Leldon Foy Beard Edwin Joseph Wright, 86, born on October 21, 1926, in St. Louis, MO, passed away February 1, 2013. He resided in La Quinta, CA with his wife of 63 years, Jacqueline Wright.  

A life long love of model airplanes, time in the Navy under Captain Ball on a B314 Seaplane until 1946, an Aircraft and Engine License at Northrop School of Aviation, a short time with Douglas Aircraft and then on to Flying Tigers working in the Flight Controls shop followed by a season of crop dusting in Calexico in his much loved Stearman. In 1955, the door opened for a chance to fly with Pan American Airways, he took it and never looked back, joining them as a Flight Engineer. 

He began his 32 year career with Pan Am flying the DC6 out of Idlewild, NY.  He took a transfer offer to Germany in 1960 to fly the ‘Berlin Corridor’ with wife, two kids, and a dog in tow.    When the transfer was up, it was off to San Francisco and the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, one of his favorites due to some of the problems that had to be navigated.  He referred to it as ‘an Engineers dream’.  He spent many hours on the smaller Boeings, the 707, 727, and the 737, but felt he had truly found the airliner of all airliners when he settled in on the Boeing 747!  He retired after 32 very proud years with Pan American and was sad to see such an American icon come to its end. 

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