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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Jacob Tidings Carwile, USAF (Retired)
June 20, 1922 – April 12. 2020
Jacob Tidings Carwile — Jacob led a long and rich life defined by his great belief in people and the power to do good. He was born on June 20, 1922, in Louisville, Kentucky, the first-born of Argus and Victoria Carwile’s five children.
As a boy, Jay spent summers on the family farm in Grayson County and fell in love with the Kentucky Derby, which lasted his entire life. His love of Kentucky gave him constant joy and strength.
He flew in his first airplane in 1930, when he was 8 years old, which began for him a lifelong love of flying. World War II found him going to pilot training in 1942, being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in March 1944 in the US Army Air Corps and being posted to England where he flew P-47 and P-51 fighters over Europe.
After the war he was posted to Paris and then to Germany, where he met the love of his life, a beautiful young woman from Michigan, Madeline Catherine Decker, married her, and shared 72 years with her; Madeline preceded Jay in death in January 2019.
Jay was subsequently an Air Force instructor and test pilot, he also flew in combat aircraft in Korea, and he flew as a Jolly Green air rescue helicopter pilot in Vietnam.
Along the way he found time to graduate from the University of Texas at Austin in business and to earn an MBA from the University of Colorado.
Jay and Madeline and their seven children lived in many different places over the years – Austin, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Boulder, Colorado; Madrid and Seville, Spain; Montgomery, Alabama and Midwest City, Oklahoma, each place serving as an opportunity for the family to travel and prosper. After a 29-year career as a pilot and procurement officer Jay retired from the Air Force in 1970 in Midwest City, Oklahoma, as a Lieutenant Colonel – a rank he cherished.
Jay then embarked on a 30-year civilian career in the aviation industry. He started his own successful aviation consulting business, Decar Associates, and was especially proud of a later professional advising role with HEICO, where he served on the Board of Directors for many years.
Jay is survived by seven children and 19 grandchildren: John Carwile (Laura, Mary, Chris, Tom and Gwen); Joe and Val Carwile (Michael and Jake); Mary Carwile and Alan Ridnour (Josephine and Catherine); Jim Carwile (Madeline and Sophie); Marie and Chris Engel (Anne Marie, Joseph and Grace); Marian and Bill Summers (Megan and Marie); and Mardi and Dan Engel (Madeline, James and Caroline); as well as his sisters, Marge Trzynka and Joann Montgomery.
Jay had a kind and big heart, and a unique generous spirit to match, giving to and actively involved in many charities and ceaselessly working actively to make life better for all he met. As Madeline always said, Jay never met a stranger and felt most alive when helping others. He was a deeply good man and a true man of faith – devoted to people, to giving, to simplicity, to living life to the fullest, and most of all, to his family. Thanks a million, Dad, for showing us how to live. We love you forever.
Memorials to Guadalupe Clinic and The Lord’s Diner, in Wichita. Interment will be at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery, alongside his wife, Madeline, who herself was a World War II Women’s Army Corps veteran.
JT, Jay, dad, grandpa will be missed beyond words by all who knew and loved him. Downing & Lahey Mortuary – East Chapel.
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