Delwyn ‘Mike’ Roark
1941 ~ 2021
Captain Mike Roark, age 80, died on October 31, 2021 after a long battle with dementia. Mike was born on Feb. 24, 1941 and was raised near Hoopeston, IL.
As a young man in high school, Mike was known to be an excellent student and to have earned the Eagle Scout rank and Order of the Arrow member. His college studies were at Eastern Illinois University at Charleston, IL where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Mathematics. Having completed a challenging college program, Mike was ready to take on the USN Aviation Officer Candidate Program (AOC) at NAS Pensacola. After commissioning Mike began pilot training with at NAS Pensacola (class 5-64). The bulk of Mike’s flight training was at Saufley Field.
Michael ‘Mick’ E. Colgrove
1940 ~ 2021
Captain Michael “Mick” Edward Colgrove, age 81, of Osage, MN passed away Monday, August 30, 2021 at his home surrounded by family.
Michael was born January 28, 1940 in Park Rapids, MN to Theodore and Mary (Lund) Colgrove. He grew up in Ponsford, MN where his parents operated a general store in addition to dabbling into logging. The family moved 13 miles southeast to Osage when Mick was 14, setting the scene for him to attend Park Rapids High School, graduating with the Class of 1958. Prior to the age 21 years, Mike lived in various places including Idaho, but ended up in the grocery business with his parents in Remer, MN. This is where he met his first wife Annmarie ‘Ann’ Miller. It was Ann who introduced Mick to aviation.
Mick caught the aviation bug and started acquiring FAA pilot’s licenses and ratings. With these new licenses he started building flight time working as a part-time flight instructor. With his part time employment as a flight instructor, Mick worked hard and acquired a degree from Bemidji State University. At Bemidji State he enrolled in the US Army R.O.T.C. program. After graduation Mike matriculated to the Minnesota Army National Guard as a Second Lieutenant.
Hugh Thomas Nunn
Captain Tom Nunn, age 86, passed away on June 27, 2021 at St Francis Hospital in Shakopee, MN following a stroke. Tom was born on October 26, 1934 to S. Virgil and Myrtie (Ferguson) Nunn in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tom started fulfilling his interest in aviation at Harvey Young Airport located southeast of Tulsa. In these years he acquired his FAA ratings and built flying time in a variety of tail dragger trainers and early nose wheel Cessna aircraft.
In 1958 Tom, his wife Janice and their son Thomas moved to Minnesota to begin a 32-year career with Northwest Airlines. Tom officially joined Northwest Airlines 05-23-1958. It is believed he flew the DC-4, DC-6, DC-7, Lockheed Electra, Boeing 720/320, 757, the McDonald Douglas DC-10, and the Boeing 747 Classic. Tom talents found root in the NWA Flight Training Department. He was popular as a ground school and aircraft instructor. In time, as the airline expanded, Tom would become the Director of Flight Training. During his tenure Tom launched many innovative training concepts, including the Line Oriented Flight Training (LOFT) using scenarios built around industry incidents and accidents. Many perceived the NWA LOFT scenarios to be a realistic innovation in ‘real world’ flight training.
Frederick H. Weber
1940 ~ 2021
Captain Frederick Howard Weber, age 81, was born April 10, 1940, in New York City. The son of Fritz and Elizabeth Weber, Fred was raised in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate NY. Fred was an only child. His first memory of his father came after the end of WWII when father returned from Navy service in the Pacific.
Fred graduated from Middleburg High School in Upstate NY. After high school he enlisted in the US Air Force and served as an electronics technician in the Atlas F Missile program. When the Atlas F missile was retired from the SAC inventory Fred was retrained as a B-52 Aerial Defensive Gunner. He was assigned to a SAC B-52 squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsborough NC. During his off-duty time Fred learned how to fly in the Base Aero Club at Seymour Johnson AFB. After obtaining several pilot ratings through the Aero Club, Fred separated from the active Air Force and returned to Upstate NY. His first pilot job was with Richmore Aviation in Hudson, NY flying mostly corporate aircraft. After building flight time and experience with Richmore Aviation, Fred applied for pilot employment with Northwest Airlines. He began his airline career on March 24, 1969.
Lawrence T. Amelse
1939 ~ 2021
Captain Larry Amelse, age 81, was born to Adrian and Marie Amelse in Eau Claire, WI on September 3rd, 1939. Larry was the tenth of thirteen children and was raised in nearby Fall Creek, WI. His childhood routine consisted of helping his parents and siblings on the family dairy farm where he learned the value of hard work – a trait that Larry carried with him throughout his life.
He attended a one room schoolhouse until the eighth grade. From there, Larry spent three years at Society of the Divine Word seminary. He then transferred to Cadott High School where he graduated in 1957. Larry then spent two years at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Larry left college after two years to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot; an interest that began while watching planes occasionally fly overhead as he worked on the family farm.
Larry took his first flight on an aircraft as he flew to Pensacola, FL to enter the Naval Cadet flight training program. Larry was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Marine Corps where he began his eight-year career flying the C-130 Hercules and a short time in the F9F Panther. During his time, Larry was stationed at Cherry Point, NC and Keneohe Bay, HI. and served in the Vietnam War and the Cuban Missile crisis. He was also part of a crew that flew (a then record) high altitude parachute drop from his C-130.
Ross E. Kramer
1939 ~ 2021
Captain Ross Kramer, age 81, born Dec. 31, 1939, and hired by NWA on July 07, 1969.
In the words of NWA Captain Michael J. Garrison.
“A part of me died on September 13,2021 with the Flying West of "The Bear", Ross Kramer. He and I grew up in Seattle, Washington, graduated from Queen Anne High School where we played football together, followed by attending the University of Washington. "The Bear" was a gentle giant of tremendous accomplishments.
Following six years of active duty in the "junior varsity"(USAF), he resigned with a pocket full of medals, including the Silver Star for his service in Vietnam. Ross joined Northwest Airlines, but was soon laid off during the strike prone 1970s. He was the junior most pilot protected in the 1978 pilot contract.
During his eight-year layoff Ross attended William Mitchell Law School. After passing the Bar, he co-founded Messerli Kramer and Associates, which became a prestigious Twin Cities law firm. In an early career case, Ross represented the surviving families of an Air Force Reserve crash near the now decommissioned Sawyer Air Base in Michigan, and successfully sued the U.S. Government.