John Pennington

John A. Pennington

1933 ~ 2022

Obit Photo John Pennington 3 2

    Captain John Pennington, age 88, died July 08, 2022, after struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease since 2017. John was born to Earnest and Ruth Pennington on November 14, 1933, in Independence, Missouri. He had one sibling, a younger sister Molly.

Obit Photo John Pennington 1 3 John was a good high school student and a skilled athlete. After high school he attended college in Iowa, enrolling in a two-year Associate Degree program. This academic work qualified him to apply for the US Air Force Aviation Cadet Pilot Training program. The Aviation Cadet program became John’s ticket to a future in the cockpit. Upon completing Undergraduate Pilot Training John was awarded his silver wings and passed to Tinker AFB, OK for training in the C-124 Globemaster. His final (PCS) assignment was to the 62nd Troop Carrier Wing (Heavy) at McChord AFB, WA.

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James Edward Swanson

James Edward Swanson

1940 ~ 2022

Pilot Obit Jim Swanson

   Captain James Edward Swanson, age 81 of Eagan and Edina, MN, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2022, after a valiant battle with acute pulmonary problems...

   Jim was born in Iron Mountain, Michigan on March 19 1940, to the late Edward and Vera (Fearing) Swanson. The oldest of five children, Jim grew up in nearby Florence and Wabeno, Wisconsin where his father worked as a baker. As a young lad Jim worked alongside his father in the bakery. He attended Wabeno High School where he was known as a well-rounded student having participated in almost every sport and school activity including basketball, football, band, choir, glee club, and student council.

     It was natural for Jim to go on to attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison. As these were the years of mandatory ROTC, he opted for Air Force ROTC. During his senior year Jim received FAA approved training in light aircraft as a prescreening for USAF Pilot Training. The same week he received his BA degree in political science, he was also commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force Reserve.

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David Hall

David W. Hall

1930 ~ 2022

 Obit Photo Dave Hall NWA

     Captain David W. (Dave) Hall passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on Jan. 30, 2022 after a short bout with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving wife Veda and daughter Sherri. Throughout his adventure-filled life, Dave dutifully served his family, country, and airline.

Dave was the child of Dorris Washburn (“DW”) Hall and Ula Bee (Wright) Hall. He was born in Seattle, WA and grew up in LaGrande, Oregon. Dave was proceeded in birth by his brother Bill who passed away just a week before Dave. Seeking adventure at a young age, Dave worked for the Forest Service and Oregon Railroad during his teen years. He attended La Grande High School in Eastern Oregon where he played quarterback for the football team and served as senior class president.

In 1948 Dave entered Eastern Oregon State College (now Eastern Oregon University). Two year later he transferred to the University of Oregon where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business. While at the ‘U of O’ Dave met several life-long friends as a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity including Bob Wilkins, Roesch Fitzgerald and William and Bob Cary.

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Robert D. Shumway

Robert D. Shumway 

1939 ~ 2022

Obit Photo Bob Shumway3

Captain Robert (Bob) D. Shumway, age 82, was born on April 29, 1939, in Hollywood, CA to Kenneth and Roberta Shumway. Bob has three sisters; he was the third of the four children. He grew up in Halcyon, CA, where his father was a general construction contractor.

He attended High school in Arroyo Grande, CA and college at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA.

Bob held several summer jobs and worked as a forest fire fighter in State Division of Forestry during 1957 and 1959.

As a young boy of six years, Bob’s Dad took him on a flight from the Oceano Airport. This ignited a fire in the young boy, which could not be extinguished.

Bob’s lifetime goal was to become a pilot, a dream which he pursuit, despite hurdles put in his way, he never lost sight of his dream!

He earned his private pilot certificate in 1959 and thereafter entered USN flight training at NAS Pensacola. At completion of his flight training Bob took the mandatory flight physical. This process included the completion of a medical form on which he checked hay fever. The Naval Flight Surgeon disallowed him to fly, despite the appeal of several California Senators, the medical opinion could not be overruled. Bob received an honorable discharge from the Navy.

One can imagine his distress and disappointment; perhaps the biggest hurdle of them all, but looking back, it saved Bob from serving in Vietnam!

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Ray Dolny

 Raymond L. Dolny

1924 ~ 2022

Obit Photo Ray Dolny final

   Captain Ray Dolny, age 96, died peacefully on August 27, 2021. He entered this world in a simple way, born at home to a loving family of Slovakian roots in the Upper Bohemian Flats neighborhood of Minneapolis. Ray was the ninth of ten children. His father was a railway technician. He grew up under the tutelage of Holy Emmanuel Riverside Lutheran Church where he delighted in ringing the church bells and playing soft ball and basketball on the church teams. His tenure at this church continued into adulthood, serving on the board of trustees and being President of the congregation.

   After graduating from South High School in Minneapolis Ray enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet. In what must be described as a rare venue, Ray was trained as a Flight Engineer designated for the B-29. Ray was in the pipeline for duty in the Pacific just as World War II ended.

Obit Photo Ray Dolny aviation cadet 2

   Ray was released from active duty at Sioux Falls, SD. He thereafter entered an Aircraft and Powerplant Mechanic program at DuPonti Aviation School in Minneapolis. On October 27, 1947 Ray was hired as an aircraft mechanic by Northwest Airlines. At that time NWA’s maintenance base was located at Holmen Field in St. Paul, MN, coincidentally near the Minnesota Air National Guard. Ray noted that fact and enlisted in the Minnesota Air Guard. During the Korean War he was recalled, serving as a P-51 Crew Chief from March 1, 1951 to March 18, 1952.

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Arnold R. Pleasant

Arnold R. Pleasant

1938 ~ 2021

Obit Photo Arnie Pleasant Profile vest

     Captain Arnie Pleasant, age 83, with a heart full of love, a life full of precious memories and a body ready for mercy after a strongly fought battle with Corticobasal Degeneration, passed away December 01, 2021. Arnie left a legacy of kindness, selflessness, humble sincerity, and true love for his family, fellow aviators, and many friends. He was truly a man who was a friend to all.

   Arnie was born to Clyde and Elsie Pleasant in Cowiche, WA June 12, 1938. He was the oldest of three siblings. Cowiche is a small unincorporated community northwest of Yakima, Washington, near the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Maturing in this agricultural region Arnie gained a deep-seated love of family, friends and sports. He was a natural athlete and excelled in basketball, baseball and football. Arnie attended Washington State University (WSU) on a basketball scholarship playing both basketball and baseball for his beloved Cougar team. Arnie still holds the WSU Cougar baseball record for single season RBI in the Wood Bat Era (1892-1973).

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