Photo courtesy of Peggy Loeffler (With pilot Augie Gorreck spreading her father's ashes the day of the memorial)
After instructing Army Air Corps cadets and piloting B-29s in WWII, my father came home to finish college, marry my mother and start a family. When I was six or seven years old, he purchased a Luscombe 8A and happily returned to the sky in a small plane. With two older uninterested brothers, I easily positioned myself first in line to fly with Dad on the days when he wanted a passenger. Soon, though, I got bored with ‘straight and level’ flight and anxiously waited for the times when my dad would reach over and tighten my seat belt, yell ‘hang on,’ and begin a series of lazy loops, rolls and spins over the hills of New England. We shared many happy hours through many years flying together.
Photo courtesy of Peggy Loeffler
When I began my own flying career, my dad was always the first person I called to share my news: first solo, private pilot license and all the ratings and accomplishments to follow. His flying buddies fondly recall the time he was boasting at one gathering telling everyone around him that his daughter had just become a CFI.
My last flight with my father took place on what would have been his 87th birthday on June 7, 2009. To honor his wishes, I arranged a flight in his favorite aircraft, an open cockpit Stearman biplane, over the airport where he had kept his own plane. With help from one of his flying friends, I scattered his ashes among the puffy white clouds in the sky where he had always felt most at home, all his life.
Thanks for the memories Dad!