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Monday, April 23, 2018

NWA Capt. Don Moergeli

Military veteran, NWA Capt. Donald Francis Moergeli
June 17, 1932 ~ April 15, 2018
From: RNPA News  Sent: Monday, April 23, 2018 2:14 PM   Subject: Don Moergeli Has Flown West.

Friends and Colleagues,

NWA Captain Don Moergeli, age 85, passed away on April 15th. Don was hired by NWA on Jan. 15, 1959 and retired on 12/21/1987. His obituary can be found at:

At his request there are no services planned.

Bill Day

1932 - 2018 
Don Moergeli
Don was born June 17, 1932 at the Auburn hospital to Ernest and Alice (Thrane) Moergeli. He graduated in the first class of White River High School, Enumclaw Branch. Don attended Washington State College, Pullman, Washington and C.W. Pierce College, Canoga Park, California. He enlisted in the Navy as a Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) and started pre-flight training at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola in October 1952. He made his six aircraft carrier landings aboard the USS Monterey CVL-26 October 1953. Don received his Navy wings and was commissioned Ensign April 1, 1954 at NAS Hutchinson, Kansas. Don was assigned to Patrol Squadron One (VP-1) based at Whidbey Island, Washington and was deployed for six months to the Far East November 8, 1954 operating out of Naha, Okinawa and Tainan, Formosa (Taiwan). Instead of returning to Whidbey across the Pacific, the squadron flew west, becoming the first squadron to circumnavigate the globe. On April 5, 1956 VP-1 deployed to Kwajalein, Marshall Islands to take part in Operation Redwing, hydrogen bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. He witnessed five blasts and described them as awe inspiring. The squadron returned to NAS Whidbey July 28, 1956. Don was released from active duty in September 1956 and he was hired by Trans World Airlines in October of that year. After training in Kansas City, he was assigned to New York and flew both domestic and international routes. In December 1958 he was hired by Northwest Orient Airlines and stayed with NWA for 29 years, retiring in 1987. He married the love of his life, Beverly Bassett Sloss, in Las Vegas in 1967 and immediately took on the responsibility of her five young children.

Don loved auto-racing and traveling. He had his own car, a Lotus Ford, and competed in Washington, Oregon, California and British Columbia, winning the Wash/Ore championship in Formula C in his Lotus. He and Beverly traveled to England, Italy, South Africa and 18 times to Monaco, for Formula 1 races, although he said the later trips were for the food. In 1985 they started cruising and some 30 cruises and some 600 days at sea and having visited 88 countries later, he decided there wasn't anything he wanted to see, having been on two cruises to the Antarctic, two around-the-world cruises, three safaris in South Africa, twice each for transiting the Panama and Suez canals. Their last cruise in 2015 was a 64-day jaunt from LA to LA through the South Pacific. Don passed away on April 15, 2018 at the age of 85.

At his request no services, only cremation and burial. He is survived by his wife, Beverly, children, Dan Sloss, Patty Hickman (John), Steve Sloss (Sue), Tim Sloss (Joann), Tom Sloss (Janet), six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the NW Kidney Foundation, P.O. Box 3035 Seattle, WA, 98114.

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