John R. Scholl
1924 ~ 2018
Captain John R. Scholl, age 94, passed away in Seminole, Florida on May 2, 2018. John was born the son of J. Frederick and Eda (Brown) on January 4, 1924 in White, South Dakota.
John’s father owned a door business in Hastings, Minnesota; the family lived on a small farm near town. John and NWA pilot Wally Webber attended the same high school, John a year behind Wally. At age 14 years John was driving himself and a teacher to school. While John was a rural athletic kid by nature, he surprised many by acknowledging he took violin lessons during high school.
By the time John graduated from high school some local draft boards were drafting seniors right out of high school. As soon as he finished high school John enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet. He did well in pilot training and was assigned to further training on the B-17. It was late in World War II when John departed Savannah, Georgia for England with a brand new B-17 crew. At one point in the ferry flight his navigator informed John he didn’t have enough fuel to make it to England. At that point John and the copilot put the engine mixtures into super lean. They made an airfield in England. He flew only four combat missions before the war ended. Once the war in Europe ended John flew emergency food drops, occupation army supply flights, as well as all variants of evacuation flights from Europe.
Post war reentering civilian life John enrolled in engineering studies at the University of Minnesota. On May 25, 1948 John and Beverly Holin married. At this time John was working for NWA as an aircraft mechanic, he was rehired as a pilot on November 11, 1949.
During his 34 year career at NWA John flew the DC-3, DC-4, DC-6, DC-7, Lockheed Electra, Boeing Stratocruiser, and the Boeing 707 series. At the time of his retirement he was flying the classic Boeing 747. John was an absolute delight to work with. He was competent, gentle with the airplane, and thoughtful of others. Many of us young copilots would marvel at how smoothly John could fly the 707 series without the yaw damper, while we would flail in our own pilot induced Dutch roll. John would not say anything about our pilot induced yaw, but would simply start humming ‘Rock a Bye Baby.’ On layovers John was the first to ask his colleagues to join him for meals and tourist type activities.
Airline retirement came on January 03, 1984 when John reached age sixty. Thereafter he became a distributor for Lake Amphibian Aircraft. To facilitate aircraft storage on lakes without access to suitable boat ramps, John designed a lift for removing floatplanes from lakes and rivers. Among friends he was known as the BBQ cook extraordinaire, a perfect match for a man for whom socializing was his biggest hobby.
John and Beverly long had their home residence at Lake Minnetonka, MN. The also owned property at Seminole, Florida where they could stay in touch with their retired NWA friends who had moved south. In 2003 John lost Beverly Jane, his wife of fifty-seven years. The loss hit John hard and afterwards he elected to move to Buffalo, Minnesota where he enjoyed socializing with many friends around the area. There were not many strangers in John’s world. At Buffalo there were interesting group activities and John engaged in many projects that were never quite finished. This gregarious fellow lived life fully until the end.
John is preceded in death by his wife Beverly and daughter Susan Banasiuk. He is survived by children John D. Scholl, daughters Sharon Gleason and Jane Skinner; seven grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren; his sister Lucille Tellett and many other relatives and friends.
- Bill Day