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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).


Saturday, September 30, 2017

DL Capt Howard Everett Pennock, ret (85)

~~In Memory~~
Capt Howard Everett Pennock NEA/DL ret (85)
Aug 30, 1932 – Sept 29, 2017

I wish to thank John Maynard for sharing the sad news of the passing of Howard Everett Pennock, 85, a retired Delta Airlines Pilot. Howard left on his final flight September 29, 2017. (Captain Pennock  joined Northeast on 01/17/1966 and retired from Delta when he reached 60 on 09/01/1992).

Howie was born in Concord, NH on August 30, 1932, to Howard and Elizabeth (Davis) Pennock. His family moved to Manchester when he was a young boy. He graduated from Central High School in 1950 and proudly served his Country in the US Air Force from 1950 to 1952. Following his discharge, he was employed as a flight engineer with the Air Force Reserves.

It was at the Manchester Airport, then known as Grenier Field, that Howie met the love of his life, Judie, and they were married on October 10, 1959. Together they enjoyed raising two daughters. He was a dedicated and loving husband, father and grandfather, affectionately known as "Bop". After many years of hard work and determination, Howie earned his Commercial pilot's license. He began his commercial flying career in 1966 with Northeast Airlines. Northeast merged with Delta in 1971.

Howie's travels with the Delta family and his own family took him all over the world. He had many homes, but his heart always resided at "camp" on Lake Winnipesaukee. He also loved the beautiful island of Bermuda where he and Judie enjoyed a cottage for many years.

Howie was a man of many talents. He could fix almost anything and never traveled without his tool bag. He also challenged himself with 1,000 and 2,000 piece puzzles.

Flying was his passion, but he also enjoyed boating. His boat went in the water at "ice-out" and sometimes stayed in until ice was forming. As a volunteer, he enjoyed riding the high seas with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary in Boca Raton, Florida. He loved to ski with his family and friends and played golf and tennis until his health prevented it.

Howie's children include two daughters, Lynn Cullity and her husband Brian, Beth Duhaime and her husband Marcel; his grandchildren, Meredith and Jonathan Cullity, Sawyer Duhaime. He was predeceased by his sister, Elizabeth Hickey.

Calling hours at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St, corner of North St, will be Sunday from 2 to 4 pm, followed immediately by a memorial service in the funeral home chapel.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire, 27 Navigator Road, Londonderry, NH 03053 or to the Kevin McHugh Scholarship Fund, Care of Trinity High School, 581 Bridge St, Manchester, NH 03104.

To send an online message of condolence or to view his video tribute, please go to www.lambertfuneralhome.com

Online Obit and tribute site:
Lambert Funeral Home
1799 Elm St
Manchester, NH 03104
Mark Sztanyo, PCN Dir

Thursday, September 28, 2017

DL Capt. Paul Kevin Hooper

USAF veteran, DL Capt. Paul K. Hooper
July 11, 1957 ~ September 20, 2017
Notification with the passing of retired Delta pilot Captain Paul Kevin Hooper, age 60.  Captain Hooper joined Delta Air Lines 08-15-1986 and was based 030/LAX.  He is survived by his wife Teri, children and grandchildren, plus many other dear family members. 
To view the online obituary and sign the guestbook, and to view the family photo tribute, please visit the funeral home website at
For those wishing to send a personal note, whitepages lists the family residence as
8748 Snowmass Peak Way , Riverside CA 92508-3285.
Services for Captain Hooper will be held Saturday, September 30th from 12:00-1:00PM in the Arlington Mortuary chapel, with visitation the evening prior at Arlington Mortuary, 9645 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, California.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN 
PAUL KEVIN HOOPER Age 60, passed away on September 20, 2017 at Dellbrook Guest Home. He was born on July 11, 1957 in Wareham, MA and had lived in Riverside, CA for 29 years, previously in Thousand Oaks, CA for 6 years and Chicago, IL for 14 years. He obtained his BS degree from UCLA. He was a Captain/Pilot in the USAF for 7 years, Delta Airlines pilot for 28 years where he retired. Paul is survived by his wife Teri L. Hooper of Riverside, CA; daughter Kristin Thornton and son-in-law Jeff Thornton of Trabuco Canyon; sons Kevin Hooper and Shawn Hooper, both of Riverside, CA; sister Mindy Erickson of Hemet, CA; brother Steve Hooper of Running Springs, CA; and 2 grandchildren. Visitation will be held at Arlington Mortuary on Friday, September 29, 2017 from 4-8pm. Funeral Service will be on Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 12-1pm in the Arlington Mortuary chapel. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Huntington's Disease Foundation.org  

Arlington Mortuary, Directors (800) 275-4648 www.arlingtonmortuary.com

DL Capt. Bob Martin

USAF veteran, DL Capt. Bob Martin
June 4, 1931 ~ September 25, 2017
Word has been received with the passing of retired Delta pilot Captain Bob Martin, age 86.  Captain Martin joined Delta Air Lines 01-02-1956 and retired with Delta in 1991, based Atlanta. (note funeral home site indicates Bob’s passing as the 24th... obituary notes his passing Monday evening the 25th).  Captain Martin is survived by his wife Karen, their children and grandchildren.
To view the online obituary and sign the guestbook please visit the funeral home website at
Bob Martin’s life will be honored with services on Saturday, September 30th at 2:00 PM in the chapel of McKoon Funeral home, Newnan GA, with visitation one hour prior.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN 
From: Bill Thompson Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2017 10:29 AM     To: DEATH.flwnwst@gmail.com  Subject: Delta Captain Bob Martin
Obituary  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bob Martin passed gently from this life on the evening of Monday, September 25, 2017 following a brief illness.
He was born June 4, 1931 in Maryville, Illinois and was the son of the late Fred William and Norine Frankman Martin. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, Fred Frankman Martin.
A precedent for Bob’s lifestyle would be evident early on as he wanted to be known as simply, “Bob”; no longer name and no middle name. Short and to the point would be the manner with which he would deal with life on his terms.
Following high school, Bob would join the Air Force and spend his time in the service in Germany. Upon returning home, his brother had established a flight school in Mississippi, and Bob signed up to learn to fly. Most of the pilots were training to be crop dusters.
On one occasion, Bob would have to make an unscheduled stop close to one of terminals for the fledgling Delta Airlines. He explained that he was a pilot and wanted to know if they were hiring. The rest is history. He would fly for Delta for the next 35 years. At the time of his retirement he was the top-ranked pilot at Delta.
Bob’s great enjoyment, aside from flying, was the outdoors; hunting and fishing. A favorite trip for Bob and Karen was to Arkansas and fishing on the White River.
Surviving Bob is his devoted wife, Karen Reynolds Martin. His children are Michael Robert Martin and Michelle Martin Yeager. The grandchildren are Tanya Yeager, Lindsey Corl and Cory Yeager. There are three great-grandchildren. He had a great appreciation for his brothers-in- law, David Garnet Reynolds, Jr. and William Barron Reynolds. Bob came to have a special bond with his two great-nephews, David Garnet Reynolds III and William Whitworth Reynolds.
The long and happy life of Bob Martin will be honored at a service to be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 2 p.m. in the chapel of McKoon Funeral home to be led by Reverend Matt Sapp and Dr. Joel E. Richardson. Friends may call on the family beginning at 1 p.m.
It is the request of the family that flowers be omitted and memorial contributions be made in Bob’s memory to either The Samaritan Clinic P.O. Box 963 Newnan GA 30264 or CORRAL 52 Oliver Potts Road Newnan GA 30263.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.mckoon.com   McKoon Funeral Home, 770-253- 4580

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

DL Capt. Russell Alan Northrop

Military veteran, DL Capt. Russell Alan Northrop
September 04, 1948 ~ September 25, 2017
News has reached us with the passing of retired Delta Air Lines pilot Captain Russell ‘Russ’ Alan Northrop, age 69.  Captain Northrop joined Delta 11-10-1978 and was based QNY/030.  Services for Captain Northrop are listed below....a complete obituary will follow in the coming days.
To sign the online guestbook please visit the funeral home website at  http://www.kentandpelczarfh.com/obituary/russell-northrop 
For those wishing to send a personal note, whitepages lists the family residence as
23 Sandy Brook Dr., Durham NH 03824-3137 .... (603) 868-1237.
As more information is received, we will pass it along.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN
Durham NH – Russell Alan Northrop, 69, of Sandy Brook Drive, died peacefully September 25, 2017 at his home with family by his side.
  A complete obituary is forthcoming.
  A Memorial Visitation will be held on Friday, September 29th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Kent & Pelczar Funeral Home, 77 Exeter Road, Newmarket.
  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, September 30th at 10 a.m. at the Church of St. Thomas More, Madbury Road, Durham. Burial with military honors will follow in the Durham Cemetery. After the Services a reception will be held at the Catholic Student Center, Madbury Road, Durham.
  Please visit www.kentandpelczarfh.com   to sign an online guestbook.
-----Original Message-----
From: Norm Houle  Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 8:23 AM
From: oeg1011 [mailto:oeg1011@comcast.net]   Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 8:30 AM
Subject: Russ Northrop
Dear Friends of Russ and Kathy Northrop,
Full information on the upcoming services are now available and are as follows:
Wake for Russ:  Friday, September 29, 2017..... 4PM-7PM
Kent & Pelczar Funeral Home, 77 Exeter Road, New Market, NH 03857
Mass of Christian Burial ......Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017....10AM
St. Thomas More Church, 6 Madbury Road, Durham, NH 03824
Gravesite Service:  Durham Cemetery, 271 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824.....11AM
Reception to Follow:  Catholic Student Center (in attached Gymnasium)
6 Madbury Road, Durham, NH 03824

Chris Nevins

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

NAL/PAA/DL Capt. John 'Jack' Joseph D'Arcy III

NAL/PAA/DL Capt. John ‘Jack’ Joseph D’Arcy III
April 17, 1943 ~ September 22, 2017
Please see notice below with more information to follow....
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for he PCN 

NAL/PAA/DAL Captain Jack D'Arcy
DOB April 17, 1943
DOH Sep 27, 1965
DOD Sep 22, 2017
The following note is from Marty D'Arcy last night. Arrangements to follow when details become available.............
Dearest Friends and Family.
Jack passed away at 11pm last evening after having his final wish granted; to come home.
Thanks to a wonderful hospice care, Brian and I were able to be by his side every precious, loving moment as he passed into God’s arms.
Thanks to all of those who followed us thought this long journey. Your prayers, support and special thoughts will remain with us always.
Much love to you all.
Marty and Brian
Celebrating the life of John "Jack" Joseph D'Arcy
Be the first to share your favorite memory, photo or story of Capt. John "Jack". This memorial page is dedicated for family, friends and future generations to celebrate the life of their loved one.
John "Jack" Joseph D'Arcy, III, 74, passed away on September 22, 2017. He was born on April 17, 1943 in Birmingham, AL to Doris and John D'Arcy, Jr.
Jack had a life-long passion for flying and cars, specifically Corvettes. He was taught to fly at a very early age by his father and gained experience flying cargo in the early 60's. He was a flight instructor for Burnside-Ott, Opa Locka, FL, until getting hired by National Airlines in 1965, where he met his wife, Marty. He had a long and rewarding career as he moved from National Airlines to Pan Am, and finally Delta Airlines, where he finished 40 years of distinguished service in the commercial airline industry.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Marty D'Arcy, his son, Brian D'Arcy, and two other children, Mary D'Arcy Cantu and John J. D'Arcy IV.
A celebration of life will be announced in the near future for family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jack's memory to either Southern Grace Hospice ( http://www.southerngracehospice.com), or the Fayette Fire Foundation ( http://www.fayettefirefoundation.org)
son of C&S/DL Capt. J. J. D’Arcy, DOB 08-03-1911, death date 04-09-1992 due aircraft accident - Globe GC1-B, Swift, N90379, Miami, FL....joined C&S 05-16-1945, based MEM/MIA......was widowed in 1987 with passing of wife Doris.
thank you/~ Carol

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

NWA/DL Capt. Gary Andrew Blevins

USAF veteran, NWA/DL Capt. Gary Andrew Blevins
December 15, 1958 - September 15, 2017
Notification with the passing of Northwest/Delta pilot Captain Gary Andrew Blevins, age 58.  Captain Blevins joined Northwest Airlines 10-06-1995 and was currently flying for Delta Air Lines, based I believe Atlanta.  He is survived by his wife Anne, their children and many other family members.  The obituary below may be viewed online http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/commercialappeal/obituary.aspx?n=gary-andrew-blevins&pid=186696448&fhid=5683  also at http://memphis-mg-poplar.tributes.com/dignitymemorial/obituary/Gary-Andrew-Blevins-105204736 
For those wishing to contact the family, whitepages list their residence as
8905 Three Chimneys Dr E , Germantown TN 38138-8206....(952) 953-0005... (901) 748-0209.
If more information is received, we will pass it along.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN 
Obituary..................Gary Andrew Blevins, Germantown TN

Gary Andrew Blevins died on Friday, September 15, 2017 from cancer. He was born to Thomas Blevins and Betty Houglum Blevins in Asheville, North Carolina on December 15, 1958. He graduated from the University of South Florida before going into the Air Force. During his military career, he flew C-130s throughout the USA and Europe. As a member of the flight crew for the New York Air Guard, Gary flew all over the world, including Antarctica. After leaving the Air Force Gary began his 25 year career as a pilot for Northwest Airlines and then Delta Airlines. He was an avid sportsman, loving husband, and wonderful father. Gary is survived by his Mother, sister, Linda (Dennis) Blevins Munday; his wife of 23 years, Anne Templet Blevins; his daughter, Renee Elizabeth Blevins; son, Benjamin Robert Blevins, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Gary was preceded in death by his father. A visitation will be held Tuesday, September 17 at Incarnation Catholic Church from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. with a mass to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. 5526 West 13400 South #510. Salt Lake City, UT 84096 or donate online.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WA/DL Capt. Alan J. McKinnon

WA/DL Capt. Alan J. McKinnon
February 17, 1939 ~ September 6, 2017

Notice with the passing of retired Western/Delta pilot Captain Alan McKinnon has been received.  Alan John McKinnon was 78 years of age at the time of his passing.  Captain McKinnon joined Western Airlines 03-14-1966 and retired with Delta Air Lines, based LAX/030.  He is survived by his wife Margaret and their daughter Kathleen.  
Captain McKinnon’s obituary may be viewed online at 
or at
Captain McKinnon’s obituary notes that services will be private.
For those wishing to send personal condolences, whitepages notes the family residence as
1979 Stonesgate St., Westlake Village CA 91361-1615  ...  (805) 497-4024.
If more information is received, we will be sure to pass it along.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN 
Alan John McKinnon, Westlake Village, CA
Captain Alan McKinnon, a 46 year resident of Westlake Village, passed away on September 6, 2017.
He was a fifth generation Californian, born in Sacramento, raised in Merced, Westwood Village, and Edwards Air Force Base. At Edwards he watched Chuck Yeager break the sound barrier and decided then and there to be a pilot. He accepted a job with Western Airlines which later merged with Delta. He was a captain for over 30 years and flew for 36 years. Alan's fellow pilots called him "a natural" and one of the best with whom they had ever flown.
Alan was a listener, not a talker, and he never said a bad word about anyone (unless he was referring to the driver in front of him). He was a gentle giant, and his laughter was infectious.
He is survived by Margaret, his wife of 44 years; his daughter, Kathleen (who was always Daddy's Little Girl); his beloved sister, Marj Johnson and her husband, Cal; and many nieces and nephews.
A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Hema Nathan, and Dr. David Chi for guiding us on this journey no one wants to be on and to our dear friends who held us up when we were falling down.
There will be a private celebration of his life in San Francisco at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Boys' and Girls' Club of Conejo Valley. ( www.bgcconejo.org )
" To Fly West, My Friend, Is A Flight We All Must Take for a Final Check," safe landing sweet one.

Published in Ventura County Star from Sept. 15 to Sept. 17, 2017

DL Capt. Donald Edward Watkins

DL Capt. Donald E. Watkins
May 30, 1938 ~ September 5, 2017

Notification with the passing of retired Delta pilot Captain Donald Edward Watkins, age 79.  Captain Watkins joined Delta Air Lines 10-18-1965 and retired with Delta in May 1997, based 030/ATL.  He is survived by his son Jay.
To view/sign the online obituary and guestbook please visit 
Captain Watkins had most recently resided at
761 Burning Tree Drive SE , Marietta GA 30067-4721  ...  (770) 953-2425  (770) 422-4916
Captain Watkins’ obituary below indicates services will be private.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN
Obituary..................Donald Edward Watkins passed away on September 5, 2017 at Atria East Cobb in Marietta, Georgia. Don will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by his son, James Edward (Jay) Watkins III. Don was born in DeKalb County on May 30, 1938, to Mary and Jim Watkins, both deceased. He graduated from Southwest DeKalb High School in 1958 after earning a military scholarship to Auburn University. After graduation, Don entered the United States Navy, where he was honored to be one of the first four pilots selected to fly the F-4 Phantom jet from an aircraft carrier in the Vietnam War. After serving 5 years in the Navy, Don became a pilot with Delta Air Lines. He was a very happy member of the Delta family for over 30 years before his retirement in 1997. He and Jay continued to travel extensively together to many beautiful places, his favorite being Hawaii. Don wished to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in Hawaiian waters by Jay and others who loved him. This will be his memorial service.

.Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Sept. 15 to Sept. 16, 2017

C&S/DL Capt. James Lee Haydon

C&S/DL Capt. James Lee Haydon
October 18, 1924 ~ February 11, 2017
Belated notice, as noted in the September 2017 issue of ALPA's Airline Pilot magazine's  In Memoriam column, the passing of C&S/DL pilot Captain James Lee Haydon, age 92.  Born/raised in Kentucky, Captain Haydon joined Chicago & Southern 02-12-1951 and retired with Delta Air Lines in 1984.  He was based Houston, then DFW at the time of his retirement. 
I believe Capt. Haydon is survived by his wife Eleanor and had most recently resided at
933 Harpole Road E , Argyle TX 76226-4004.... (940) 464-1122.
No other information is available at this time.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN
James Lee Haydon .... October 18, 1924 - February 11, 2017
James was born on October 18, 1924 and passed away on Saturday, February 11, 2017.
James was a resident of Mount Sterling, Kentucky at the time of passing.

Cremation under the direction of Denton Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

NWA Capt. Vincent G. Vaccaro, and wife Betty Jo

Military veteran, NWA Capt. Vincent G. Vaccaro
August 13, 1925 ~ September 3, 2017
Notice with the passing of retired Northwest mechanic/flight engineer/pilot Captain Vincent Guy Vaccaro, age 92, and his wife Betty Jo, age 90.  Captain Vaccaro joined Northwest Airlines 06-18-1948 and retired with Northwest 09-30-1985 (retired as S/O to remain past age 60).  Please see both obituaries below.  Friends and family will gather for Vince and Betty at 10:30 AM this Friday, September 22nd at Woodbury Estates, 2825 Woodlane Dr., Woodbury, MN with services following at 11 AM. Private interment at Union Cemetery, Maplewood.  Captain Vaccaro’s obituary may be viewed online at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/twincities/obituary.aspx?pid=186575837
If more information is received, we will be sure to advise.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN 
Vaccaro, Vincent Guy, Age 92, of Burnsville, MN died peacefully on Sept. 3, 2017. Preceded in death by wife, Betty Jo and sister, Nina Krepps. Survived by children, Victoria (Ethan) Hertz, Paul (Susan), Phillip (Nancy); 6 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; relatives and friends. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Vince had a long career with Northwest Airlines as a mechanic, flight engineer and pilot. There will be a gathering for Vince and Betty at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 22 at Woodbury Estates, 2825 Woodlane Dr., Woodbury, MN with a service at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon. Private interment at Union Cemetery, Maplewood. Memorials preferred to The Pillars Hospice or Our Lady of Peace Hospice.

Vaccaro, Betty Jo, Age 90 of Burnsville, MN, passed away peacefully on August 6, 2017. Survived by husband, Vincent; children, Victoria (Ethan) Hertz, Paul (Susan), Phillip (Nancy); 6 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; brother, John (Lois) Fleming; relatives; and friends. A private service will be held. Thank you to The Alton Memory Care for providing loving support and care for the past 5 years. Memorials preferred to the Alzheimer's Association or Our Lady of Peace Hospice.

NWA Capt. Ronald E. Riel

Military veteran, NWA Capt. Ronald E. Riel
March 23, 1938 ~ September 10, 2017

We have received news with the passing of RNPA member retired Northwest pilot Captain Ronald Eugene Riel, age 79.  Captain Riel first joined Northwest Airlines 11-06-1967.  He is survived by his wife Kathie, their children and grandchildren.  The online obituary may be viewed at
Condolences and memories may be shared by mailing the family at  
5302 South Best Lane, Spokane WA  99206  or Kathron2@comcast.net  ...  (509) 922-8914)
Services for Captain Riel were held last Thursday in Spokane Valley, Washington.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN 
Ronald Eugene Riel died peacefully in his home on September 10, 2017 in Spokane Valley, WA at the age of 79.
Ronald is survived by the love of his life, wife, Kathie Riel; five children and their spouses Ron Riel (Terry), Cherie Wall (Dave), Laurie Gilstrap (Kerry), David Riel (Barbara) and Michele Haus (Al); 16 grandchildren; Alex and Natalie Riel, Ryan and Nick (Tara) Wall, Nicole (Kasey Folsom), Justin, Jaclyn, and Joseph Gilstrap, Darren and Ethan Cheatham, Devin and Jennifer Riel, Brandon, Ashley, Emily and Maria Haus; and four great grandchildren, Makenna Wall, Lincoln Wall, Kasey and Brentin Folsom; sister Jan Martin, and numerous nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents Ronald Joseph and Alice Agnes Riel.
Ron was born on March 23, 1938 in Yakima, WA.  He grew up on the family hop farm in Wapato, WA where he learned to operate heavy equipment. His love of flying started at an early age and he achieved his pilot’s license in high school.  He graduated from Marquette High School in 1956 and from Gonzaga University in 1962 with a degree in Marketing. While at Gonzaga, he was a member of the ROTC, and of the renowned Gonzaga Glee Club.  He married Kathie Acher, his college sweetheart, in 1962. They recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary with a family gathering in Minnesota. Immediately after graduating from Gonzaga, he entered the Navy as an Ensign and moved to Milton, Florida to attend Navy Flight School.  After several years of training, he was deployed overseas multiple times in support of the Vietnam War where he flew P2V patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.  After his military service, he was hired by Northwest Orient Airlines as a pilot.  Over the next 10 years, Ron and Kathie happily welcomed their five children into their home.  His children remember him as a hard-working father who encouraged them to pursue their goals and was always there to share his wisdom.  Frequent camping and motorhome trips throughout their childhood will be cherished memories. Though a pilot strike caused him to work at various jobs for a few years, eventually, he was recalled to work at Northwest, and returned to his true calling and enjoyed  a rewarding career as a pilot.  During his career with Northwest, he was privileged to fly many different types of aircraft and retired as a B-747-400 Captain. 
Upon retirement, Ron and Kathie returned to the Pacific Northwest, settling in the Spokane Valley.  Ron was very active during retirement.  He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, holding several officer positions. He was also an active member of the Spokane Valley Kiwanis Club where he volunteered and served in numerous capacities and was honored to ultimately preside as Lieutenant Governor of Division 46 of the Pacific Northwest District.  He was a dedicated member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Spokane Valley where he served as a Eucharistic Minister.   Ron was a lifelong Gonzaga Basketball fan, attending both the men’s and women’s games for many years.  Ron could frequently be found working in his yard on his tractor or indoors enjoying a fine novel.  Ron always had a passion for fishing and enjoyed his last fishing trip on Father’s Day with one of his sons and a granddaughter.
A funeral is scheduled for 14 September 2017 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in the Spokane Valley with a reception to follow. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Ronald Riel's life.

From: RNPA News Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:37 PM   Subject: RNPA News: Ron Riel Has Flown West.
Bob Kunold writes: 
Ron Riel passed away Sept 10.  I'll forward an e-mail from Martin Wilcox M.D. our flight surgeon......

It is with a sense of great sadness that I must share with you that Ron Riel passed away quietly at home in the Spokane Valley earlier today.  I had talked with Ron several times over the past two months.  It was apparent that he was weakening but he had tried to hold his own.  Kathie called last Thursday and said he was not eating and had lost a great deal of weight.  She sounded well considering the circumstances and the family members were coming for what turned out to be their final visit.  Hospice came in to assist during what was felt to be his final days but Ron decided to depart before they were ready for him.

I remember Ron for a great number of things.  He was one of two squadron members who participated in the infamous Flying A formation in August of 1966.  I was a newby flight surgeon and had gone down to Ault Field because I had been informed that I would soon become VP-1s flight surgeon.  Shortly after their current flight surgeon departed, I went down to be introduced to the squadron.  I learned years later that there were two pilots overjoyed to see (view) me.  Ron and Ernie Perkins.  Seems they had a bit of trouble adhering to the Navy’s stringent weight restrictions for pilots.  Both were delighted to see that the new flight surgeon suffered from the same malady.  Maybe there as some slack coming.

Then there will always be the legend of his farewell party as he departed the Navy for commercial aviation.  That was conducted at the O club at NAS Sangley Point. Seems there was a problem with his shot record and he would not be allowed back in the continental United States unless he received 5-cc (that is a hell of a big shot) of gamma globulin.  Finally convinced, and in typical Ron Riel style, he dropped his drawers in front of all those assembled and I administered 5 cc of saline.  It turns out that there was no actual requirement for a GG shot but now I had my payback for some of the pranks he had pulled on me.  For years he would bemoan the fact that he had the most miserable trip home sitting on that lump in his derrière.  It was only when I roasted him when he was inducted as President of the Spokane Valley Kiwanis that I shared the truth with him.  He threatened to never speak to me again.  But he did.

As a pilot, he was a perfectionist.  And I think his children bore the brunt of some of that perfection.  But Ron was a very caring man who was greatly loved by his family and friends and he left a legacy of service.  He was always a member of the “Work Party” for the VP-1 Reunions for that era.  Kathie, you are a saint!

And he could be so very, very funny.  Like his self-extraction of his entire body from his car on a ferry between Port Townsend and Whidbey Island during one of our reunions.  They had parked him very close to a pillar and he was either going to stay in the car or squeeze himself out.  Out he wriggled.  Like a tube of toothpaste.  It was hilarious.  And then he went back into the car by the same route.  Those who had seen the initial extrication were waiting with cameras.

Fair Winds and Following Seas my friend.  You have earned your rest.

I am sure the family would love to hear your favorite Ron Riel story(ies).

Kathie Riel
5302 South Best Lane
Spokane, WA 

(509) 922-8914 


Monday, September 18, 2017

NWA Capt. William Edward Helfrich

NWA Capt. William E. Helfrich
October 24, 1933 ~ August 14, 2017
News from the retired Northwest pilots group notes the passing of retired NWA pilot Captain William ‘Bill’ Edward Helfrich, age 83.  Captain Helfrich joined Northwest 04-23-1959.  I believe he had most recently resided in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
No other information is known.  If more information is received we will pass it along.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN
From: RNPA News   Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2017 9:16 AM  
Subject:  Bill Helfrich Has Flown West.
Friends and Colleagues,
I regret to inform you that NWA pilot and RNPA member Bill Helfrich has flown west. He passed away this past Monday. I am in touch with his daughter and will pass the word along when more details are known.
Bill Day

Contrails obituary editor

Saturday, September 2, 2017

DL Capt. John Ross Sellmer

USAF veteran, DL Capt. John R. Sellmer
July 4, 1941 ~ August 24, 2017
Word has been received with the passing of Delta Golden Wings member retired Delta pilot Captain John Ross Sellmer, age 76.  Captain Sellmer joined Delta Air Lines 06-02-1969 and was based Atlanta.  Widowed in November 2015 with the passing of his wife Linda, Captain Sellmer is survived by their children, many dear friends and other family members.  We understand that Mowell Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.  The Sellmers had resided at 128 Sea Island Dr, Peachtree City, GA 30269. 
The family of John Sellmer invite you to share in the Celebration of the life of John Sellmer on Saturday, September 23rd from 2:00-6:00 PM, at the Dixie Wing Commemorative Air Force Museum, 1200 Echo Court, Peachtree City, Georgia 30269.  (Falcon Field KFFC)
For more information and to RSVP, please contact the family at  770-630-9080.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN  
From: Julian Black Sent: Saturday, August 26, 2017 8:04 PM  Subject: Captain John Sellmer
Our good friend John Sellmer passed on Thursday, August 24. He was in Delta class 69-E starting 02Jun69.
Below is the planned celebration of life!
This from Bob Ripley....
There will be a celebration of life on September 23, 2017 at the Dixie Wing hanger at Falcon Field (KFFC). Time will be 1400-1800.
-----Original Message-----
From: JOSEPH BASILONE [mailto:joe767@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Thursday, August 24, 2017 8:35 PM   Subject: Passing of John
John Sellmer just passed this last hour
John’s wife Linda................
Linda S. Sellmer
October 31, 1941 - November 3, 2015
Linda S. Sellmer of Peachtree City passed away on November 3, 2015 at the age of 74.
She was born in Washington, D.C. to Monty and Mary Schumacher on October 31, 1941.
.........................Linda was a retired teacher with the Fayette County Board of Education
..................Linda is survived by her husband, John Sellmer; her daughter,
Kim Johnson (Greg) of Peachtree City; her son, Curt Sellmer of
Austin, TX; her granddaughter, Alaina Johnson of Peachtree
City; and her brother, Paul M. Schumacher of Atlanta.

.............Mowell Funeral Home, Peachtree City Chapel.....

Friday, September 1, 2017

DL Capt. Russell Teague Copeland

DL Capt. Russell ‘Russ’ Teague Copeland
January 2, 1956 ~ July 17, 2017
Belated notification with the passing of Delta pilot Captain Russell Teague Copeland, age 61.  Captain Copeland joined Delta Air Lines 02-25-1991.  He is survived by his wife Lisa, their children and grandchildren, plus many dear friends and other family members.
Captain Copeland’s online obituary tribute and guestbook may still be viewed at
Our information is limited....should more news be received, we will be sure to pass it along.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN 
Russell Teague Copeland, 61, of Gainesville, GA passed away on Monday July 17th, after his short battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Lisa, sons Andrew and Zachary, twin daughters Morgan and Madison, mother Lorena, and twin brother Ruffin.
Russ was raised in Greensboro, NC, son of Dr. Raymond Teague and Lorena Holden Copeland. He was a graduate of Page High School Greensboro, NC, class of 1974 and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, FL, class of 1984.
Russ spent his life in the skies working as a Delta pilot for 27 years. He loved to fish. The highlight of his year was always spending time at the beach and casting out a rod. His family enjoyed and will very much miss the jokes when he did not catch anything. He and his family found joy in the simple moments of life together. The memories most cherished will be those going with him to grab a Starbucks, grocery shop, or just taking off the trash. His family will miss the special occasion where he brought out his guitar.
Russ was a man who would travel 30 minutes on the “scenic route” to avoid 5 minutes of traffic. He was known for his dependable and selfless nature making him a beloved husband, father, and friend of many. His intelligence and ingenuity made him a master handyman, whether it was finishing a basement, fixing the plumbing, or building sets for his daughter’s theatre productions. Russ found himself to be the chef of the family, who were always grateful, except when the meat was too tough. Those who knew him, loved his humor and endless need to crack jokes, even to the embarrassment of his children.
His family can only wonder how they will survive without him…
A reception and remembrance will be hosted by his family in Gainesville, GA from 3:00pm - 6:00pm on Saturday July 22, 2017 at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Gainesville, 1911 Sweetbay Dr, Gainesville, GA 30501. A second memorial service will be held in Greensboro, NC to be scheduled at a later date. The family requests donations be made in Russell's name to the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association. Online condolences can be made at www.memorialparkfuneralhomes.com

Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, Georgia 30501. 770-297-6200

NWA pilot Terry Richard Saul

Military veteran, NWA pilot Terry Richard Saul
March 26, 1941 ~ August 26, 2017
Notification with the passing of retired Northwest pilot Terry Richard Saul, age 76.  Terry joined Northwest 03-16-1970.  He is survived by his wife Maxine, their children and grandchildren, plus many friends and other family members.  Celebration of Terry’s life will be at 11:00 AM Thursday, August 31st at Hosanna! Church, 9600 163rd St W., Lakeville (Door 5) MN, with a gathering of family and friends the evening prior at White Funeral Home, 20134 Kenwood Tr., Lakeville MN (952-469-2723), visitation also 1 hour prior to service at church.
Private interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date. 
The online obituary and guestbook may be viewed at the funeral home website  
will take you directly to obituary site.
If more information is received, we will be sure to pass it along.
            Thank you,
                ~ Carol for the PCN 

Saul, Terry R., age 76, of Lakeville passed away unexpectedly on August 26, 2017. Terry served his country during the Vietnam War as a P-3 pilot for the US Navy and retired as a commercial pilot from Northwest Airlines after 26 years. He was active in many local religious and charitable organizations, and participated in a mission trip to Malawi, Africa. Terry had a special place in his heart for military veterans as well as the children of underdeveloped countries. He is survived by his loving wife, Maxine; sons, Rob (Amanda) and Jason (Emily) Saul; granddaughters, Courtney, Kaylee and Mila; sister, Marilyn Sherlin, also by countless other family and friends. Celebration of Terry's life will be 11 AM Thursday, August 31, 2017 at Hosanna! Church, 9600 163rd St W., Lakeville (Door 5), with a gathering of family and friends on Wednesday (8/30) from 5-8 PM at White Funeral Home, 20134 Kenwood Tr., Lakeville (952-469-2723) and 1 hour prior to service at church. Private interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials will be donated to Palm Branch, an outreach program to the community of Malawi, Africa, or to Copperleaf Charitable Foundation. Condolences: www.whitefuneralhomes.com