Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Jon Phillip Lee Nehl, MSgt., USAFNovember 05, 1972 – December 20, 2012
Jon Phillip Lee Nehl (November 5, 1972 – December 20, 2012)
At 40 years of age the Lord sent a special helicopter to take Jon to be with him. Jon had come home to Springfield, Missouri to be with family when on December 20th, 2012 he lost his gallant battle with cancer. Jon was born on November 5th, 1972 in Manhattan, Kansas to Patrick and Rachel Nehl.
Jon had a wonderful life with his wife Dana and daughter Willow. He was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force still on active duty when the Lord gave him his next assignment. Jon loved his family, the Air Force and Mini Coopers, but always had time to give you a hand.
The Air Force had sent Jon to England, Okinawa, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Romania and countries he could not tell us about. The helicopter that Jon was the Crew Chief for, a Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV, tail number 73-1649, that went on so many missions has been retired and is on display with Jon’s name and his nose art painted on it in the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. But, no matter where Jon was he would always touch the lives of those he came in contact with and they would be better for it. Jon had a wonderful sense of humor to the very end, even his last days in the hospital bed he made the Nurses laugh. Jon graduated from Manhattan High School and attended Kansas State University for two years before joining the Air Force in 1993. While serving in the Air Force Jon received many awards that included the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with three devices, Air Force Achievement Medal with two devices, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Gallant Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Award with three devices, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three Valor Devices, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with five devices, National Defense Service Medal with one devise, Kosovo Campaign Medal with one device, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one device, Iraq Campaign Medal with two devices, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short and Long with one device, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and three devices, Air Force Longevity Service with three devices, United States Air Force NCO PME Graduate Ribbon with one device, Air Force Training Ribbon and the NATO Medal with one device.
When word got out of Jon’s flight to Heaven in the early morning of 12/20/12, by that afternoon Dana had received over 800 text messages of condolences. Jon touched a lot of lives! Jon is survived by his wife Dana and their Daughter Willow of Milford, Ohio. His parents Patrick and Rachel Nehl of Springfield, Missouri, his brother Bryan Nehl and his wife Denise of Jefferson City, Missouri, his sister Marcellina (Nehl) Brown and her husband Leegin. His four nephews – Nathan, Daniel, Legend and Corbin and one niece – Rayna. His Grandmother Verena (Nehl) Sapp of Springfield, Missouri. Russ and Diane Fediuk his Father-in-law and Mother-in-law and a brother-in-law Russ D and his wife Beth and a sister-in-law MaryAna all of Milford, Ohio. Jon is also survived by many Aunts and Uncles. Beatrice Ayon, Virginia Perbeck, Frances and Leonard Myers and Joe Vera of Manhattan, Kansas, Mary and Joe Yates of Cadiz, Kentucky, Theodore Vera of Bogata, Columbia, Frank and Debbie Vera of Arlington, Texas, Gerald Nehl of Marshfield, Missouri, Diane and Rick McCay of Saddlebrook, Missouri, James Nehl of Springfield, Missouri, Sister Bernadette Nehl, FSPA and three Special Aunts – Pauline, Carmen and Anita Silva of Manhattan, Kansas. And we can’t forget Jeremy Rick Beck that Jon and his Brother Bryan did so much together while growing up and learning about life. A friendship that started in Boy Scouts went through High School and into the Military Service that continued until the Lord called Jon. Waiting in Heaven for Jon are his Grandparents Frank and Elizabeth Vera, his Grandfather Francis Nehl, his Aunts, Josie Vera, Ernestine Arnett, Marcellina Vera Zarazu and Sister (Mother) Valerie Nehl, FSE.
Visitation will be from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Wednesday 12/26/2012 at Greenlawn Funeral Home East. A Mass will be said for Jon at 11:15 AM on Thursday 12/27/2012 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Catholic Church. The Military funeral will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday 12/27/2012 at the Missouri Veteran’s Cemetery, located at Lake Springfield. Reverend Thomas Reidy will be presiding over the Mass and the Funeral.
The family ask that rather than flowers that a contribution for cancer research be made to an organization of your choice in Jon’s name or a contribution to the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, AZ to assist in the preservation of Jon’s helicopter.
~ GUEST BOOK ~
December 27, 2012 11:47 AMMy sympathy to Rachel and all. And remembering all the good times Class of 67 “Peace be with you” Tommy.~Tom Braddy, Topeka, Kansas
December 27, 2012 10:19 AMRachel, I am very sorry to hear of your son’s passing. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.Sincerely, Adele (Minton) Strawn LHS Class of ’67.~Adele (Minton) Strawn, Denver, CO
December 26, 2012 9:58 PMOn behalf of Mary Sue and I, we would like to offer our sincere condolences to Rachel, our high school classmate of 1967.We are truly saddened to hear about your son. It sounds like he was a true hero and wonderful person that you can be very proud to call “son”. We will keep you in our prayers.~Dan Wells, Salina, KS
December 26, 2012 9:35 PMOur thoughts and prayers are with you. We only knew Jon for a short time, but his courage and strength has imprinted into our hearts.~Bridget & Aric Jack, Tucson, AZ
December 26, 2012 6:16 PMRachel, Pat and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Take care.~Kaye Shehi Johnson, Manhattan, KS
December 26, 2012 4:58 PMGod Bless you and your family brother!!~Scott Reed, Destin, Florida
December 26, 2012 3:47 PMRachel/Pat and family,I drove to Manhattan today to visit with my mother and sister (Kaye), and heard about the recent passing of your beloved son, Jon. Please know that I will be keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers and I extend my deepest sympathies. You can be very proud of Jon’s many accomplishments in his short lifetime. My son, Dan Webb, was one year ahead of Jon, when they attended Seven Dolors Grade school in Manhattan. Dan remembers Jon too, and extends his sympathy to your family as well. Rachel, please send me your email address, so that we can reconnect from our days of being classmates at Luckey High School. Many of our classmates have shared their email addresses recently and we had two weekends this past summer, when some of us met in Aggieville to remember the good old days. I will share your sad news with our classmates. Keeping you in thought and prayer, Dianne (Shehi) O’Connor (email@example.com)~Dianne (Shehi) O’Connor, Topeka, KS
December 26, 2012So sorry to hear of your loss! I am a friend of your Mother and Father.~Marsha and Jamie Eckerson, Otisville, New York
December 26, 2012Rachel,Pat and family. I was shocked and saddened by Jon’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you.~Kaye Shehi Johnson, Manhattan, Kansas
December 26, 2012The Final Salute
“Brothers in Arms”, Military men and women down through the centuries, have traditionally exchanged “Hand Salutes” as a sign of recognition and as a way to render courtesy and respect one to another.
This “Hand Salute” is the last that we shall render to MSG Jon Phillip Lee Nehl our “Brother-in-Arms”. To his family it symbolizes the love and respect that we have for Jon. And to Jon it is rendered as a symbol of honor and gratitude to thank him for the devoted and selfless service he rendered to his country during multiple deployments on various Operations including Iraqi and Enduring Freedoms while serving as a helicopter crew chief in the U.S. Air Force. Jon, no greater patriotism is shown than a Air Force Warrior lay down his life in service to his country. We bid you a sad farewell. While you will be dearly missed from among our ranks, you will always be remembered for your dedicated and loyal service to our great nation. Be at Ease. Rest in Peace.
On behalf of the 1,261 members of Lowe-McFarlane Post 14 of the American Legion, I extend our sympathies and our condolences to Jon’s family and loved ones.
Stephen J. Lavery, Commander, American Legion Post 145315 S. Lakeshore Drive, Shreveport, LA 71109~For the Commander, Carroll R. Michaud, Shreveport, Louisiana
December 26, 2012Thank You Sir for your service protecting the United States of America. God’s comforting embrace upon the family during this time. God Bless You and to feel the comfort of the angels around us during this time of grief.
December 25, 2012Pat, Rachel and Family So sorry to hear of your loss. You guys are in our prayers at this difficult time. He was an unselfish man to dedicate his life to the freedom of our country. Your family should be very proud of his dedication to our nation. Thank You for his service.~Maragret Taylor, Spfd, Missouri
December 25, 2012Pat, Rachel and Family So sorry to hear of your loss. You guys are in our prayers at this difficult time. He was an unselfish man to dedicate his life to the freedom of our country. Your family should be very proud of his dedication to our nation. Thank You for his service.~Margaret Taylor, Springfield, Missouri
December 25, 2012Pat, Rachel and Family So sorry to hear of your loss. You guys are in our prayers at this difficult time. He was an unselfish man to dedicate his life to the freedom of our country. Your family should be very proud of his dedication to our nation. Thank You for his service.~Margaret Taylor and Family, Springfield, Missouri
December 25, 2012 6:37 PMJon and I were stationed together; he was an awesome crew chief. We the Pavelow family will miss him dearlyTake care Jon~Sean Hackney, Waldorf, Maryland
December 25, 2012 1:17 AMJohn was a great guy. Ran into him the first time during old Bosnia days of rotations to Italy and working on MH-53. Great guy and friend. The world here as well as the Pavelow community will miss him. God bless John~Dennis Deaton, Okinawa, Japan
December 25, 2012 12:23 AMVery sad day when a fellow Rescue Brother passes and at such a young age! God please take good care of him!!!!!! Ziggy~Louis Zicarelli, Los Vegas, NV
December 24, 2012 12:11 PMSo sorry for your loss. Prayers for your family…may you have peace in the arms of God and his Angels.~Cathy Brady, Clarksville Tennessee
December 24, 2012 7:50 AMI had the great opportunity to meet Jon in England. He was crewing a MH-53 Helicopter. This helicopter is the most labor intense aircraft in the AF. He loved working on the helicopters. Always a smile and or a laugh to keep us going. The Air Force lost a great person. I hope GOD has a MH-53 that Jon can tinker with. God Bless you Jon and your family my thoughts and prayers will be with you and yours Tony.~Anthony Cuellar, Valdosta GA
December 24, 2012Thank you for your service, your time on earth and the wisdom learned and passed on. Clear skies and tailwinds.~Noel Larsen, Pittsburg, Kansas
December 24, 2012We are so sorry to know of Jon’s passing. He fought his last battle with courage, God bless him. And God bless your heavy hearts this Christmas. How proud you all can be of him for his service to our country. I thank him for that.~Louann Giddens, Republic, Missouri
December 24, 2012I offer my deepest sympathy to the family, friends and military colleagues of MSGT Jon Nehl. We will forever be grateful for his service to this Nation.
December 24, 2012Rachel & Pat, May God send his loving, comforting & peace giving angels to surround you & comfort you & your family during this difficult season, Our prayers are with you.~Lela Dillstrom ( Miller)
December 24, 2012Dana, Pat, Rachel, and Family-We are so sorry for your loss. If you guys need anything, please let us know.~Anthony and Amanda Gifford, Springfield, Missouri
December 24, 2012To my other brother, I will miss you~Francis Nelson, Manhattan, Kansas
December 24, 2012Dear Dana, Willow and Family- So, so very sorry to hear of Jons passing. What a beautiful obit for an extraordinary husband, father, son, brother, friend and soldier. You and Jons family are in our thoughts and prayers. May your memories, everlasting love and the knowledge that Jon is at peace bring you all comfort. Our very deepest sympathies~Roman and Christine
December 23, 2012 5:33 PMJon was an exceptional human being and always there to hang out or help out, even if you were a cousin six years younger. His genuine affection for his family, friends, and crew is a quality that will most definitely be missed. The family will come together to celebrate your life, you are one in a million!~Elizabeth (Vera) Paletz , Arlington, Texas
December 23, 2012 5:18 PMJon- Rest in peace my friend. I will miss you dearly. Praying for your family.~Leatanya Koppa, Tucson, Arizona
December 23, 2012 12:49 PMGod Bless You John, Debra and I have you and your family in our prayers. Thank you for your service to our country and all the sacrifices you made for others. I am proud to be your cousin. Love to you and your family. Craig and Debra Jean Perbeck.~Craig Perbeck, Valley Center, KS
December 23, 2012Dana, We are so very sorry for your loss. Jon sounded like a wonderful man, father and husband. You and your family are very much in our prayers.~Steve, Michelle, Alec, Alyssa Fediuk, Raleigh, North Carolina
December 23, 2012I am so sorry for your loss. Jon and I were classmates. My sympathy and prayers are with you.~Angie (Bohl) Dunham, Manhattan, Kansas
December 23, 2012I wish to extend to you and to members of your family my deepest sympathy on your loss. May the Lord’s loving promises comfort you and give you strength as you walk through this difficult time. On behalf of a grateful nation and an expression of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service rendered by your loved one, if you wish for a personalized memorial card mailed to you with history of playing of taps, 21 gun salutes, meaning of each fold of the flag as a keepsake, please send your request to: Chaplain Richard Reuer, Honoring Those Who Served Ministry, 1206 6th St SW, Minot, ND 58701 Or click on CONTACT ME to email your mailing address for which card be mailed to. This service is free to all veteran families. I wish to thank you for your serving from one veteran to another – Thanks!~Chaplain Richard Reuer, Minot, North Dakota