1930 ~ 2022
Captain Robert ‘Bart’ Bartholomay, age 92, born in Fargo, North Dakota. Bart developed a love of sports at an early age.
Bart attended Wahpeton High School, lettering in Football, Basketball and Track. Bart attended the University of Minnesota on a football scholarship and was also on the 1953 All Vance Football Team. Bart was associated with the Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffin, where he made lifelong friendships with MLB players, coaches, and umpires. Later he would become a scout for the Minnesota Twins. For a while he was the team pilot for the Minnesota Vikings under his friend Norm Van Brocklin. A lifelong Seattle Mariner fan, he was STILL hoping to see the Mariners make it to the World Series, but alas. Also, an avid golfer, Bart learned the game from future LPGA pros, Marlene Hagge and Louise Suggs. He was a member of various golf clubs in Minneapolis and Florida and was still an active member at Rainier C.C in Seattle and Bermuda Dunes C.C. in California upon his death.
Bart’s other great passion was aviation. He entered the Air Force in 1953 and served as a B-25 pilot. On August 07, 1957, Bart became a Northwest Airlines pilot where he worked for 28 years. Bart loved the adventuresome lifestyle of piloting and enjoyed exciting trips to Hong Kong and Hamburg in the early 70’s. He also flew in Vietnam during the war. He retired in 1985 as a 747 Captain and settled in the Washington area.
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Richard R. Smith
1928 ~ 2023
Captain Richard ‘Dick’ Smith, age 94, died January 1, 2023 after an extended struggle with lymphoma. Dick was born in Jackson, Wyoming to Roberta and Reuben Smith, the middle of three sons. He was orphaned at age four, raised by his grandmother in Dodge Center, Minnesota until age 12, and thereafter raised by his Aunt Annie Cooper in Rochester, Minnesota.
Dick’s teenage years can be described as remarkable. Perhaps it was a product of being orphaned, but Dick was a ‘young man with a mission.’ He was a remarkable high school student and National Merit Scholar. He was also a pioneer in forming the local Air Scout movement. After high school he studied pre-engineering at Rochester Junior College. “I figure I’ll have a profession to fall back on if I ever leave flying for some reason or other.”
At the age of 15 Dick launched his flying career by working part-time at the Rochester Airport as a ‘line boy’ for an aerial ambulance service owned by NWA pilot Art Hoffman. In time Hoffman and his partner ‘Red’ Robinson began flight training for young Dick. In short time his duties expanded well beyond that of line boy. Robinson described Dick as being readily adaptable displaying exceptionally good judgement. At age 17 Dick acquired his private license, having already logged 150 hours solo, even though only 30 were required for the license.
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Kenneth E. Bryant
1934 ~ 2022
Captain Kenneth E. Bryant, age 88, died June 03, 2022, the end of a five-year health struggle after a major stroke and multiple heart attacks. At the time of his death Ken and his wife resided in an Adult Retirement/Hospice facility in Kent, Washington.
Ken was born in Oklahoma. He was raised by his mother as an only child. Ken once lamented that he attended twenty-two schools in eleven states. After high school Ken enlisted in the U.S. Navy and during the standard battery of tests his scores highlighted him as a potential candidate for the USN Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) Pilot program.
After some enlisted duty Ken entered flight training at NAS Pensacola. Apparently, he met the challenges and earned his Naval Commission and ‘Wings of Gold.’ During flight training Ken flew the T-28 and toward the end of training the F4U Corsair for initial carrier qualification. The Corsair was an infamous challenge for young inexperienced pilots doing their Carrier Quals.
During his active-duty time with the fleet Ken flew the Grumman F9F Cougar fighter. In addition, there was a military marriage that produced a son, this marriage eventually dissolved.
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Warren Curtiss Erickson
1931 ~ 2022
Captain Warren Erickson, age 91, of Edina, MN, passed away on December 2, 2022. Warren was born March 29, 1931 and grew up in St Paul in a large and tight-knit family. From an early age he dreamed of flying airplanes and was able to realize this, retiring after 32 years as a 747 captain for Northwest Airlines. As a child, he would bike over to Wold Chamberlain field to watch planes take off and land. So dedicated to his passion, he lived with his parents during college to save enough money for flying lessons on the weekend. He joked it wasn't that bad as "tuition was only a couple hundred bucks" back then. In the Army he served as a Counterintelligence officer and worked all over Europe, visiting historic sites, enjoying the culture and motorcycling along the Mediterranean.
His first airline job was for TWA when he lived at a beach house on Long Island with other trainees. Eventually he landed his dream job at Northwest Airlines. When there was a layoff, Warren flew for two years for Air America, the clandestine CIA airline that supported the Hmong in Laos. Living in Tokyo and Thailand during this time gave him an appreciation for the arts and culture of the Orient.
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John Kenneth Morley
1939 ~ 2022
Captain John Kenneth Morley, age 83, died December 08, 2022, in Winlock, WA. Ken, as he preferred to be called, was born on the Hawaiian island of Maui and was raised on both Maui and Oahu. Ken was the oldest of three sons.
His high school years were spent on Oahu, initially living in Kailua in the Maunawili Falls area attending Kailua High School then later graduating from Punahou High School, the same school as President Obama. He played football in high school and was recruited by Penn State University. At Penn State he met and played freshman varsity football under famed coach, then junior varsity coach Joe Paterno. After a year at Penn State, he returned to Oahu and enlisted in the Hawaiian Air National Guard.
Ken became a crew chief on the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger. He applied for and was accepted into the Air Guard Officer Candidate School as a precursor to pilot training. With his new USAF commission Ken entered Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Laredo AFB, Texas - assigned to the 3640th Pilot Training Wing. Ken underwent UPT flying the Cessna T-37 Tweet and the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. After UPT Ken was sent to Perrin AFB for fighter aircraft tactical training and qualification on the F-102. After completion of fighter training, Ken returned to Hickam AFB to stand ready alert with the Air Guard 199th Fighter Squadron.
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Keith L. Sterling
1941 ~ 2022
Keith L. Sterling, age 81, of Fort Myers, FL (formerly of Apple Valley, MN), passed away on Oct. 5, 2022. His parents were Robert and Suzie Sterling. Keith’s father worked in the Lab at Penn Steel in Titusville, PA and owned a small Evinrude/Boat repair shop.
The family lived in Titusville PA during Keith’s high school years. Titusville is located 45 miles southeast of Lake Erie and half that distance from the west edge of Allegheny National Forest, where no doubt Keith delighted in hunting, fishing, and camping with family and friends
After high school Keith studied Electrical Engineering at Grove City College, PA while concurrently completing Air Force ROTC. After college graduation and Air Force commissioning, Keith reported for pilot training at Craig AFB, AL. Keith had a most unusual Air Force career in that after earning his wings, he was assigned to Air Training Command as an instructor pilot at the same base where he himself had been trained. The entirety of his Air Force flying was done in the T-37 and T-38 trainer aircraft.
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