Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Darrel L. Abernathy, USAF (Retired)October 23, 1928 – December 21, 2008
Abernathy, Darrel L. VHPA Member #G299951928-2008
Darrel Lee Abernathy, 80, slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God on Dec. 21 at the Veteran Affairs Extended Living Care Facility.
He was born Oct. 23, 1928, in Duncan, Okla., and raised in Seminole, Okla.
He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1948 until his first retirement in 1968, having had tours of duty in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. After his retirement from the Air Force he went to work for the Wyoming Department of Transportation for the next 18 years and was instrumental in the formation of WYDOT’s aeronautics division. He retired a second time in 1987 to become a “gentleman rancher.”
He married Betty Jane Rice on April 15, 1951, in Seminole.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Korean Shriners, Masonic Lodge 11, CFD Heels, Daedalians, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the National Rifle Association.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Betty J. Abernathy; a son, William (Miriam) Abernathy; two daughters, Lee Ann (Frank) Hernandez and Lyn Dale (Miguel) Mercado; and six grandchildren, Kristina and Amelia Abernathy, Derek R. and Taylor R. Hernandez, and Austin and Amber Mercado.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gladys and James Abernathy, and two brothers, James and John Abernathy.
A Celebration of His Life will be 10 a.m. today at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Ruth Ann Loughry and the Rev. Ken Peterson co-officiating.
Honorary pallbearers will be Harlon Hain, Bill Klintworth, Dr. Richard Loughry, and all the residents of the VA Community Living Center.
Cremation and services are under the direction of Wiederspahn-Radomsky Chapel of the Chimes.
Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to CFD Scholarship Fund, Shriners Hospital, or the Cheyenne VA Extended Living Facility.