Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Francis “Frank” John Lawlor Jr., MSgt., USAF (Retired)October 17, 1942 – October 12, 2008
Francis John Lawlor Jr., 65, a resident of Wichita Falls, went to sleep in the Lord on Oct. 12, 2008, while being cared for at Hospice Care Center of Wichita Falls.
The funeral liturgy will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, 2008, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with the Rev. Ray McDaniel, celebrant. Interment will follow at Burkburnett Cemetery under the direction of Owens & Brumley Funeral Home of Wichita Falls.
Francis, or “Frank” as he was known by family and friends, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 17, 1942, to Francis J. Lawlor Sr., and Veronica M. Lawlor. He attended Catholic Parochial schools, including Bishop Egan High School, until enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1961.
In 1962, he married Gloria Jean Franklin of Fort Worth, Texas. Together they had four children, and lived in various places throughout the U.S.
Upon joining the Air Force, he became trained as an aircraft mechanic. He was assigned to the Strategic Air Command with assignments on B-47, KC-135, and B-58 aircraft. He later transferred to the Military Airlift Command assigned as a flying crew chief on C-141 aircraft. In the late 1960s, the Air Force transferred him into the role of a helicopter mechanic and air crewman. He was assigned to UH-1 aircraft, and eventually went to the 20th Special Operations Squadron, “The Pony Express,” flying combat missions out of Udorn, Thailand. His later career saw him assigned to the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service Headquarters at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. He ended his Air Force career of 26 years at Sheppard AFB as a Master Sergeant. Since 1987, he served as an aircraft mechanic with various contractors in support of the Euro-NATO training program at Sheppard AFB.
An avid sports fan, he was a lifelong fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Penn State Nittany Lions. He also supported the Burkburnett Bulldogs.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, John.
Frank is survived by his wife, Gloria of Wichita Falls; his four children, Michael Lawlor and wife Terry of Duncan, Okla., Donna Bugos and husband Robert of Rio Rancho, N.M., John Lawlor of Wichita Falls, and Katherine Olds and husband Brandon of Round Rock. He was also blessed to have nine grandchildren, Billy, Wesley, Chelcie, Jacob, Allyson, Clinton, Christian, Megan, and Bailey; and many friends.
The rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008, in the chapel of Owens & Brumley Funeral Home of Wichita Falls.
~Bio Povided by Franks Son Mike Lawlor~
My name is Pastor Mike Lawlor. I reside in Oklahoma City, OK.
My father was not a member of your site, but he was a “Rotorhead” through and through.
His name was MSGT Francis (Frank) J. Lawlor, Jr. USAF (Ret). My dad passed away on Oct 12, 2008 of lung cancer.
Dad joined the Air Force in 1961. He started in B-47 maintenance. He later worked as a B-58 crew Chief in the 43rd Bomb Wing at Carswell AFB and Little Rock AFB. Dad was then transferred to MAC and became a flying crew chief on the C-141 out of Dover AFB.
He became a rotorhead when he was sent to Sheppard AFB in 1968 for helicopter maintenance school on Hueys.
He was sent to Udorn, Thailand in 1969. He eventually transferred to the H-3 with the 20th SOS “Pony Express” in both maintenance and flying roles.
Upon his return stateside in 1970, he was sent to Hurlburt Field, FL for Huey maintenance. He had the privilege of going to Bell helicopter and bringing the UH-1N into service.
In 1971 he was assigned to the 1550th at Hill AFB where he served in Huey maintenance and flying roles.
In 1973 he was sent to Osan, Korea where he served with a unit that I only remember as the “CIA,” or “Choggie International Airlines.” He flew on H-3’s there.
He returned to Hill in 1974 and stayed there in maintenance and flying roles until the 1550th went to Kirtland and he moved there.
He stayed at Kirtland until 1976 when he was sent to Air Rescue Headquarters at Scott AFB where he served as a Huey flight engineer stand/eval inspector.
In 1980 he returned to Kirtland on the UH-1N’s until 1983 when he was transferred to Sheppard AFB, TX to write the tech manual for the UH-1N flight engineer program. That was dad’s last tour.
Dad retired with over 26 years’ service.
Following his retirement, dad worked for the Euro/Nato Pilot training program at Sheppard in maintenance roles on T-37/38 aircraft until his death.
I noticed guys like Jim Duffy, Stan Nelson, and others that I remember as a kid.
Perhaps I am sentimental, but I am coming up on the three year anniversary of dad’s passing and I just don’t want him to be forgotten.
He was a true “Hover Lover,” and I am so proud of him.
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