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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Edward L. Hlavaty, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)
July 19, 1930 – August 5, 2017
Lt. Col. Edward L. Hlavaty USAF, (Ret.) 1930-2017 Lt. Col. Edward L. Hlavaty, retired United States Air Force pilot took his final flight on August 5, 2017 at the age of 87. He was born July 19, 1930 in Crete, Nebraska and was a resident of Lillie, Louisiana.
Visitation will be held Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Kilpatrick Funeral Home in Ruston, Louisiana. Funeral services will be held on Sunday, August 13, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at Glory Ministries in Junction City, Arkansas. Interment will follow at Union Grove Cemetery in Lillie, Louisiana with full military honors.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Anton© (Kovanda) Hlavaty; beloved wife of 55 years, Betty Jo (Washam); brother, Lad Hlavaty; and nephew, Rick Hlavaty. He is survived by his daughters: Laura Huffman and husband, Jerry of Lillie, Louisiana, and Julia Rockett of Lillie, Louisiana; grandsons: Zachary Edward Huffman of Ruston, Louisiana and , Emily Arnold, and Nathaniel Richard Rockett of Lillie, LA; granddaughter, Chelsea Roselyn Huffman of Lillie, Louisiana; in addition to a host of nieces and nephews he adored.
Ed graduated from Crete High School in Crete, Nebraska and played football at Doane College in Nebraska. He graduated from the University of Omaha and spoke three languages: Czech, Russian, and Latin.
He began his career as a USAF Pilot in 1951. During his Air Force career, he flew the KC-97, C-47, B-29, C-130 Hercules, and C-124. In 1969, he was transferred and proudly served as a command pilot flying the Sikorsky CH-3 Jolly Green Giant helicopters (his favorite) on numerous combat rescue missions in Vietnam. He received two Distinguished Flying Cross medals, one with Valor; the Air medal with 4 oak clusters, and numerous other medals and citations. Following his tour of duty in Vietnam, he was commander of 10 helicopters and participated in the geographic survey of the United States, Brazil, and South America. He retired from the Air Force in 1973.
After his Air Force career, Ed worked for Wanek Furniture and managed The Shake Shoppe in his hometown of Crete, Nebraska. He also worked as an Auto Parts Manager in Ruston, Louisiana and Bernice, Louisiana. He enjoyed substitute teaching and working at the Junction City High School where he was known as Mr. Ed. He will be dearly missed and remembered for his great love of God, family, friends, and his Country.
Pallbearers will be Dr. Chris Washam, SSGT Jesse Washam, USAF, Larry Peregrine, Chad Elliott, Colin Rockett, Casey Jackson, Zachary Edward Huffman, Nathaniel Rockett, and Brandon Young.Online condolences may be made to the family @ www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com
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