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.
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Elwood ‘Woody’ Jay Herman
1921 ~ 2021
Captain Elwood ‘Woody’ Jay Herman, age 100, died August 10, 2021 at home in New Auburn, WI. Woody was born in Montrose, MN on 2/18/1921 to Alta Herman (Chafee) and Jay Herman. He was their only child.
Woody was raised in Minneapolis, MN and attended Roosevelt High School where he played football. He worked a paper route earning funds to buy a car and pay for flying lessons during the very difficult ‘Depression’ years. Together with his father, Woody, at only 16 years old, purchased a Piper J-3 Cub. With this airplane he frequently barnstormed at county fairs, giving rides for .05 per person to help pay for the plane. He acquired an instructor rating in his late teens to become one of the youngest instructors in the US at that time. Prior to WWII Woody instructed Army Air Corp students using the PT-19 from southern Texas airbases.
He married Geraldine Danielson in 1942, the same year he was hired by NWA on Dec. 24th. This began a distinguished 39-year career with NWA.
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Wayne J. Anderson
1940 ~ 2021
Captain Wayne Joseph Anderson, age 81, of Rollins, Montana took his last flight on July 25, 2021, after a short struggle with pancreatic cancer. Born on June 25, 1940, to Reverend Oscar and Nina Olson Anderson in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Wayne was the second oldest of four children – David Anderson (who passed in 2000), Lois and Roselyn. Wayne’s mother died during childbirth. His father married Ing Nesheim when he was two years old.
True to his Viking heritage, Wayne was an avid adventurer and voyager. In the fall of 1958, after graduating from Janesville (WI) Senior High School, Wayne enrolled at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. During his St. Olaf tenure, he opted to leave college for a year to explore and guide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area along the Minnesota/Canadian border. Upon returning to St. Olaf College, Wayne participated in Air Force ROTC, setting his sights on becoming an Air Force pilot.
As a student Wayne was also known to excel in college wrestling and tennis. Following graduation, he married fellow student Anne Esse whom he met at St. Olaf. In time Wayne and Anne had two sons, Sig and Eric.
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Norman Edward Midthun
1924 ~ 2021
Captain Norman Midthun, age 96, died July 24, 2021. Norm was born in Minneapolis on August 18, 1924 to Pauline Marie (Leknes) and Edward Maynard Midthun, his mother died following his brother's birth 18 months later. In his early childhood Norman lived in Bricelyn, MN; later moving back to northeast Minneapolis.
In 1933, during the Great Depression, at age twelve Norm started working in a meat market and soon learned the value of work and saving money. He was the youngest journeyman meat cutter in Minneapolis at age 15. Norm saved enough from his wages to purchase a prized Schwinn bike that he rode to school and work in all seasons; that bicycle now resides in the MN Historical Society. Norm’s grandparents on both sides were born in Norway and along with his high school Norwegian teacher, Ben Eggen, he was informed about what was happening in Norway during the initial stages of WWII.
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Clinton C. Viebrock
1938 ~ 2021
Joined Northwest Airlines 08-02-1965 and flew for NWA until 12-30-1998
Captain Clinton C. "Clint" Viebrock, born 12/30/1938, died August 31, 2021 of complications of an arduous two year battle with pancreatic cancer. Clint was born in Waterville, Washington. He is survived by his wife Susan and daughters Kimm (Michael) Nesteroff and their children Mark and Matthew, and Kjerstin (Greg Klein) and their children Dylan and Anna. Clint is also survived by his youngest brother Sid Viebrock and sister Sybil Marsh. He was preceded in death by his parents Henry C and Martha C. Viebrock and his brother Denny Viebrock.
Clint was raised on the family farm, doing morning chores before driving 10 miles to high school and returning in the afternoon to more chores. He was the first person in his family to go to college, and attended University of Washington from 1956, graduating in the class of 1960 as a Marine ROTC graduate.
Clint came to the University of Washington with a ukulele and by his sophomore year he was playing in a quartet in his fraternity (Phi Psi) that was equally popular on campus with the Brothers Four that started at the same time at the UW. He saved his money and bought his first guitar, a four string Gibson and he never quit playing and singing the rest of his life.
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Wallace ‘Wally’ Weber
1923 ~ 2021
Captain Wallace ‘Wally’ Weber, age 97, passed away Sunday June 6th after a brief illness. A lifetime resident of Hastings, MN, Wally was born in Marshall MN on August 19, 1923, to Bill and Rose Weber. Wally’s father Bill Weber started his working years as a harness maker, but when market demand disappeared, he supported his family doing shoe repair. There were five children in the Weber family, two boys and three girls, and Wally was the oldest.
Wally graduated from Hastings High School in 1941 and spent a brief time in California working for Douglas Aircraft. He returned to Minnesota started his lengthy career with Northwest Airlines on August 05, 1942. In response to a call to military duty, Wally enlisted in the Navy in late 1942. Thus begins a most unusual couple pairing. Wally was trained by the Navy in aircraft metalsmith work. His first post training duty station was in Florida and there Wally met his future wife Claire, who was also an USN aircraft metalsmith specialist.
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