Michael R. Butler
1940 ~ 2019
Captain Michael Richard Butler, Age 78, of East Aurora, died in his home on Sunday April 7 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in East Aurora, New York, August 5, 1940, the son of Barrett and Mary Butler. He was an independent Irishman, who did not have the career of the average Northwest Airlines pilot.
“I just always wanted a job” Growing up, he worked in a drug store, as paper boy, soda jerk, gas station attendant, and shipping clerk. He graduated from the University of Buffalo, class of 1962, with a degree in economics. In college he continued his avocations working for Bethlehem Steel, a machinist, printing for Life Magazine and Merrill Lynch as a billing clerk.
Read more: Michael Butler
George W. Groth Jr.
1939 ~ 2019
Captain George Groth, age 79, passed away March 2, 2019 after an extensive struggle with dementia. Born in Rochester, NY to George (Sr.) and Arlene Groth on October 10, 1939, he was the youngest of five siblings.
George attended elementary and high school in Rochester, New York where records testify that he was a good student and an excellent athlete. George’s main sport was baseball. When not on the baseball field, George found time to fish the local streams for trout. After high school George was admitted to the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, where he majored in history while undergoing rigorous military training. It wasn’t all drill and studies; George also excelled as a college baseball pitcher. He graduated with The Citadel class of 1961. Having completed the requirements of Air Force ROTC, he was commissioned an Air Force 2/Lt. and shortly was called to USAF active duty.
Read more: George Groth
John F. Hicks
1939 ~ 2019
Captain John Hicks, age 79, passed away in Redmond, WA on Sunday, May 12, 2019 after a long illness. John was born September 23, 1939 in Springfield, MO to Charles Eugene Hicks and Mildred (Heald) McHone. John was the eldest of two children – his sister Donna was 4 years younger.
John graduated from Ames High School in 1957 and from Iowa State University in 1963 with a degree in geology. John always loved aviation and flight. He took flying lessons as soon as he was old enough, and he made his first solo flight when he was still a teenager. While studying at Iowa State John completed the Army ROTC program, after graduation he was called to active duty and pilot training at the US Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, AL. His Army active duty included a tour in Vietnam flying the Cessna L-19E "Bird Dog" as a Forward Air Controller.
Read more: John Hicks
Lowell L. Stafford
1924 ~ 2019
Captain Lowell Stafford, age 95, passed away on June 13, 2019. Lowell was born at General Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 18, 1924 and was the second son for Albert and Bessie (Novotny) Stafford. His older brother was Sheldon Stafford who was employed as a mechanic for Northwest Airlines. His mother Bessie also was employed by Northwest as an equipment service woman.
Lowell was schooled in a one room schoolhouse in Bloomington, MN and graduated from Bloomington High School. While in high school he played football. After graduating, he enlisted right into the Army and was sent to Cookeville Tennessee to partake in his Basic Training. He was able to get into the Army Air Corp to begin his flight training that was the springboard to his long career in flying. Flight training was at Maxwell Field in Montgomery, Alabama and included a side trip to Columbus, Mississippi for parachute training. His Army career included stints at the Laredo Army Air Corp Field in Laredo, Texas and the Big Spring Army Airfield in Big Spring, Texas.
Read more: Lowell Stafford
Douglas S. Tremblay
1940 ~ 2019
Captain Douglas Tremblay, age 78, passed away on May 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Doug was born to parents Joyce and Roland Tremblay and raised in Lewiston, Maine. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire and having completed four years of Air Force ROTC training he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve.
Doug served on Air Force duty from 1962 to 1967 flying the KC-135 tanker. During these years he flew refueling missions over Vietnam. In 1967 Doug separated from the active Air Force to be hired by Northwest Airlines on August 07, 1967. His early years at NWA were pent with the traditional seat upgrades on the Boeing 727. Beginning in mid-career Doug also instructed for the NWA Training Department on the 727 and DC-10. He retired from now Delta Airlines on September 08, 2000 as a DC-10 captain.
Read more: Douglas Tremblay