Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
John J. Duggan, USAF
June 15, 1935 – May 14, 2021
Alamogordo – The Duggan family is sad to announce the peaceful passing of John J. Duggan of Alamogordo on May 14th, 2021 at Providence Memorial Hospital, El Paso, Texas. John was born June 15th, 1935 at Brockton Hospital, Brockton, Massachusetts. Born to Wilfred Francis Duggan and his wife, Bridget Elizabeth, née Connolly, John was the second of six children: Wilfred Jr., Margaret Elizabeth, Paul, Daniel and Mary.
John lived happily on a farm in Holbrook, Massachusetts until the age of eight. He loved the farm life and spoke of it fondly through the years. Eventually, though, the family moved to Pleasant Street in Whitman, Massachusetts. There John attended Whitman High School before entering the United States Air Force as a jet mechanic for four years.
After his stint in the USAF, he attended the Newman Prep School, Boston and Boston University. He then re-joined the Air Force in the Air Cadet program. He attended flight training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas and Bainbridge Air Base, Georgia.
During his time in the military, John flew and trained on fighters, bombers and helicopters. His aircraft of choice was the helicopter. He loved the aerodynamic versatility it offered and would have happily traveled anywhere via helicopter. In the military, John was stationed all over and beyond including McConnell AFB, KS; Plattsburgh AFB, NY; Maguire AFB, NJ, where he flew numerous missions to and from Vietnam; Thule AFB, Greenland; Moody AFB, GA; Incirlik CDI, Adana, Turkey and Holloman AFB, NM before retiring as a Major in 1976.
In the midst of all that training and military service, John married Virginia Marie Meagher in 1961 and they had six children. The children, Karen Marie (predeceased), Alamogordo; Julie Ebeling, New Jersey; Michael Patrick, Milwaukee; John Joseph (Jennifer), El Paso; Jed Anthony (Catherine), Las Cruces; and Jessica Alpeter (Steven), Ohio were proud to see their parents celebrate sixty years of marriage on April 29th, 2021. John had six grandchildren that he loved and doted on. Matthew, Emma, Tristan, Isabel, Brady and Josselyn loved him right back and then some.
After the military, John remained in New Mexico where he and Virginia raised their family in Alamogordo. In the ensuing years, John kept busy with many endeavors, but it was his love of flying that maintained his professional and recreational attention. He was a master pilot and an excellent flight instructor. He enjoyed teaching and helping others to achieve their pilot’s license. Truly, his love of flying was unsurpassed by anything except for his love and devotion to his family.
He did, however, manage to find a bit of time for some amateur photograph, at which he was quite good. And he was most certainly always up for a round of golf with his wife, children or friends. He could fly, drive or fix just about every known mechanical object. He had a cache of tools that would rival any NASCAR pit crews. He loved watching Civil War and WWII documentaries, thought you could never have enough flashlights or batteries and he never met a dog he didn’t pet. Ice cream was not safe in his vicinity for any amount of time. His family will sorely miss him, but they will always cherish the many happy memories they shared as a family as they traveled to and from Massachusetts via car and camper every summer.
In celebration of John’s life, on Friday, June 18th, 2021 at St. Jude Roman Catholic Church a Rosary will be prayed at 9:15AM followed by a memorial mass at 10AM, Alamogordo. Rev. Mark McKenzie, SJ will be the Celebrant. After the mass, John’s cremains will be placed in the Columbarium at Saint Jude along with a military tribute. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Wounded Warrior Project. The family looks forward to celebrating John’s life with family and members of the community that knew and loved him.
Due to the COVID Pandemic, occupancy is limited to or more than 150 people at a time. Please practice social distancing at all times and follow COVID safe practices.
The Duggan family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home.
To sign the online register book, please visit www.alamogordofuneralhome.org.
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