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Lloyd K. Houchin, Colonel, USAF (Retired)November 14, 1935 – July 18, 2007
LEBANON – Colonel Lloyd K. Houchin, USAF, retired (Kenny Sielbeck of Karnak) born in Osceola, Ark., on Nov. 14, 1935, passed away peacefully Wednesday, July 18, 2007, at his home in Lebanon.
Lloyd moved to Karnak from Osceola in 1940. He graduated from Karnak High at the age of 16 in 1952.
Lloyd was an Air Force ROTC cadet at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he graduated at the age of 20 with high honors and was commissioned in the Air Force as a second lieutenant. He married Mary Kathryn Mitchell of Tamms on May 25, 1956. He attended flight school and became a fighter pilot with his first assignment flying F-100s at Itazuke Air Base in Fukuoka, Japan. During three years at Itazuke, Lloyd was deployed from his home base for 16 months, sitting nuclear alert in Korea and Okinawa. While in Japan, Lloyd and Mary had their first child, Ramona.
Following the Itazuke assignment, Lloyd was assigned to England AFB in Alexandria, La. At the height of the Cold War and while assigned at England AFB for four years, Lloyd was deployed for almost three years. In response to the building of the Berlin Wall, his squadron was deployed to Germany for four months. He was also deployed for nuclear alert in Turkey, attended Squadron Officer School and responded to the Cuban Missile Crisis, where he sat alert in Florida prepared to attack Cuban missiles. He also graduated from Air Force Fighter Weapons School “Top Gun”, the U.S. Army Parachute Course and was deployed flying the F-100 for two combat tours to Vietnam. During this assignment Lloyd and Mary had their second child, Mitch.
Lloyd’s next assignment was for two years as an exchange officer to the British Royal Air Force (RAF), flying Hawker Hunters. In this assignment he trained new RAF pilots to become fighter pilots at RAF Chivenor, North Devon.
After the British exchange tour, Lloyd attended Air Force Command and Staff College (ACSC) and then flew F-111s at Nellis AFB in Nevada. During this assignment, the F-111s were grounded for a major wing box rebuilding modification so Lloyd volunteered to go back to Vietnam. He trained as a helicopter pilot and became a Vietnamese Air Force Wing Commander advisor and spent a year flying combat in UH-1, “Hueys”, out of Da Nang.
Following the Vietnam assignment, Lloyd spent four years on the faculty of ACSC at Maxwell AFB in Alabama, where he authored several articles on fighter tactics and interdiction. He was also the research director for “The Battle for the Skies over North Vietnam,” which was published in a book titled “Tale of Two Bridges and the Battle for the Skies over North Vietnam.”
After ACSC, Lloyd was assigned to Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Offutt AFB in Nebraska, where he was a senior controller in the SAC command post and executive officer for the Director of Operations. After over three years at Offutt he was assigned to Whiteman AFB in Missouri, where he was the Director of Operations and Vice Commander of a Minuteman Strategic Missile Wing. While at Whiteman AFB, he was also appointed the Chief of the Safety Investigation of the Titan Nuclear Missile explosion near Little Rock (Damascus), Ark., in 1981.
His final military assignment was as commander of the ROTC Detachment at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Lloyd retired from the Air Force in 1985 after a 29-year career. His military decorations include The Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and several Vietnamese medals and campaign ribbons.
Upon his retirement from the Air Force, he immediately began working for A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., where he became an investment broker, a certified financial planner and a trust specialist. After a successful career of 20-plus years of helping clients obtain their investment objectives, he was forced to retire because of the onset of primary lateral sclerosis, a form of the more commonly known amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Lloyd was preceded in death by his father, Lloyd S. Houchin; his mother, Edna (Egner) Houchin Sielbeck; and his stepfather, Louis Sielbeck.
Surviving him are his wife, Mary Kathryn (Mitchell); a daughter, USAF Colonel Ramona Dolson of Scott AFB; a son, LCDR (USN retired) Mitchell Houchin, daughter-in-law, Deborah, and two grandsons, Alex and Steven Houchin, all of Plattsmouth, Neb.A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to the ALS Association, 27001 Agoura Road, Suite 150, Calabasas Hills, CA 91301 or to BJC Hospice, 1 Memorial Drive, Alton, IL 62002.
Upon his request, Lloyd’s body was donated to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
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