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This page is produced by the PCN and is designed to be respectful and an honor to those from among us whom have made their final Flight West. When the PCN receives notices, all families agree that address info will be included (unless requested otherwise) on this semi-private web page. Contributor contact info is removed before posting (unless requested otherwise).


Sunday, December 15, 2019

NC/RC/NWA Capt. Thomas Lloyd Docken

USAF veteran, NC/RC/NWA Capt. Thomas Lloyd Docken
May 26, 1946 ~ December 9, 2019

Notification with the passing of retired North Central/Republic/ Northwest Airlines pilot Captain Thomas Lloyd Docken, age 73.  Widowed in January 2017 with the passing of his wife Nancy Jane, Captain Docken is survived by his children and grandchildren.
To view the obituary and family photos online, and to share memories, please visit
Obituary is also available at
MEMORIAL SERVICE:  January 11, 2020 at 11:00 AM (visitation one hour prior) at
Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 19001 Jackson St. NE, East Bethel, MN.
Thank you,
~ Carol for the PCN 

Obituary…………. Thomas Lloyd Docken was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 26, 1946; he graduated from Roosevelt High School and Augsburg College before joining the United States Air Force. He passed away at his longtime home in Linwood Township on Monday, December 9, 2019. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 39 years, Nancy Jane Docken (Alstrup) and is survived by his sons, Chris and Corey; daughter-in-law, Sarah; grand- daughters, Aubrey and Madison; brother, Ron (Terri); cherished English Springer Spaniels, Doc and Molly; along with other family and friends. Tom was a DC-9 Captain with North Central/Republic/ Northwest/Delta Airlines, a career that lasted 28 years. Lifelong Minnesota and University of Texas sports fan, Tom spoiled his kids, grandkids, and dogs equally. He loved cars, grilling, and spending time on the lake. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 11, 2019, at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 19001 Jackson St. NE, East Bethel, MN. Family will be greeting friends one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Pheasants Forever or the Animal Humane Society.
DOCKEN (Alstrup) Nancy Jane was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 5, 1948 and raised in Bloomington, Minnesota. She crossed over on Saturday, August 12, 2017. She is survived by her loving husband, Tom; sons, Chris and Corey; loving daughter-in-law, Sarah; cherished granddaughter, Aubrey; brother, Dave; pets, Doc and Molly; other family and friends. Nancy graduated from St. Cloud State College in 1970. She worked as a flight attendant for 11 years with North Central/Republic Airlines. She was a proud member and volunteer at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, East Bethel, Minnesota for 35 years. Nancy participated as a confirmation teacher, Befriender, communion coordinator/server, Prayers of the Church, Healing Prayers, Bead Ministry coordinator, and Tree of Life Library committee member. She enjoyed sports, bowling, golf, cards, and especially beading………………………..

NEA/DL Capt. Frank Harvey Peterson

WWII veteran, NEA/DL Capt. Frank Harvey Peterson
August 15, 1920 ~ December 13, 2019

Word has reached our group with the passing of retired Northeast/Delta pilot Captain Frank Harvey ‘Pete’ Peterson, age 99.  Captain Peterson joined Northeast Airlines 11-04-1942 and retired with Delta Air Lines in 1980, based Atlanta at time of retirement.  Widowed in January 2010 with the passing of his wife Mary, Captain Peterson is survived by their children plus their grand- and great grandchildren.
Obituary information and an online guestbook is available at the funeral home website
 http://foxandweeks.com/    or go directly to
Obituary may also be viewed online at
Services have been entrusted to Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel  (912) 352-7200.
Obituary notes that there will be services at St. James Catholic Church in Savannah at a later date, interment on Vinalhaven Island, Maine.  Mary’s obituary may be viewed below as well.
Thank you,
~ Carol for the PCN 

Obituary……………. Frank Harvey ‘Pete’ Peterson was born 15 August 1920 on Vinalhaven Island, Maine, to Ambrose Ames and Cora Frances Abbott Peterson.  He lived for 99 years and died on 13 December 2019 in Savannah, Georgia.

He was married for 67 happy years to Mary Dorothea Riley Peterson (deceased in 2010).

Upon graduation from Vinalhaven High School in 1938 he attended the University of Maine with a mind to be a mechanical engineer.  However, Uncle Sam was looking for pilots, as WWII was ramping up.  After taking flying lessons in college he realized how much he loved flying and changed his career path.   During the War, Pete flew many missions in the C47 shuttling cargo and passengers to Iceland, Greenland, and across Africa.  Upon completion of the War, he flew for Northeast Airlines flying throughout New England and then initiating the new 727 “Yellowbirds” from Boston to Miami.  Later Northeast merged with Delta and opened routes across the U.S. and Europe.  The Peterson family moved to Lighthouse Point, FL from Beverly, MA and later to Hilton Head, SC, as Pete’s career progressed.

In 1980 he took mandatory retirement after completing and loving his 39 years of flying.  In his retirement, he returned every summer to his beloved Vinalhaven Island with Mary and his trusty Shopsmith, with which he built his island home. Pete served on the board of the Medical Center there as well as other community activities.

Pete’s faith was an integral part of who he was. He was very involved with his Catholic Church community on Hilton Head and in Savannah where he and Mary spent their later years.

Mary and Pete loved both of their island homes where you could find them entertaining family and friends, boating in one of the many crafts they had over the years, or taking advantage of free flying and trotting around the globe!  They shared many an adventure together.

Despite his travels, Pete remained the classic New Englander, “use it up, measure twice, cut once, a penny saved is a penny earned.”  An accomplished carpenter, plumber and electrician, he was self-reliant and generous with his time, skills and his love of community and family.  Often surrounded by competitive talkers, we have all learned from Pete’s quiet example.

He leaves four children:  Jeffrey James Peterson (Teen), Susan Peterson King, David Riley Peterson (Cynthia), and Ann Peterson Ramee (Tom); nine grandchildren, Cora Peterson, Mary Peterson Screws, Anna Peterson, Bryan King, Stephen King, Amy King Fontaine, Faran Peterson, Shane Ramee, Ali Ramee: and eleven great grandchildren.

There will be a Memorial Mass at St. James Catholic Church in Savannah at a later date and an interment on Vinalhaven Island, ME.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to: St. James Catholic Church, 8412 Whitefield Ave., Savannah, GA 31406 or Vinalhaven Medical Center, 15 Medical Center Loop, Vinalhaven Island, ME 04863.

Mary Dorothea Riley Peterson  1921-2010
Mary Dorothea Riley Peterson died peacefully in her sleep at home with her loving husband by her side on January 17, 2010. She was 8 days shy of her 89th Birthday.

Mary was born in Portland, ME on January 25, 1921, the only child of James Augustine Riley. She never knew her mother, Dorothea Perrin Riley, who died during childbirth in 1923.

After attending Westbrook College, Mary worked for a short while for Ma Bell (i.e. the phone company), before becoming a flight attendant for Northeast Airlines. It wasn't long before she met the love of her life, and husband of 66 years, Frank (Pete) Peterson.

Mary would be the first one to tell you that being a flight attendant was not for her, and after marrying Pete (her pilot) in 1943 her "real" life began. They settled in MA; after four homes and four children there, they moved with the airlines to south Florida in 1960. The sunny south brought out new life styles, hobbies and sporting activities including tennis, boating, fishing and not to mention being involved in all the kid's activities from middle school, high school and college.

In 1973, when Delta merged with Northeast, Mary & Pete established a home on Hilton Head Island where they lived for 34 years. In 2005, Mary and Pete moved to The Marshes in Savannah, GA.

Throughout married life the family spent summers on Vinalhaven, a small island fishing village off the coast of Maine where Pete was born and raised. The love she received from her husband's parents, as well as her husband and children, was very important.

Vinalhaven became the gathering-place for the entire family-children, their spouses, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Mary enjoyed her family first and foremost. She had a rich life full of travel, a wide circle of friends, a fanatic love of bridge, crossword puzzles, reading and anything that involved family, friends, food and laughter.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

WA/DL Capt. Anthony ‘Tony’ J. Cavalier

Navy veteran, WA/DL Capt. Anthony ‘Tony’ J. Cavalier
October 24, 1935 -  December 9, 2019

Notification with the passing of retired Western/Delta pilot Captain Anthony ‘Tony’ Joseph ‘AJ’ Cavalier, age 84.  Captain Cavalier joined Western Airlines 07-15-1968 and retired with Delta Air Lines in 1995, based 030/SLC.  Widowed in 1990 with the passing of his wife Doris, Captain Cavalier is survived by his children and grandchildren, his longtime friend Nancy plus many other dear friends and aviation colleagues. 
To share memories and express condolences, please visit the funeral home website at
Rosary and prayer service will be December 16th at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass will be held December 17th at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church located at 323 Collyer St. in LONGMONT CO 80501.
Thank you,
~ Carol for the PCN 

Obituary…………… Anthony Joseph "AJ" Cavalier
Anthony Joseph Cavalier, 84, passed away December 9, 2019.

AJ (Tony) was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1935. He was raised by his mother Julia and grandmother Sadie in the Italian neighborhood of South Philly. He delivered papers as a child and worked in a small market during his years at Southeast Catholic High School. After high school, he attended St. Joseph's University and received a B.S. in Political Science in 1957.

He was accepted into the United States Navy's Officer Candidate School. After graduating from OCS, he became a pilot and flew numerous aircraft throughout his career in the Navy, mainly the R6D and the C-47. He flew around the world transporting troops and dignitaries. He flew NATO troops in and out of the Belgian Congo in Africa during their civil war and transported troops to Europe, North America, Central America, South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

He met the love of his life, Doris Hartnagle on a blind date in 1962 while working as a flight instructor at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. They were later married on June 1, 1963. While in Pensacola, they welcomed their first two children - Theresa and Stephen. In 1966 he accepted new orders to be stationed in Caracas, Venezuela as the Embassy's pilot. Two more children were welcomed while in Caracas - Frank and Anthony. The family lived there until the end of 1967.

In 1968, after being honorably discharged from the Navy as a Lieutenant, AJ accepted a job with Western Airlines. The family moved to his wife's hometown of Longmont, Colorado. They raised their children in the stone house on Third Avenue and he lived there until his death.

He and Doris were heavily involved in their children's lives, whether that be attending sporting events, horse shows or working on the family farm. AJ took on his wife's and daughter’s love of horses and became heavily involved in Appaloosas. The family would go on numerous vacations to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and road trips around the US.

AJ's work with Western Airlines, which he said was the greatest airline in the country, was the highlight of his career. He always said, Western was truly, "The Only Way to Fly." He spent the remainder of his career with Delta Airlines after they acquired Western. He flew for Delta until his retirement as a Captain in 1995 after 38 years as a pilot. Over the years, he flew many commercial airplanes - 737, 727, 757 767 and DC-10.

He lost the love of his life, Doris, in 1990 as a result of a car accident. AJ would continue to travel with friends on European and Mediterranean cruises, as well as continuing to travel with his family on countless vacations. He was a true global traveler, seeing the world over many decades. AJ loved the beach and spending time with his grandchildren. He was an avid reader and there was no crossword puzzle that he couldn't handle. He was known for telling jokes and having opinions about everything. He volunteered for many years at Longmont United Hospital. He especially loved the conversations over coffee and donuts with his hospital buddies. He faced many health challenges over the last 7 years and always remained the fighter. He was truly remarkable and lived life on his terms.

He was preceded in death by his mother (Julia), his grandmother (Sadie) and his wife (Doris). He is survived by his sister Louise Banbury; four children: Theresa (Robert Schmidt), Stephen (Caroline), Frank (Christine), and Anthony (Erin Claussen); four grandchildren: Suzie, Mimi, Carlo, and Marco; and longtime friend Nancy.

Rosary prayers will be at 6:00 PM Monday, December 16, 2019 at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel. A Funeral Mass will be held at 1:00 PM Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Interment at Longmont Mountain View Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. John the Baptist Catholic School. Share condolences at www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com
Birth   :  2 Oct 1932
Death :  18 Sep 1990
Doris Aileen Cavalier, 57, of Longmont died September 18, 1990 in an automobile accident. Mass of Christian Burial was Sept. 24 at Spirit of Peace Catholic Church. Burial was in Mountain View Cemetery in Longmont. Mrs. Cavalier, a native of Longmont, was a stockbroker until 1988. She also raised Appaloosa horses. Survivors include her husband, Anthony Cavalier of Longmont; three sons, Stephen Cavalier and Frank Cavalier, both of San Francisco, and Anthony Cavalier of Longmont; a daughter, Theresa Cavalier of Longmont; and her mother, Virginia Dixon Hartnagle of Longmont……………….

Sunday, December 8, 2019

NWA Capt. Richard ‘Dick’ C. Bradford

USAF veteran, NWA Capt. Richard ‘Dick’ C. Bradford
August 13, 1936 - November 08, 2019

Belated notification with the passing of RNPA member retired Northwest pilot Captain Richard Capener Bradford, age 83. Captain Bradford joined Northwest Airlines  10-30-1958.  Friends write:  He was highly respected as an instructor pilot, ending his career as the training manager on the DC-10. The fellow had marvelous ways of motivating and encouraging
others.” Captain Bradford
is survived by his wife Barbara Jean, their children and grandchildren, plus many extended family members as well as many friends and aviation colleagues.
Obituary information is still available online at

For those wishing to contact the family, whitepages notes a residence address as
7486 157th St W Apt 111 , Saint Paul, MN 55124. 
Thank you,
~ Carol for the PCN

Richard C. Bradford, age 83 of Apple Valley, passed away peacefully on November 8, 2019. Richard served his country as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He then flew for Northwest/Delta Airlines for 30+ years before his retirement. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ethel and Harold Bradford. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Barbara Jean Bradford; children, Lynnette Howze, Susan (Chuck Larson) Bradford, Christine Leiker, Stephanie (Deb) Bradford-Schumaker, and Seth (Kayte) Bradford; grandchildren 18; great grandchildren 9 and brother, Brent (Jann) Bradford, also by other relatives and friends. Funeral service will be held 11 AM Monday, November 18, 2019 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 651 Southcross Dr., Burnsville, MN with a visitation 1 hr prior to service at church. Richard served as the first Bishop of the Burnsville Ward Building, and also served many other callings in the church.
Interment will take place at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
White Funeral Home 952-432-2001

NWA Captain James Allen Bestul

Military veteran, NWA Capt. Jim Bestul
July 28, 1933 - November 7, 2019

Belated notification with the passing of RNPA member retired Northwest pilot Captain James Allen Bestul, age 86.  Captain Bestul joined Northwest Airlines 03-13-1959.  He is survived by his wife Nancy, their children and grandchildren, plus many other dear friends and family members.
Obituary information is still available online at
For those wishing to send a personal note, whitepages lists the family residence as
 4964 Devonshire Circle, Excelsior MN 55331-9329.
Thank you,
~ Carol for the PCN

Obituary……… for James Allen Bestul
Bestul, James Allen of Excelsior age 86 (Jim) Beloved husband of 60 years of Nancy (Chapman) Bestul flew west for the last time on Nov 7, 2019. Son of Sylvan and Rebecca (Ensberg) Bestul. Born in Washington DC. Grew up in Arlington VA and Bremerton WA. Graduated from Capital U in 1955. Served proudly as a Naval Aviator and was a pilot for Northwest Airlines for 34 years. He loved flying, airplanes and sailing but loved all the special family times even more. Summers sailing on Lake Superior was a family highlight for many summers. Once computers became available in the '80's he embraced the technology with enthusiasm. A pencil and paper project categorizing all American airplanes became a huge computer program of over 8000 airplanes. This program, which was still growing at the time of his death, is at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. He is survived by brother, Bruce (Geraldine); sons, Greg (Terri) and Doug (Rhonda); a proud Papa/Grandpa of Kimberly, Erica, Laura, Matthew and Alex. Services on Monday Nov. 18 at 10 A.M. at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 301 County Rd. 19, Excelsior. Visitation one hour prior to service. Interment at Ft. Snelling. In lieu of flowers donations please to American Lung Association, 55 Wacker Dr., Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60601 Lung.org. Washburn-McReavy.com Strobeck Johnson 952-938-9020
Jim Bestul, Pilot Love of flying led to immense aircraft cataloging project
Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN) - Sunday, November 24, 2019

James "Jim" Bestul lived and breathed airplanes. He flew Navy seaplanes, commercial planes for Northwest Airlines and his own private aircraft in his spare time.

Still, there were thousands of other planes out there. He started cataloging all U.S. planes, meticulously recording details like engine type, tail configuration and how many of each was built. The database, which encompassed more than 15,000 planes, caught the attention of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, where some of the records are kept today.

"He just loved airplanes," said son Doug, an Apple Valley pilot. "That whole dimension of being able to fly gets in your blood."

Bestul, 86, of Excelsior, died Nov. 7 of pulmonary fibrosis at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

The oldest of two boys, Bestul was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Virginia and Washington state. After graduating from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, he joined the Navy in 1955 and began flying seaplanes, a path that took him to Bermuda.

There he met Nancy Chapman, who was teaching sixth grade at a school for military dependents. She had mutual friends with Bestul, who bore a resemblance to Johnny Carson, she recalled. The couple hit it off at a squadron party.

"I was absolutely blown away," she said. "I knew right then and there."

They married in 1959 and moved to Bloomington, where Bestul flew for Northwest Airlines. After being laid off, he re-entered the Navy and eventually flew support transport planes for the Blue Angels, the flight demonstration squadron known for its aerobatics. By the time the family returned to Minnesota in 1964, the couple had two sons, Doug and Greg.

He was "a very hands-on dad," Nancy Bestul said, leading his sons' Boys Scout troops, teaching them woodworking and taking the family on sailboat excursions that began on Lake Minnetonka and later moved to Lake Superior. She remembered her husband tying balloons to the sailboat's shrouds and letting the children shoot them down.

Quiet, calm and confident, he was suited to sailing and flying, Nancy Bestul said, since "nothing seemed to ruffle his feathers."

Jim Bestul began his plane cataloging project in the 1970s and learned computer languages so he could transfer the paper-and-pencil records to a database in 1982. "He became a very early adopter of computers and technology," Doug Bestul said. "He was a gadget guy."

His collection, which included registration numbers for 855,000 individual planes, landed at the Smithsonian after staffers from an airplane magazine told the museum director about the project. In exchange, the museum sent Bestul laserdiscs featuring photos of 200,000 planes to add to his database.

"He was like a kid in a candy store," Doug Bestul said.

His childlike side also came out with his grandchildren, who relished playing dolls with him, said his granddaughter Erica, of Minocqua, Wis. She remembers that when she and her sister, Laura, were afraid of venturing downstairs at their grandparents' house, their "Papa" invented a "Ghostbusters" game and played it for years, calling in pretend ghost sightings while wearing special shirts, writing on custom stationery and talking over a real intercom. They used a garden hose to fight off spirits, Erica Bestul said.

"He was so good with us, so patient," she said. "He was definitely the glue that held our family together."

Besides his wife, son Doug and granddaughter Erica, Bestul is survived by son Greg of Lester Prairie, Minn.; brother Bruce of Apple Valley, Calif.; and four other grandchildren. Services have been held.