Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
John M. “Mike”, “Bear” Scannell, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)October 28, 1953 – December 30, 2017
John M. “Mike, aka Bear”, Scannell, Lt Col (Ret-USAF) passed away suddenly, Saturday, December 30, 2017, with his wife of 43 years, Molly, and his family by his side.
Mike was born October 28, 1953, and was a native of Baltimore, Maryland, until enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1972 as a helicopter mechanic. After completing a four year scholarship program, he was commissioned in 1978 and entered Undergraduate Pilot Training (Helicopter) at Ft Rucker, Alabama and graduated in 1979. Colonel Scannell then served tours as an HH-3E pilot at Myrtle Beach AFB, and Kadena AB, Japan. In 1984, he was selected for instructor pilot duty at the Air Force’s “Rescue Schoolhouse” at Kirtland AFB, NM. In 1992 he was assigned as Assistant Operations Officer, 41st Rescue Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida where he subsequently became the 41st Rescue Squadron Commander in 1995. He proudly served in the USAF until his retirement in 1998. Mike performed as a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours.
In the years following his retirement from the USAF, Mike enjoyed a second career field as a Residential Real Estate Appraiser in the local Brevard County, FL area.
Mike was a resident of Satellite Beach, FL for 24 years. He had a love of flying, golf, and water sports activities.
Mike is lovingly remembered by his wife, Molly Scannell, his sisters, Nancy Paris, Peggy Burkholder, and Mary Jo Miller, and his dear sisters-in-law, Jean Bienemann and Sally Edwards, and his brother in-law, Tom Edwards. He is predeceased by his loving parents, Raymond and Joan, and brother, Mark Scannell.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions may be madeto America’s VetDogs, 371 East Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787.
~ GUEST BOOK ~
January 17, 2018I was stationed with Bear at Kirtland for nearly the entire three years I was there. We flew together quite a bit–as I went through instructor upgrade and on a few “instructor-only” missions (airshows, etc). We shared quite a few beers, discussing student progress (or lack thereof) and solving all the problems of helicopters, rescue, and the Air Force in general…at least, we were pretty sure we had the answers. His smile was infectious–even if you didn’t know what he was really thinking behind it. I always enjoyed his company. Blue skies, amigo. Rest easy.~Mark Bracich, Ivins, Utah
January 03, 2018Dear Uncle Mike, you have no idea how much your family will miss you. Your smile and sense of humor was always welcomed at family holidays. I will always remember the way that you would climb down on the floor and play with your nieces and nephews for hours with all our new Christmas gifts. These are some of the happiest holiday memories I have.Aunt Molly-sending you love and prayers always!!~Katie Parris-Fabie, Red Lion, Pennsylvania
January 03, 2018~Joy Holt,White City, Oregon