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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Russell “Rotor” E. Rakip Jr., Colonel, USAFMarch 21, 1951 – August 05, 2004
DOVER, Fla. — Col. Russell E. Rakip Jr., 53, of Dover, Fla, formerly of Ayer, died unexpectedly Thursday, Aug. 5, at his home. He was retired from the U.S. Air Force.
Mr. Rakip was born in Nashua, N.H., a son of Florence E. (Sullivan) Rakip and the late Russell E. Rakip Sr., and has resided in Dover for the past four years. Prior to moving to Dover, Col. Rakip had resided in Washington, D.C., Texas, Okinawa and England.
He was a 1969 graduate of Ayer High School and had attended St. Mary’s Church in Ayer.
Before his recent retirement, Col. Rakip served his country for more than 30 years in the U.S. Air Force. During his career, he became a highly-trained helicopter pilot and was assigned to missions in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Later in his career he was assigned to the Pentagon in Washington, DC. He was presented with many commendations, including two purple hearts.
Besides his mother of Ayer, he is survived by a brother, Mark P. Rakip of La Mirada, Calif.; a sister, Ellen E. McCann of Leominster; three nieces, Kerry McCann, Caitlin McCann and Kristin Rakip; and a nephew, Philip Rakip. He also leaves several cousins, aunts and uncles.
He was predeceased by a brother, Philip J. Rakip, who died in 1977.
RAKIP — On August 5, Col. Russell E. Rakip Jr., 53, formerly of Ayer. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11, at St. Mary’s Church, 31 Shirley St., Ayer. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Calling hours are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the T.J. Anderson & Son Funeral Home, 25 Fitchburg Road., (Route 2A) Ayer.
Please see www.andersonfuneral.com for additional information. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Mary’s Church, 31 Shirley St., Ayer, MA 01432.
Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Aug. 8, 2004
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