1935 ~ 2023
Captain Merle Eglet, age 88, ended his sojourn on earth from the terminal disease of living, with no regrets and owing no one. His life started in McLean County North Dakota June 7, 1935, with parents Charles and Nette Eglet. Skip, as he was nicked named early by his maternal grandfather is survived by his wife, Kathleen of Kirkland, WA, three younger brothers, Tony and Dick of Zillah, WA, Steve of Spokane and older sister Paula Thomas of Naches, WA, his son Robert and wife Tracy of Las Vegas, Nevada, his daughter Brooke and husband Gregg in Nashville, TN. Grandchildren Keegan Eglet, Blake Eglet, and Jordan Eglet in Las Vegas, NV, granddaughter Parker and grandson Thatcher Boling in Nashville, TN, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, mostly residents of eastern Washington.
Skip moved to Zillah, WA with family to escape the ravages of the great depression. He attended school in Zillah, attaining a modicum of success academically, being named valedictorian at all levels. After a rather mediocre struggle with academia, he joined the Naval Aviation Cadet program. This led to a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and a designation as a Naval aviator. His tour of active duty was at El Toro MCAS, CA, with deployments to Yuma, AZ, Fallon, NV and CVA-34 Oriskany. While on active-duty Skip flew the F8U, F9F, T1A, and DC-3. Upon separating from active duty, he joined the Fleet Marine Forces Reserve and continued for 13 years, flying the F9F-6 and 8, the A4D-1 and 2, T-33, T1A, SNB, AD5 and R4Q (C-119) and F6A (F4D-1).
Concurrent with reserve duty Skip pursued a career in commercial aviation. The timing was not the best as most airlines were introducing turbine powered aircraft into their fleets, and soon the economic realities of the efficiencies resulted in the need for fewer aircraft and therefore fewer pilot to man them. This was resolved only by the great expansion of the military airlift requirement to support the conflict in Southeast Asia.
Skip was hired by Northwest Airlines in the spring of 1964 (5/27/1964) and retired there 31 plus years later. During his career at NWA Skip flew the DC-6 and DC-7, the DC-10, Boeing 707 and retired flying the Boeing 747 (classic).
During the 30 years of his career Skip was an appointed, or elected officer, or representative in ALPA, the pilots union. This service led to Skip being nominated and elected Deputy President of the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations (IFALPA). He served in this office the final years prior to retirement. The support, encouragement and assistance of his fellow pilots at NWA and ALPA aided greatly in the ability to represent the pilots of the world to the various national governments and regulating bodies. Through all, strength was derived from the support and love of Kathy and family.
(~This obituary was written solely by Merle Eglet)