Robert Kunold

Robert Kunold  

1937 ~ 2022


   Captain Robert Kunold, age 84, passed away on Veterans Day, 2022. Born in Los Angeles, CA on December 7, 1937. He had one younger sibling - a sister Joni. Bob graduated from Cantwell High School in Whittier, CA with the class of 1955. He was respected as an athlete playing football and member of the swimming team.

   Bob worked at the family-owned liquor store while putting himself through college. He graduated with a BS degree in Physics from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona (CalPoly). About the same time, he charmed his future wife Carol Jean Appy into eloping and launching a marriage that lasted sixty-one years.

   Immediately following these events, Bob entered the U.S. Navy Aviation Officer Candidate Program. Although Bob’s USN career was comparatively brief, the Navy taught him to fly and to be an officer; both played a major role in his life. After earning his ‘Wings of Gold,’ Bob was assigned to VP-1 at NAS Whidbey Island, WA. VP-1 was a ‘patrol squadron’ flying the Lockheed P2V-Neptune. This squadron shared rotation schedules with VP-2, VP-17, and VP-42 at Whidbey. At any given time two of the squadrons were deployed to NAS Adak in the Aleutians or USMC Iwakuni in Japan.

Obit Photo Kunold SP 2H VP 1 during Market Time mission


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J. Philip Pattie

J. Philip Pattie

1935 ~ 2022

Obit Photo Phil and Karen Pic 002

    Captain James Philip ‘Phil’ Pattie, age 86, passed away October 5, 2022, in Mesa, AZ. Phil was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, on November 7, 1935, the son of James Warren Pattie and Helen Ruth Wilkinson Pattie. His end of life came quickly, he attended a concert on Saturday and died the following Wednesday - succumbing to prostate cancer.

   Phil attended Marshalltown (Iowa) High School where he played basketball. He spent a year at the local community college and then was off to the University of Iowa where he studied Political Science and was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity. After graduation entered the USN Officer Candidate School. In December 1958 he was commissioned ansEnsign in the Navy Reserve followed by an assignment to Naval Aviation Orientation Courses at NAS Jacksonville, FL. Phil was assigned to Patrol Squadron 45 (VP-45) at USN Operating Base on Bermuda as a navigator. This squadron operated the P5M Marlin seaplane from Bermuda’s Great Sound. This assignment was followed by duty with Patrol Squadron 26 (VP-26) at NAS Brunswick, Maine which was equipped with the P2V and ran almost continuous deployments to Iceland and Rota, Spain.

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Clarence Holter

Clarence L. Holter

1924 ~ 2022

 Obit Photo Clarence Holter

     NWA pilot Clarence Louis Holter age 98, passed away peacefully on October25th at The Regent of Burnsville. Clarence was born June 26, 1924, in Minneapolis, MN. He was the only child of Louis Holter of Fetsund, Norway, and Henrikke (Hendrickson) Holter of Tromso, Norway.

     When Clarence was about two years old, he moved to a 150-acre farm outside of Delano, MN, with his parents and his Uncle Anton and Aunt Jette Holter. They lived on this farm for about 10 years and moved back to Minneapolis after Clarence's mother died in February of 1936.

     Clarence began working at Northwest Airlines in August of 1942 as an Apprentice Mechanic. He joined the Army Air Corp. in May of 1943 and went to basic training at the Lincoln Army Airfield in Lincoln, Nebraska. Following basic training, he went to aircraft mechanics school at the Amarillo Army Airfield, in Amarillo TX. He then trained as a North American P-51 mechanic in Inglewood, CA. After completing his training, he was transferred to an airfield in Meridian, Mississippi, to work on P-51s. He was then transferred to Buckingham Army airfield by Fort Myers for B-24 gunnery school. While stationed at Buckingham, he became sick with pneumonia. The class he was training with was activated and went over to England while he was in the hospital. After recovering from pneumonia, the Army Air Corp was looking for A-26 gunners, so he was transferred to Florence, SC, for that training. Just as he was finishing training, the war ended.

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Dennis Bertness

  Dennis A. Bertness

1937 ~ 2022

Obit Photo Bertness 002

    Captain Dennis A. Bertness, age 85, passed away at home with his wife by his side holding her hand. Denny was hired by Northwest Airlines on May, 06, 1968.

   Dennis graduated from Walker High School, Walker, MN. He spent 11 years in the Air Force (SAC) as a pilot flying air refuelers. He flew for Northwest Airlines for 29 years, retiring as a 747 Captain.

   Dennis had a major stroke in July 2019. Since then, he had been cared for 24-7 by his wife of 62 years. In the last months he developed cancer. We will all miss his laugh, many jokes, and stories.

   Preceded in death by his parents Marvin and Winifred; twin sister, Deanna Murray; brother, Leigh Bertness; step-mother, Carol Bertness. Survived by wife, Margaret (Margo); daughter, Carrie (Bryan) Hopson; son, Brian (Jody); grandson, Nick Bertness; granddaughter, Tori (Cory) Soller; grandson, Aaron Kapke; great-grandchilden, Ava and Gage Bertness, Marshall, Clair, and Hannah Soller; sisters-in-law, Mary Agnes Miksch and Sylvia Trahan; nephews and nieces.

   Private Interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial preferred to Mary Mother of the Church, Burnsville, MN.

(- Bertness family)

Steven Luckey

Stephen A. Luckey

1940 ~ 2022

Obit Photo Steve Lucky 747

   Steve was born on March 8, 1940, in Emmaus, PA, son of “Chick” and Mabel Luckey. Steve loved the woods and streams of the Pennsylvania Poconos where his father was a Forest and Wildlife ranger. At a very young age he accompanied his dad on ranger duties, once holding poachers at gunpoint while his dad disarmed the bad guys. Steve’s hunting experience in the Pocono mountains not only made Steve an expert marksman, but it also gave him survival skills that probably saved his life when scouting behind enemy lines in Vietnam. Very unique duty for a Marine A-4 Skyhawk pilot (carrier qualified) and a FAC (Forward Air Controller) in the U-10 Helio Courier.

Obit Photo Steve Luckey USMC


   Unique indeed. That word describes Steve the best. Many Northwest pilots started, as did Steve, on the B-727 and retired on the B747-400. However, Steve was the one and only NWA pilot that used his innate skills acquired in his formative years and his training as a Marine to make the aviation industry a safer and more secure environment.

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John Richard Erlandson

John Richard Erlandson

1930 ~ 2022

  Obit Photo Dick Erlandson newspaper

   Captain John Richard "Dick" Erlandson, age 92, died on September 05, 2022. Dick was born February 4th, 1930, in Gary, Indiana, the second of five children. He was taught by his parents - Arnold and Helen Erlandson to put family first; that included fulfilling his chores at his father’s dairy in Miller, Indiana.

   While working in the dairy it is reputed that Dick drank the cream from the top of the milk bottles. After his fulfilling chores, Dick would head east to Miller Beach, near the famed Indiana Dunes on the south shore of Lake Michigan and there tear up the beach in his brother Charlie's custom dune buggy.

As early as high school years Dick worked in the steel mills in Gary, Indiana. After high school he hitchhiked to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota for his first two years of college. Thereafter he transferred to the University of Colorado Boulder until graduating with a degree in Pharmacy.

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