Gone West

Robert D. Lumley

August 12, 1933 – Jan 17th, 2024


Donald DeWitt

September 18, 1942-December 13, 2023


Roger J. Koerner Sr.

August 12, 1933 – Jan 17th, 2024

Roger Sr married his high school sweetheart Maryann Dandurand in 1955 at St Patrick’s Church in Kankakee and they were married 66 years until her death in 2021. Together they had four children, nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Roger Sr was the owner of Koerner Aviation in Kankakee that was started by his father, Martin Sr, and Uncle Delbert in 1927. Delbert taught Roger to fly, and Roger’s flying career continued until only a few years ago. Roger flew as a corporate pilot for the Daily Journal for 20 years. He was also a flight instructor and taught hundreds of people to fly, to include his sons, and daughter, and his grandsons. Koerner Aviation continues to operate to this day in Kankakee, IL.


Bob Frost

Mar 13, 1936 – Oct 17, 2023

Bob was a loving family man, private pilot, aviation and antique car and motorcycle enthusiast. He and his wife Beverly attended many aviation flying events and won many awards with his different aircraft, such as a 1929 Fleet Model 2 Biplane, a 1930 Waco INF biplane and a 1936 Aeronca Low Wing.


David Bates

May 2, 1954 – May 2, 2023

Dave loved to refurbish old Ford Model A’s and to restore and fly old airplanes. His 1941 Stearman won an antique champion award at Oshkosh. On his 2023 MAAC renewal form, he shared that his Aeronca TAF-90hp was back to flying, with a history about its use in WWII to search for German subs. When it was replaced by PBY aircraft, it was used as a trainer in FL, as noted in the logbook he kept.


Henry Rahlf, Jr.

Mar 5th, 1928 – Feb 28th, 2023

Henry proudly served his country in the U.S Army during the Korean Was as a Commanders driver. He married Phyllis Barnhart in 1950, in Cranston Iowa, and was a lifelong farmer in the area. He worked for Iowa Highway Commission for six years. He was a member of the Experimental Airplane Association in both the National and Local Chapters 111 and 75, the Sport Aviation Association, National Antique Airplane Association, Blackhawk Aero Squadron and the Midwest Antique Airplane Club. Henry enjoyed time spent with his family and many friends. He built and flew five full size planes over the years and owned numerous other antique airplanes. A Memorial Service was held on Mar 4th, 2023 at Sweetland United Methodist Church.


Sharron Mitchell

Feb 6th, 1943 – Jan 14th, 2023

“…Sharron flew her Piper Cherokee to just about all of the airports in Southern Wisconsin. She enjoyed the people and the time she spent at Capitol Airport. She was an original member of Vintage Aircraft Association Chapter 11, a board member, scholarship team and monthly newsletter Editor for 35 years. In the mid-1980s she applied to the Teacher in Space Program and was selected as one of the five finalists in Wisconsin. Sharron adored her friends and family, loved the Green Bay Packers, and was surrounded by people who enjoyed her energy, her beautiful smile, and her sense of humor…”

A memorial gathering was held on July 15th, 2023, in Brookfield, WI


John “Jack” William Taylor, 97 yrs

Aug 12th, 1925 – Jan 12th, 2023

Jack was married to the love of his life, Carolyn Anna Landvogt, for 56 years until her death in 2019. Jack enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Oct, 1941 at the age of 16 and served for 4 yrs. He was promoted to Sergeant and served as a radio operator in tanks and anti-aircraft while stationed in Peleliu. After an honorable discharge, Jack worked for Illinois Bell Telephone Company for 36 years. He is regarded by his family and friends as interesting and adventurous because of all his hobbies. Jack received his Private Pilot’s license in 1967 and flew for 44 years. He and Carol took many trips together in their airplane around the U.S. He also won many medals for model aircraft that he built and entered into competitions. Jack enjoyed traveling both with Carol and on his own around the world, ultimately visiting over 50 countries. He enjoyed his friends in the Midwest Antique Airplane Club and hardly ever missed a year at the annual EAA convention in Oshkosh, WI. A memorial service was held on Jan 21st, 2023 in Arlington Heights IL. www.glueckertfuneralhome.com/obituaries/John-Jack-William-Taylor?obId=27043604

James T. Haynes

Aug 30th, 1932 – Dec 12th, 2022

In addition to his obituary, here is an excerpt from a tribute presented by his son, George Haynes:

“…It’s an understatement that Monmouth Airport and the Monmouth Flying Club meant a lot to both our Dad and Mother. My Dad’s father, Thatcher Haynes, and our Mother’s Father, Ralph Eckley, were active participants in the viability of the airport.

In 1952, our parents were brought together as a result of three airmen from Chanute Air Force Base visiting local pilots at Monmouth Airport and being hosted in local homes, two of them being the Ralph Eckley family, and the Thatcher Haynes family. Dad earned his pilot’s rating in a Piper Super Cruiser and continued flying in college as a member of the TCU precision flying team. He stayed as active with the airport and eventually restored a 1949 Piper Clipper so that he and mom could attend fly-ins throughout eastern Iowa, central Illinois, and parts of Wisconsin. Together, they volunteered many hours to make the annual July 4th Fly-in a success at Monmouth Airport.

Dad authored three books on the history of aviation in western Illinois and Monmouth area. He published a newsletter for Curtiss Robin enthusiasts and edited the newsletter for his local EAA chapter. Over the years, he inherited and obtained reams of information, documents and photos relative to the Monmouth Airport. With the blessing of my three sisters, we donate his collection and remainder of his books to the Monmouth Flying Club, and a memorial gift donation in his name.” -George Haynes


David M. Broadfoot, 91yrs

Oct 14, 1930 – Feb 24, 2022Waukesha WI

Former spouse of Mary H. O’Brien, loving father, grandfather and brother. Dave had many interests but was especially passionate about aviation. He built and raced radio-controlled (RC) planes as a youth, and after serving in the Air Force in the Korean War, became a private pilot. He built, re-built, and owned many airplanes. He was a very active member of EAA, flew over 200 Young Eagle missions, and volunteered his many skills at the annual AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. His name can be found at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum in recognition of his multi-year restoration work of a 1930s vintage “Buster” racer. He loved to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for aviation at both Capitol Drive Airport and Waukesha Airport with all who knew him. A memorial was held on April 3rd, 2022, in Waukesha, WI.


Norm Shuff, 95yrs

1926 – Jan 27, 2022

Waukesha WI; Largo FL

Photo Credit: The Vintage Airplane, Jun 1982

Norm was a long-time MAAC member and a dear friend to many. He owned and flew many airplanes, to include a 1940 WACO UPF 7 that he and his partner Gene Sherry rebuilt. He was a great supporter of antique aviation, and a WWII veteran who served in the 11th Army Airborne from 1944 – 1947 in the Asia Pacific theater. He was an avid skydiver in civilian life, and helped establish the Wisconsin Skydivers Parachute Club.

Norm also worked with Bill Adams and Cole Brothers Airshows as a wing walker and parachute jumper. He was a member of several veterans associations and aircraft associations and will be dearly missed. He is survived by his wife of 70 yrs, Betty Shuff, and many relatives and friends. Internment: St Joseph’s Cemetery, Waukesha WI.

William (Bill) Stilley, 82yrs

Jan 13, 1939 – Jan 6, 2022

New Berlin WI

Bill was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and upon graduating from Milwaukee (Boys) Tech, he joined the Air Force and was assigned to the 931st Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. He was a loving husband to Theresa (nee Eufinger) for 54 years, and was a cherished father, uncle, cousin and friend. Loving father of Lisa Stilley (Jeff Doerr) and Linda Gygax. Caring grandfather of eight. Also survived by his brother Donald (Susan) Stilley, brothers-in-law, Kenneth Eufinger and Gene Cerveny and sister-in-law Darlene (late John) Breuer. Preceded in death by his parents Dean Stilley and June Kompas, daughter Laura (Steve) Palkowski, brother Robert Stilley and sisters, Betty Cerveny and Patti Crader.

His love of flying shaped his whole life. Upon leaving the service, Bill became a licensed private pilot who enjoyed building many aircraft and worked on the planes of friends. Bill was an avid model airplane enthusiast who built and flew many model airplanes over the years.

He worked at Astronautics Corporation of America for over 40 years. During his time at Astronautics, he dedicated his work to the development of a multitude of instruments used in aircrafts worldwide and several space shuttles. As a volunteer and part-owner of Capital Airport in Brookfield, “Mr. Bill” loved teaching children of all ages about airplanes and was always willing to give a plane ride to anyone who asked.

Bill was a member of many clubs, most focused on airplanes. He was a member of the Rainbow Aviator Club for 20 years and Chapter 11 EAA Vintage Aircraft Association. He was Vice President and Board Member of the Chapter 18 EAA Experimental Aircraft Association. He was President (4 yrs) and earned the rare Lifetime Field License for RAMS RC Club of Milwaukee County. Anyone who knew Bill had the honor of hearing his many airplane stories and listening to him brag with great pride about his grandchildren.

Visitation was at Krause Funeral Home, New Berlin, Wisconsin, January 13, 2021.


Thomas August Guntly, 75yrs

Aug 9, 1946 – Jan 2, 2022 

Franksville, WI

Thomas served in the US Air Force Reserve 440th Wing in Milwaukee. After leaving the service, he worked as an aircraft mechanic on small airplanes. He married Cynthia (Brown) Guntly in 1970 and they had three children together. He eventually bought the airport in Franksville which he renamed and is today the Cindy Guntly Memorial Airport. His business, Guntly Aircraft Repair, afforded him opportunities to mentor pilots throughout the years with both flying and maintenance. He made many good friendships through flying and also his appreciation for British cars. Later in life he married Huimin Wang and was helping her to raise her grandson, Eric Wang.


Frederick Emil Ludtke

December 18, 1929 ~ July 29, 2022

From the Ludtke Family…

Son, Brother, Husband, Lover, Father, Uncle, Grandfather…so many names have been used to describe him: Teacher, Educator, Civic Leader, Fisherman, Aviator, Pilot, Airshow Star, Friend, and for hiscountless students, Mr. Ludtke. But I knew him as Dad.Dad was always teaching. He taught with his words,and he taught with his actions. He was a school teacherafter all, and therefore he could not, not teach. Because he was a schoolteacher in a small rural community, he could never offer our family the luxuries of financial wealth. Instead, he provided us the fruits of his passionate labor, passing on his abilities to create amazing things out of nothing but raw materials. Dad taught me how to design, how to fabricate, and how to aviate. Dad taught me how to create airplanes. The word quit did not exist in his vocabulary. He would tell me to “never clutch up”, to “keep pressing on”, and my favorite: “Always fly the biggest piece home”. His meaning was clear: no matter how improbable things may seem, trust your gut and act. Do not freeze and become part of the wreckage. Keep doing until there is nothing left to be done. His lessons have protected me from the moments when the worst possible outcomes imaginable might have been to others, the only outcomes possible. Fortunately for me, I had been paying attention. I did what my dad taught me; I flew the biggest pieces home. This is how he lived his life until the very end. I’ve never met a braver soul, and likely never will. Thank you for everything, Dad. I love you.

Photo courtesy of Rick Ludtke, Fred in Spirit of Dynamite

In Memoriam: Egon Hans Grothe

June 27, 1932 – January 17, 2022

Egon Grothe, a passionate pilot and veteran, 89, passed away peacefully at the VA Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Jan 17,2022.

Lovingly remembered and cherished by his partner of 32 years, Chris Tevich, and daughters Suzan Landry and partner Craig, and Sandi Lloyd and husband Jeff, and his grandchildren: Jade and fiance Deanna,Taylor and wife Madison, Austin,Cole and Spencer and one great grandson, Jeffrey. Also survived by his closest cousin, Grace Graf.

Egon was born to German immigrants Johannes Grothe and Marie Schneider in Milwaukee in 1932. He attended  Washington High School and the University of  Wisconsin, Milwaukee from 1950-52 during which he also joined and trained with the US Air Force Reserves. He left to serve our country in the Korean Conflict from 1952-56, as a flight engineer on B-29s. He was part of the 56th Weather Recon Squadron. His passion for flying would continue throughout his life. He returned to complete his Economics degree and graduated in 1959.

He started his career in medical sales for Lederle and later, Abbot, then transferred  to orthopedic sales for Zimmer Thompson which moved him to Green Bay, Wisconsin for 12 years.  Although he had his own Cessna and later, Beechcraft Bonanza which he used frequently for recreational flying, he left sales to follow his lifelong dream to become an airline pilot.  He did a stint with Business Express Airlines, but ended his career as a flight instructor for general aviation pilots which carried on his legacy and love for flying.

Egon’s passions included attending the annual EAA flying convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, attending fly-in breakfasts, reminiscing about the past, and of course, spending time with  Chris!  Egon also had a huge love for baseball both as a player  in his youth and as a fan of the Milwaukee Braves and Brewers.

In Memoriam: Robert R. “Bob” Baier

BEAVER DAM – Robert R. “Bob” Baier, 88, entered Eternal Life on Jan. 8, 2022, at Beaver Dam Assisted Living.

Bob was born on Feb. 26, 1933, in Mayville, to the late Erwin and Georgian (Miritz) Baier. In 1934 they moved to rural Brownsville, where Bob remained until this last summer, when he entered assisted living. He graduated from Lomira High School in 1951 and entered the U.S. Army. Bob learned to fly at age 17 and possessed a valid pilot’s license until his death. On July 9, 1955, Bob married Carol Pomplin, at St. Mary’s in Fond du Lac. He was most well-known for the small plane he built, his “Baby Ace,” and was “hailed as the flying farmer” in his younger years. He attended the first EAA meeting in 1953 and joined the EAA when he returned home from the Army in 1954. Bob remained active in the EAA, serving as chapter president for the EAA chapter in Waupun in the 1970s. He was a member of the EAA chapter 18 and EAA chapter 252. Bob was also a member of the Midwest Antique Airplane club, Byron Historical Society, NRA, AAA Antique Airplane Association, SAA Sport Aviation Association and was a member of Lomira Legion for over 65 years. He enjoyed collecting antique tractors and Ford V8 trucks. Bob was an avid motorcyclist. Bob worked as a tool and die maker for Tobin Tool and Die for many years and retired in 1998.

Those left to cherish Bob’s memory include his wife, Carol Baier of Beaver Dam; three children, Cynthia (Lonnie) Boelk of Oakfield, Warren (Chris) Baier of Horicon, and William (Jenn) Baier of Beaver Dam; four grandchildren, Heidi, Heather, Karissa and Joseph; one great-grandchild, Maverick; one sister, Susan (John) Benishek; one brother, Jerome Baier; a sister-in-law, Sally Baier; a brother-in-law, Dick (Sharon) Pomplin; godchildren, Evelyn Mclean-Cowan and Mike Pomplin; oldest friend, Jerry Schwefel; and he is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins that he cared deeply for.

In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his brother, Donald Baier; and his mother- and father-in-law, Marvin (Carolyn) Pomplin.

A private Mass and burial will be held at Sons of Zebedee – St. John Catholic Church in Bryon.

Memorials are to be used to complete a walkway stone at the EAA, which family and friends can visit once completed. Cards and memorials for the family may be sent to Myrhum-Patten Funeral Home, 1315 W. Washington St., West Bend, WI 53095.  

In Memoriam: Mert Taylor

On December 6, 2021, Merwyn (Mert) Taylor “slipped the surly bonds of earth.” Among other things, he was a farmer, aviator, vintner, inventor, and craftsman.

Although aviation was his first love, his wife, Marilyn (Mike) was his true love. They were married for 69 years before her death in 2019. Together, they raised five children: Dianne (Dick) Dunham, Sally (Steve) Watson, Donna (Scott) Allenstein, Steve (Chelli) Taylor and Frank (Lisa) Taylor. They, along with his 16 grandchildren, their spouses, and 36 great-grandchildren, were his pride and joy. Last August, they all gathered to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Mert learned to fly as a teenager. He loved flying, especially giving rides to family and friends, introducing them to the joys and freedom of flight. He designed and/or built six planes, one of which is donated to the Experimental Aircraft Association museum. He was an early member of the EAA and proud of his low membership number – 156. He dedicated many years to the association and loved working in the Com Center with his “second family.” In July, his family joined to honor him as a Volunteer of the Year and to place a brick inscribed with his name in Volunteer Park in Oshkosh.

Mert was one of the founding members of the LaGrange Volunteer Fire Department and served as its chief for six years. His legacy lives on in two sons, three grandsons, and two granddaughters who are on the force today.

Mert was born to hard-working parents. He tended the farm that his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had tended before him. It continues under the good care of son Frank and grandson Eric.

When he moved from the family farmhouse, Mert and Mike built the home of their dreams in the woods – with an airstrip out behind. He loved cutting wood with his sons and stoking the wood-burning stove that heated his house and shop. The woods also provided wood for the sawmill that he built.

Mert loved making wine from his own grapes and sharing it with others. He loved restoring old cars, riding motorcycles, and going on adventures (especially adventures on motorcycles with his kids and friends). His coffee comrades helped him through these last two lonely years without Mike. 

In Memoriam: Gerry Sheahan

Gerald P. Sheahan, of Salome, Arizona, and formerly of Southeastern Wisconsin, flew home to heaven on Wednesday, June 24, with his wife and best friend Nancy at his bedside. Gerry was born on Feb. 13, 1950, the only son of Patrick and Dorothy Sheahan. He served in the USAF from 1969 until 1973, and it was during this time that he learned to fly. He met his wife while working at the telephone company, from which he retired after 31 years. After retirement, he found satisfaction in working part time as a tour bus driver for RiteWay Transportation. It was during this time that he also became a certified aircraft A & P mechanic.

Gerry’s greatest passion since boyhood was flight, and he enjoyed many years of piloting and building his own aircraft. Gerry took his first airplane ride at the age of 9, with his father piloting the plane. Years later, he was able to purchase, restore, and fly that same airplane. In 2019, this labor of love earned him the antique project of the year award from the Midwest Antique Airplane Club, of which he was a former vice president. He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft and Vintage Aircraft Associations, and co-chair of the EAA’s Communication center, volunteering many hours at the annual conventions in Oshkosh. Gerry had many memorable experiences as a pilot. One was flying the USAF Aeroclub Cessna across the English channel to the 24-hour race at Le Mans, France. Another was flying his Luscombe to Texas for a 5-day course with the late great aerobatic legend Frank Price. He would often entertain his passengers with the maneuvers he learned. He enjoyed many cross country flights where he and Nancy met many new people and experienced new landscapes and scenery. Most recently, he and Nancy traveled around the country in their motor home, visiting national parks, presidential libraries, and a variety of museums. Gerry fulfilled a long time dream of purchasing and living in a hangar house in the Indian Hills airpark community in Arizona. 

In Memoriam: Jim Stark

James K. Stark Jr, of Homosassa, Florida died on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. He passed peacefully with family at his side. Jim was 92, born on August 16, 1927 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Isabel and James Stark Sr. Jim attended Wauwatosa High School before enlisting in the Army Air Corps. He served from October 1945 to July 1947. After World War II, Jim pursued a career in photography. He started as a portrait photographer at Collins Studio in Milwaukee. Later, Jim and Rosie owned Town and Country Studio where they lived in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Jim had many hobbies including motorcycles, hunting, fishing, and restoring wood boats; However, his greatest passion was building, restoring and flying classic, vintage, and antique airplanes. Jim received many awards for his craft and workmanship. He was a member and volunteered many hours in the Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 11 of Vintage Aircraft association, Midwest Antique Airplane Club, as well as Wild Rose Airport association. Jim is survived by his wife of 51 years, Rosemary; his son, James (Lucy) Stark and their children MaW (Stacey) Stark, Sandra Stark (John Gorman), Jeff (Michelle) Stark, Lisa Stark (Brian James), Emily (Joe) Kral; his son Michael (Karen Gilbert) Stark and Michael’s children Eric Stark, Alex (Karanne) Stark; his daughter Therese Stark; his daughter Jennifer Stark and her children Trevor Zahn, Gracie Zahn. He is also survived by nine great grandchildren, brothers and sister in-Law, nieces, nephews and many friends. 

In Memoriam: LaVerne Griffin

LaVerne Griffin, age 91, of Portage, passed away on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. at Divine Savior Hospital in Portage.LaVerne “Griff” Griffin had three passions: Family, Flying and Curling.He graduated Portage High School and earned a degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State in 1963. He was born on Dec. 15, 1928, in Milwaukee, the son of Wilmer “Red” and Marion (Buzzell) Grifffin. He grew up in Wyocena. After graduating from Portage High School in 1946, he entered the military. Upon receiving his Air Force commission, he was assigned to the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron and became one of the premier aerial reconnaissance operatives in the U.S. Air Force, flying hundreds of missions over North Korea, Siberia, Vietnam and parts of Europe. In 1954, he led the first top secret military reconnaissance over-flights of the Soviet Union, for which he earned three United States Air Force Distinguished Flying Crosses. (The mission was declassified in 2000)After 28 years, he retired in 1974 as Wing Commander of the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing stationed in the United Kingdom. He moved back to Portage and became active in local aviation. He was a member of the Aero Club at Gilbert Field at Rio, running its fly-in breakfast every June.He excelled in acrobatics, winning the 1993 National Stearman Aerobatic championship. Flying more than 6,000 hours in the Air Force and 3,000 hours as a civilian, in 2010 the FAA awarded him the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. LaVerne was tagged “The Wyocena Kid” for a cover story of a flying magazine following his 2012 induction into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame. He was best known for being a teacher, mentor and friend to many in aviation.He purchased a Pitts S2A in September and was looking forward to teaching his son acrobatics.He laughingly referred to himself as the “oldest active curler” in Wisconsin, having taken up the sport 40 years ago. He curled in two leagues and attended many bonspiels, including a very memorable one in Scotland.He made friends easily and, more importantly, kept in touch with them through phone and emails. His high school class meets monthly for lunch. 

In Memoriam: Arvilla “Arvie” Alma Stein

Arvilla “Arvie” Alma Stein, age 86, of Oconomowoc, passed away Thursday, December 12, 2019, at Shorehaven Nursing home with her family by her side. She was born November 22, 1933, in Oconomowoc- Ashippun to Louie and Linda Siegman. She was a hard worker, volunteering time in her later years at Shorehaven and St. Vincent’s. She was a people person, who loved to dance. Arvilla was a devoted wife of 66 years to her loving husband, LeRoy “Hap” Stein. They were married in 1954 in Oconomowoc.

In Memoriam: Frank Baker

Earlier this year, MAAC members lost a great friend and it is heart breaking to post the loss of Professor Frank Baker. The antics of Frank and his physician brother John, ‘The Baker boys’, are legendary. Frank published a fun filled diary of his unique Cub experiences, or as John would say, “23 ways I didn’t kill myself in a Piper Cub”, consolidated in his book ‘Cub Tales’ (on sale at Cub Air in Hartford, Wi). Known for his many J-3 excursions he was also honored in the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Hall of Fame having contributed numerous articles of scratch built scale models and plans. At last year’s Grassroots Fly-in Cory Johnson took Frank up for one last flight in his beloved J3 Cub 

In Memoriam: Carson E. Thompson

This is to inform you of the passing of Carson E Thompson of Elmhurst, Illinois. He enjoyed all things aviation, and was a veteran of the Army Air Corp. He entered the service in 1944, served 2 enlistments until 1953 Chapter 101 in Addison was his home chapter.
Submitted by Marjean Thompson (wife)

In Memoriam: Bill Rewey (1927 – 2019)

Born in Marshfield in 1927, Bill Rewey started flight training on the grass runways at the local airport in the spring of 1945. He moved to Madison that summer and enlisted in a U.S. Navy program that provided university credit and flight instruction.

After two years, he was assigned to Naval Air Stations Pensacola, where he flew North American SNJs and Jacksonville, where h earned his wings in the Vought F4U Corsairs. Later he was assigned to Naval Air Station Norfolk to fly Grumman TBM Avengers in an anti-submarine squadron.

Discharged in 1950, Rewey returned to the UW-Madison, worked briefly for Northern American Aviation in Ohio, then came home to Madison in 1953.

A busy career as a mechanical engineer and parent kept Rewey out of aviation until the 1960s, when homebuilding and Experimental Aircraft Association brought him back. He purchased plans for a Pietenpol Air Camaper and started down the road that made him a nationally acknowledged expert in building, restoring, and maintaining Pietenpols. Through articles, workshops, presentations at EAA and Pietenpol events, over teh phone and by mail, Rewey shared his homebuilding expertise. Far and wide he became known as “Mr. Pietenpol.”

He also helped introduce aviation to future generations and shared his love of flying open cockpit airplanes by giving more than 600 youngsters their first flights in the Young Eagles program. Of the Young Eagles flights in his Pietenpol he has said, “It’s fun to get an instant response from the kids. There’s the mystique of the open cockpit.” 

In Memoriam: Kenneth E. Flaglor

Kenneth Eugene Flaglor
Born: February 25, 1926, Chicago, IL
Died: January 12, 2019, Pleasant Prairie, WI

There was an engraved plaque in the cockpit of the GeeBee Model Y Senior Sportster airplane that Ken built in the late 1970s. It read ‘Paradise is a personal thing’. The sentiment is a glimpse into the man who Ken was. And so, too, was its artful inscription – perfectly detailed and positioned where his eyes could see it but not distract from the vision of the job at hand – flying.

Ken Flaglor was the third of four sons born to Ruby (Anderson) and Sidney Flaglor. Ken and his brothers (Robert, Russ and Charlie) were born and raised in Des Plaines. Ken graduated from East Main High School and entered the US Army. He received a Purple Heart for an injury he incurred at the Battle of the Bulge. Following a year in hospital, he was discharged home and became a neon tube bender for a lighting and sign company. He then worked for the CP Clare Corporation developing electrical relays and test equipment. Much of his work was used in the early days of the space program. Working for someone else didn’t quench his entrepreneurial thirst and in the mid 1960s he bought a residential glass business that he ran until he retired in the late-1980s.

Ken had a lifelong interest in airplanes and flying. As a youngster he belonged to a model-making club and, as he grew, so did the size and intricacy of his projects. He earned his private pilot’s licence in 1948. He moved from building models to full-size gliders and airplanes, building ten and owning a number of others. He was well respected for his craftsmanship and attention to detail, winning countless awards at the annual EAA and other conventions.

Ken was a great lover of ice cream, cookies, M&Ms and peanut brittle. A self-described ‘joker’, he had a lively sense of humor and liked to talk about current events. He read the daily paper until two days before his death.

He raised his family in Northbrook and moved to southern Wisconsin following retirement. He is survived by his second wife, Barbara (Mildebrandt nee Goelz), his daughters Joan Wilkening, Jean Uhlmann and Bette Flagler (Steve Maharey), his three grandchildren Christopher Wilkening, Justin Calzavara (Sheena) and Randi Calzavara (Justin), and his great-grandson Gunnar Calzavara. He is also survived by his stepchildren Donald Mildebrandt (Dawn) and Nancy Mildebrandt (Glen) and step-grandchildren Michelle and Glen. He is preceded in death by his first wife (Carolyn), his parents, brothers and countless friends.

Ken’s life will be honoured with a gathering of friends and relatives on Tuesday January 22, 2019, visitation 4:00 to 6:00 pm; service at 6:00 pm. at Kenosha Funeral Services, 8226 Sheridan Road, Kenosha WI. Military Honors will be Friday January 25, 2019 at 1:00 P.M. at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove Wisconsin. 

In Memoriam: Dr. Frank Baker

Wisconsin aviator and long-time MAAC member Frank B. Baker died on November 9,2018. May he rest in peace. He was well-known for his many J-3 Cub adventures both, in Wisconsin and in the lower 48 states, that were recounted in the book “Piper Cub Tales.” He accumulated some 3,500 pilot hours in a Cub that he, personally, restored in 1969. He has attended Grassroots since its inception and spent many a night camped in a tent under the wing. Over the years, his wife, his two children, his brother’s family, and his pilot friends from both near and far, have all joined him at Brodhead. Dr. Frank Baker and his brother, the late Dr. John Baker, were known at Grassroots as “the Baker Boys.” At the most recent fly-in, Frank was reconnected with Piper 88354 and took what would become his last Cub flight. When asked about the flight, Frank had remarked, “That’s fun.”

Frank B. Baker died on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, just days before his 91st birthday. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, JoAnn; a daughter, Ann Marie; a son, Christopher (Odette); and two granddaughters, Hannah and Oona.

In the later days of World War II, he was in the U.S. Navy’s V-5 pilot training program. In the Korean War, he flew 50 combat missions as a U.S. Air Force navigator in B-26 aircraft. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. He earned a B.S. degree in 1950, an M.S. in 1954, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Statistics in 1959. All three degrees were from the University of Minnesota. In 1962, he joined the UW-Madison faculty in the Department of Educational Psychology, retiring in 1998.

Professor Baker was an early researcher in the modern psycho metric theory known as Item Response Theory. He published over one hundred peer reviewed articles and three books dealing with this theory and related statistical topics. He was a life-long designer and builder of model airplanes. He published numerous articles about constructing radio-controlled scale models of military aircraft in magazines such as Model Aviation. He was a founding member of the Madison Area Radio Control Club and served a term as its president. The club awarded him a plaque for his 50 years of service to the club. In 2015, he was inducted into the Academy of Model Aeronautics’ Hall of Fame. His 2006 B-24 is in the National Model Aviation Museum in Muncie, Ind.

In 1969, he restored a badly damaged Piper Cub airplane to like new condition. He earned his Private Pilot Certificate in this airplane. He flew the Cub some 3,500 hours most of it on cross-country flights throughout the continental United States. His many adventures in the Cub were recounted in the book “Piper Cub Tales” that was published in 2004. He was a long time member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Midwest Antique Airplane Club and the Antique Airplane Association. We extend our condolence to JoAnn and the family. May he rest in peace. 

In Memoriam: Roman Niemyjski

Roman Niemyjski age 70, of Franksville, WI formerly of Desoto, WI; passed away unexpectedly on June 1st, 2018 at St. Luke Medical Center of Milwaukee, WI. Roman was born March 23rd, 1948 to the late Stanislaw and Regina Niemyjski.  He married the love of his life Dawn Scheel on May 29th, 1971 and they raised six children together.

Roman served his country in the United States Army from 1967 to 1971. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm, then working in the logging industry. He also spent much time in the concrete and masonry trades. Roman and his wife started Roman’s Grading Service in 1983. They have built a family operation of residential and commercial construction in south eastern Wisconsin. Roman was an extremely hard working man, who worked everyday of his life to provide for his family. Roman’s Grading Service will be carried on and operated by his children.

Roman will be dearly missed by the most loving wife, Dawn, and a family that was blessed to know and love him. Roman and Dawn were blessed to have six children, daughters and sons-in-law, and a multitude of grandchildren. Roman is survived by his wife Dawn Niemyjski, his children Jason (Stacy) Niemyjski, Justin (Jody) Niemyjski, Rebekah (Todd) Biermann, Christine (Steve) Grisius, Joey (Erin) Niemyjski, Jacob (Shallin) Niemyjski. Roman is further survived by his grandchildren Michenzie Niemyjski, Jade Niemyjski, Jay Niemyjski, Trevor Niemyjski, Emily Niemyjski, Sabrina Niemyjski, Mariah Niemyjski, Colton Niemyjski, Lucas Niemyjski, Melayna Niemyjski, Kaden Niemyjski, Rachel Biermann, Trent Biermann, Ryan Biermann, Layla Grisius, Liam Grisius, Briar Niemyjski, and Baby Niemyjski; as well as his great grandchild Kalina Niemyjski.

Roman was preceded in death by his parents Stanislaw and Regina Niemyjski, his in-laws Walter and Joann Scheel, Jason’s late wife Jackie Niemyjski, as well as Christy and Steve’s twin boys Paul and Boyd Grisius. 

In Memoriam: Marian Keip

Keip, Marian E. (nee Wulf) Was called home on March 14th, 2018 at age 66. Beloved wife of Fred Keip for 45 years. Dear friend and business partner of Sandman (Orgone Productions). Loved by her brother Tim Vilbaum, nephew Jamie Vilbaum, sister-in-law Susan (Robert) McIlraith, niece Erin (Austin Peasley) McIlraith, niece Devyn (Trevor Mishler) McIlraith, sister-in-law Bonnie (Reche) House, niece Alyssa (Steve) Leschisin. Marian will always be treasured by all who knew her.
Marian was raised by her mother, Vi, in Port Edwards, WI. Her father John was a casualty of the Korean war. She attended a one-room school house, and developed a life-long love of horses and dogs as a girl. A graduate of Madison Business College, she had a career at Rexnord, and went on to run her own consulting firm MKeip and Associates. She loved being a member of Toastmasters International and could never lose an argument.
For the past 20 years, Marian shared her artistic talent in production design and as a lighting director (Wind Lake Digital Artistry Farm and Wolf Lighting). Marian received numerous awards for Production (WAMI) as part of Orgone Productions and traveled the area/country/world sharing the music. She was dedicated to working with youth for productions at Raymond School; received the “Friend of Education” award. 

In Memoriam: Marcia Anne Eckley

Marcia Anne Eckley Haynes passed away peacefully February 4th, 2018 at home. She was born February 27th, 1934 in Monmouth, IL to Ralph B. and Marcia F. Eckley. She was raised in Monmouth and was a graduate of Monmouth High School and Monmouth College.

“Anne” was married to James T. Haynes on June 4th, 1954 in Monmouth. In 1959, they moved to Bushnell, IL, to raise their family. She taught 5th grade in in the Bushnell-Prairie City school system for 20 years. Anne enjoyed playing bridge, attending “Fly In” events with Jim, including the annual Fly-In Breakfast at the Monmouth airport. During the retirement years, Anne and Jim have spent their winters in Green Valley, AZ. She also enjoyed keeping in touch with far away friends through letters and phone calls. She described herself as talkative, friendly and outgoing. Anne was a member of the Pi Beta Phi Women’s Fraternity, Bushnell Women’s Club and P.E.O. Chapter X. She was a member of the Bushnell Presbyterian Church, where she served as a Sunday school teacher and a member of the Bell Choir. 

She is survived by her husband of 63 years, James, children Sue (Ron) Nelson of Kirkwood, IL, George (Sarah) Haynes of Monmouth, IL, Mary Anne Schwartz of Galesburg, IL and Sarah (Dirk) Benn of Adel, IA. Grandchildren: Emily Sue (Kevin) Gaede, North Liberty, IA, Abbey (Ryan) Greenlief, Orion, IL, Jason (Ellen) Haynes, Jacksonville, IL, Rachel (Ryan) Oehlert, Galesburg, IL, Allison (Joey) Strickland, North Liberty, IA, Michael (Stephanie) Schwartz, Cedar Rapids, IA, Dylan Benn, Indianola, IA, Carson Benn, Rolla, MO. She is also survived by 8 Great-Grandchildren.  Also surviving is a brother John F. (Peggy) Eckley of Oquawka, IL. 

In Memoriam: Dave Orville Harris

David “Dave” Orville Harris, 86, of rural Mason City, Iowa, passed away peacefully on January 26, 2018, at the Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit at Hospice of North Iowa Center, in Mason City, Iowa, of complications due to colorectal and undiagnosed blood cancers.
Dave was born on September 22, 1931 to Orville Harris and Grace (DeGraw) Harris in Mason City, Iowa. He was the only child of Orville Harris and had two half-sisters, Patricia Hasel and Cherie Collentine.  He attended Mason City schools and graduated from MCHS in 1949. He graduated from Mason City Junior College with an A.A. degree in Accounting and began his career as a bookkeeper for the Manly Farmer’s Cooperative.  He served his country stateside as a U.S. Army Sergeant during the Korean conflict from 1952-1954. He taught pole-climbing to troops at Fort Riley, Kansas and was fond of telling stories of his days in the military.

On May 25, 1952, he married Ellen Alberta Hill in Manly, Iowa.  To this union two sons were born, Rex David Harris and Ross David Harris. The marriage ended in 1983 and he later married Marilyn (“Mamie”) Honken of Charles City, Iowa.  Mamie passed away in 1997.  In 2003 he married Charlotte L. Parcher of Mason City, Iowa. This marriage ended in 2007.

Dave’s passions were flying and farming. At age 13, he would “catch a ride” to the Mason City airport, where he learned to fly before he obtained a drivers’ license. During the 1940’s, he performed stunts in regional air shows as a wing walker and parachutist.  A licensed private pilot, he created an FAA-approved airport on the family farm known as Harris Field. He was a charter member of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) Chapter 94, and was involved in its Vintage Aircraft Association and Young Eagles Programs. Along with participation in the Midwest Antique Airplane Club, he enjoyed many trips with family and friends to Oshkosh and Brodhead, Wisconsin, for associated activities.    In his later years he also enjoyed special trips with family and friends to see airshows and historical sites in Brazil, Germany, and the Continental U.S.  Dave was a devoted steward of his farmland, and an avid conservationist. He lived and worked on the farm as simply as possible, and served as a Trustee on the Lime Creek Township Board in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.

Dave is survived by son Rex and his wife Marjorie of Breezy Point, Minnesota; and son Ross and his wife Elizabeth Van Zomeren of Johnston, Iowa. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Andrew (Katie) Harris, of Eagan, Minnesota; Rachel Harris of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota; and Patricia Harris, of Breezy Point, Minnesota; and a great-grandson, Gavin Robert Harris of Eagan, Minnesota. He is also survived by his half-sister, Patricia, formerly of Mason City and Ventura, currently residing in Atlantic, Iowa, and her children and families, Jon Benn, of Deland, Florida; Matt Benn, of Atlantic, Iowa; and Bonni Bohl, of Chicago, Illinois.  He is also survived by Max, his beloved Great Pyrenees.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, former spouses Ellen and Mamie, half-sister Cherie Collentine, nephew Jay Benn, and great-nephew Scott Bohl. 

In Memoriam: Wayne A. Forshey

Wayne A. Forshey, age 62, of Woodsfield, Ohio passed away Tuesday December 19, 2017 at the Wetzel County Hospital New Martinsville, West Virginia.  He was born in Cambridge, Ohio March 22, 1955 a son of the late Samuel & Lena Neuhart Forshey. 

He was a graduate of the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he became an Air Frame and Power Plant Mechanic.  Wayne was a member of St. Sylvester Catholic Church, member of the Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree Member, Tech councilor for the EAA, Lifetime member of the EAA, member of Vintage Air Craft Association, National WACO Club, American WACO Club, the AOPA, and member of the EAA Warbirds of America. 

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Karen Haney Forshey of Woodsfield, brothers; Cliff (Pat Baker) Forshey, Ralph (Tina Pittman) Forshey of Columbus, nieces; Sarah, Jennifer, and Catherine, and several cousins. 

In Memoriam: Charlie Harris

Charles W. “Charlie” Harris (90, VAA Lifetime #2158), September 30, 1927 – December 09, 2017, a 71-year resident of Tulsa, slipped the surly bonds of earth and went to his heavenly home on December 9, 2017.

Charlie was a founding member of EAA’s Antique/Classic Division, now the Vintage Aircraft Association, in the early 1970s and served in various capacities including National Director, Treasurer, Chairman of Executive Committee, Chairman of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, and Director Emeritus from 1988 to the time of his death.  He was inducted into the VAA Hall of Fame in 2006, one of many aviation honors he received during a lifetime of participation in aviation.

Charles was born September 30, 1927 in Pawhuska, OK. He accepted Christ and was baptized in the First Christian Church in Pawhuska as an 11 year old young man. He joined Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa in 1951. He attended the Pawhuska Public Schools graduating in May 1945. He earned five athletic letters in interscholastic athletics and served as president of his senior class. He attended the University of Oklahoma during the summer of 1945 prior to his enlistment as a 17 year old in the U.S. Navy in July 1945 where he served aboard active Fleet Cruisers the USS Vicksburg CL-86, the USS Springfield CL-66, and the USS Astoria CL-90. Following his honorable discharge from active duty in August 1946 he enrolled at the University of Tulsa where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in January 1950. While at the University of Tulsa he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order social fraternity and was named the Outstanding Intramural Athlete at TU in 1949. He was inducted into the Kappa Alpha Order Hall of Honor in Tulsa in 1958 when the Kappa Alpha Order National Convention was held in Tulsa.

Following college graduation he joined Commercial Credit Company in February 1950 and left Commercial Credit in July 1955 to join Paul L. Sisk and Joe S. Eaton in a Tulsa-based automobile installment financing organization, Security Investment Company, which evolved into Transportation Leasing Company and became one of the largest independent vehicle and aircraft financing, leasing and rental organizations in the entire Southwest.

Some of the Vintage gang gathered in Tulsa this fall to help celebrate Charlie’s 90th birthday.

Mr. Harris had a lifetime interest in aviation which was influenced from an early age by his father’s ownership and activity in personal aircraft. Charlie learned to fly as a 16 year old in high school and his passion and devotion to aviation spanned his entire lifetime. He was deeply involved in many aviation organizations including a 30 year chairmanship of the Tulsa Regional Fly-In as well as being a co-founder and chairman of the National Biplane Association from 1986 to its conclusion in 2009. His extensive collection of pristine antique airplanes is known throughout the nation. The specialty collection included two world class aerobatic Pitts Specials which Charlie flew in regional aerobatic exhibitions on a fly-for-fun basis.

Charlie loved World War II aviation and naval history and was a well-known aviation author with his material published in various aviation periodicals and newsletters. He was also the editor of a nationally distributed monthly newsletter published by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Chapter 10 of Tulsa, Oklahoma for more than thirty years.

Charlie at his induction into the VAA Hall of Fame in 2006, one of many aviation honors he received during a lifetime of participation in aviation.

He served as a Director on Tulsa’s Jones-Riverside Airport Board for a number of years, was a member of the Downtown Rotary Club during 1970s as well as a member of Downtown Executive Club of Tulsa during that timeframe. During the 1970s he also served over 10 years in the downtown Nicholas Club supporting under privileged children. Charlie was an enthusiastic and lifelong ambassador for the City of Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma in his corporate and aviation travels.

Mr. Harris was inducted into the Oklahoma Air and Space Hall of Fame in 2001 and was inducted into the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2006. In 1984 Charlie was the first person the Oklahoma Aviator newspaper selected as the Oklahoma Aviator of the Year. In connection with his long term aviation events in Bartlesville, Oklahoma the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce awarded him their Medallion of Honor in 1998, their equivalency to the Key to the City.

Charlie was privileged to live one of the most enjoyable lives possible. The joy of his association with schoolmates and teachers through 12 years in public education in Pawhuska prepared him not only for college but for a successful future life. His life was further enhanced by the closely bonded Kappa Alpha Order brotherhood at the University of Tulsa. His treasured association with the highly esteemed Paul L. Sisk and Joe S. Eaton combined to create a 60-plus  year unreserved business success. The loyalty and constant support from the finest in the company’s staff and business associates as well as his acquaintances and friendships with world famous aviation personalities from his deep long term involvement in the world of aviation made his life a complete joy.