PAPA JACK

We all know this life will come to an end but that doesn’t ever seem to soften the heartache of loosing a loved one.

My Grandfather passed away Monday at 98 years of age.  He was a man of such honor and grace.  I pray the memory of character will continue to guide me.

“I serve you, Lord.  Comfort me with your love, just as you have promised” Psalm 119:76

On the 29th of October, LCDR (USNR Ret.) Jack a Parsons began his final flight. He was surrounded by family and friends at home for his departure to heaven.

Jack was born on October 7, 1923, in Omaha, Nebraska, He moved in his youth to Colorado with his family, where he attended the Wheatridge grade schools and graduated from Edgewater High School in 1941. Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Hazel Swan Parsons, his brother William (Bill) and four sisters: Dorothy Lancaster, Bettie Frazier, Lila Shelledy, and Georgina Lloyd.  He leaves one surviving sister, Mae Uttecht, of Broomfield, Colorado.

Jack loved nothing more than flying, and in his 28 year career as a Naval Aviator he had abundant opportunity to do just that.  He enlisted in the Navy V-5 Naval Aviation Cadet Program, and graduated earning his wings of gold.  He subsequently received orders to VF Operation Flight Training at Naval Air Station Daytona Beach, Florida, where he flew the F6F Hellcat.  His next orders took him to NAS Melbourne, Florida, for Night Fighter training flying the F6F-2.  He was then attached to the USS Enterprise CV-6 and Squadron VFN90 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Following his discharge at the conclusion of World War II, Jack returned home to Denver, Colorado and enrolled in the University of Colorado School of Engineering.  He joined the Naval Air Reserve Program at NAS Denver where he was assigned to VF Squadron flying the F8F Bearcat. In 1951 he was recalled to active duty and ordered to VP-42 San Diego, California, Flying the PBM as a Patrol Plane Commander.  He then Flew with VP-42 to Sangley Point, Philippines flying the P5M-2 as Patrol Plane Commander during the Korean Conflict.  In 1955, he received orders to NAS Pensacola, Whiting Field as Primary Flight Instructor, and was soon transferred to NAS Cory Field, Pensacola to the Instructors Basic Training Unit.  He was then assigned to Naval Air Reserve training command, and later served at NAS Seattle, NAS Glenview, Illinois, and NAS Olathe, Kansas flying the C-54 and C-118 transports as patrol plane commander.  At NAS Olathe, he flew as PPC on transport missions including WESTPAC logistic flights to Vietnam.

His retirement was to his beloved second home, Pensacola.  At the Port of Pensacola he was employed by the John A. Merritt Steamship Agency as Cargo Coordinator until his full retirement.  His major hobbies and activities included providing guided tours as a volunteer at the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola, golfing and gardening.  His favorite moments were spent enjoying his grandchildren.

Jack is survived by Yvonne, his wife of 61 years, sons Paul/Carmen, Jeffrey/Rhonda, and Dennis/Julie, as well as his grandchildren Timothy/Alexandra, James, Evan/Jeff Baggett, Michael, Natalie, Bryan, Ross, Andrew, Miranda and Kyle; and his two great granddaughters Annabelle and Josephine and fifteen (15) nieces and nephews.

Jack was a thirty (30) year member of the Myrtle Grove Methodist Church, serving on various committees in the early years. He loved the bible discussions each Sunday with his classmates in the New Life Sunday School Class. He was a life member of Military Officers Association of America. A life member

Glenview, Illinois Lodge No. 1058 A.F.& A.M. The National Sojourners #460 Five Flags of Pensacola and The Mariner/Marlin Association of Naval Sea Plane Pilots.

Pallbearers are: Timothy, James, Michael, Bryan and Ross Parsons, Jeffrey Baggett and Andrew Stormer. Honorary Pallbearers: Members of the New Life Sunday School Class, MGUMC

A memorial service and celebration of Jack’s life will be held in the Sanctuary of the Myrtle Grove United Methodist Church, Friday, November 2, 2012 at 10:30 AM.

Visitation will be held at Oak Lawn Funeral Home, Thursday, November 1, 2012 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM. Interment will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery aboard Naval Air Station at 11:45 a.m.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the National Museum of Naval Aviation (www.navalaviationmuseum.org) , Myrtle Grove United Methodist Church or the charity of your choice.

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