his 35 year career with Pan Am retiring in 1980 as a 747 Captain based in San Francisco. He and his wife, Joyce, retired to Sedona, Arizona. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce. He is survived by his 4 children and 8 grandchildren. He was an exceptional man and will be missed dearly.


Captain Dwight L. Shrum died peacefully on Thursday March 24, 2011, in The Villages, Florida, where he lived for the final six years of his life.

Dwight was born in Zanesville, Ohio, grew up in Youngstown, and later attended Ohio University where he entered the Civilian Pilot Training Program. He subsequently received his commercial pilots license and was hired by Pan American World Airways in January 1942.

Captain Shrum flew for Pan American for the next 37 years and finally retired in March 1979, after reaching the age of sixty. The first year of his employment he was assigned the Pan Africa Division of the Air Trransport Command. He would later be based in Miami, Florida; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; London, England: New York and San Francisco.

During his 37 years with Pan American he was flew, as captain, on the DC-3, DC-4, DC-6, DC-7, L-049 Constellation, Boeing 707 & 720, and Boeing 747 and 747-SP.

He was married to his high school sweetheart, Elinor, for 60 years. He leaves behind two sons, Richard and Don, daughter Barbara, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Memorial services were held at North Lake Presbyterian Church, Lady Lake, Florida. Dwight's cremated remains will be transported to Maryville, Tennessee, where he will be interned next to his wife Elinor.


Julia G. Holth, 87, of Sebring, Florida, passed away Monday, March 21, 2011, in Sebring. She was born November 26, 1923, to Wilbur and Mildred (Smith) Gullett, in Lincoln, Illinois, and was a graduate of DePauw University, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She was a former Stewardess with Pan American Airways and a substitute teacher in Dade County, Florida. READ MORE>>>


Richard P. Mead died peacefully on March 13, 2011 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Dick was born in Erie, Pennsylvania August 19, 1920. Dick was a proud alumnus of University of Michigan. He earned his commercial pilot’s license through the civilian pilot training program and was hired by Pan Am in early 1942.

Dick flew for Pan American World Airways until mandatory retirement for commercial pilots at age 60. He was based in Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Brussels, Belgium; and New York. He relished the early days with Pan Am flying the S-42 and S-43, among other “flying boats” from Dinner Key in Biscayne Bay throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and South America. As captain, he flew the DC-3, DC-4, DC-7, DC-8, and Boeing 707. Dick spent the last ten years of his Pan Am career on the Boeing 747 and 747-SP in New York. Throughout his extraordinary career with Pan Am, he often said
that he never worked a day in his life because he loved what he did so much. READ MORE>>>


Marshall Wayne, who displeased Adolf Hitler by winning gold and silver medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and who was later shot down over Italy fighting the Nazis, died June 16, 2010 in Hendersonville. He was 87. He became a Pan American Airways pilot, and retired as a captain in 1972, the same year he moved to Hendersonville. READ MORE>>>


Rose Forrestall, wife of retired Flight Engineer Leo Forrestall, passed away on March 3,2011 in San Ramon, CA., after a severe stroke. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, two sons Daniel And Jeffrey and daughter Kathleen. Also survived by four grandchildren and a great grandchild. A service was held at St Raymond’s March 6, 2011 in San Ramon.


Captain Richard (Dick) Mead passed away on Sunday March 13, 2011. He is survived by his wife, His wife Solveig Mead, a long-time member of World Wings and former president of the Long Island Chapter, and a son.


Edward Allen Drew, beloved husband of Harriet “Tootie” Drew, died March 1, 2011, in Cheshire, CT.  A graduate of  Harvard College (1937), he earned his wings in the Army Air Corps flying bombers in the Mediterranean Theater, for which service he was awarded the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.  After the war he remained in the reserves doing ground duties until retiring as Lieutenant Colonel in 1976.  He was with Pan Am for 29 years serving as Copilot, Navigator, and Captain.  He started out in the old double-decker Boeing Stratocruiser, flying out of Laguardia usually to Europe and beyond (at times as far as  India) before returning home after as much as a month of city hopping.  By the time he retired he was ‘commuting ‘ from JFK to the Caribbean on the 707. Read more here>>>


Julie Pamplin, wife of Tom Pamplin, a retired Pan Am 2 Lt. Engineer. She passed away last Sept. 2010 in Atlanta, GA and is survived by her husband, a son Thomas, and a daughter Becky, all of whom now reside in Texas. (aux)


William B. Carpenter, He is survived by his ex-wife Geneva and daughter Carol, and other daughter and son in Alaska, and on the East Coast. (aux)


Bernice Taylor passed away on Jan. 25, 2011 in a nursing home near her home in Woodland, CA. She is survived by her husband, Capt. Fred Taylor, and a son and a daughter. (aux)


Capt. James C. Waugh, whose aviation career spanned nearly half a century, from crewing Pan American flying boats to heading all operations for the international carrier, and later serving as chairman of the Flight Safety Foundation, died Feb. 24, after a long illness. He was 89. Read more here>>>


Robert "Buster" Keeton passed away on January 25th, 2011. Robert Branscomb Keeton was born on April 7, 1915 in Manzanola, Colorado. He joined the Navy and was part of the Flying Tiger Overseas Airline. "Bus" Keeton as he was fondly known, flew for Pan American Airlines until he was sixty years old (mandatory retirement age). When not flying, golf, golf, and golf. He and Metha attended air shows, Flying Tiger reunions and shared a life one might only dream of. More>>>


Thomas A. Caswell passed away August 7, 2010. At his retirement, he was a 747 training captain stationed out of San Francisco.  He loved his life as an aviator.  "The family would like to thank all those who enriched his life over his 90-plus year."  He was very grateful to others for making his life so rich.


Richard F. Cutler passed away Jan. 11, 2011 at the age of 85. He was a Pan Am Flight Engineer for 35 years and retired in 1986. He enjoyed an active life, building and flying his Starduster biplane and his Rutan Varieze. He took great pride in his restoration and the many hours of flight in his Ryan PT Recruit, (WWII  primary trainer), which is now on display in the  Udvar Hazy museum in Washington,  D.C.    


Frank Z. White 78, suffered a severe stroke and passed away on Dec.21st, 2010 in Vero Beach, FL. Frank was admitted to a hospital on Dec.10th where he remained for 10 days before passing on with his wife Hannelore at his bedside.

Frank had been a pilot for the US Navy then began his career with Pan Am in July,1964 and went on to retire after 27 yrs with the company as a B-747 Captain in New York. With his love of flying Frank continued to fly and instruct in light airplanes and gliders until the present time in both the US and Austria, where he had maintained a second home.

Frank is survived by his loving wife Hannelore, daughter Peggy Sanko, sister Snookie Eisenbrandt and brother Jim and Laila White's family (also former Pan Am). Frank was a wonderful character known and liked by all. He will be greatly missed. - B.C.


Dorothy Morris, wife of retired Pan Am, United pilot George Morris was shot and killed in Tucson in the Gabby Gifford shooting on Jan. 8, 2011. Our thoughts and prayers go out to George, who is still in the hospital after being wounded in the shooting. Read the article here >>>