Lawrence G. Stadulis (May 6, 1937 - July 8, 2023)
Lawrence G. Stadulis, 86, of Ashley, formerly of Nanticoke, passed away at the Wilkes Barre VA Medical Center on July 8, 2023, following a brief illness. Lawrence was born, May 6, 1937, to Veronica and Casmir Stadulis, graduated from Nanticoke High School in 1954 and briefly worked for the railroad before entering the US Army in 1960. He served in the United States Army from 1960 to 1966 and later began flying helicopters for Air America from 1966 to 1975, achieving the rank of Captain, where he proudly assisted the United States in Vietnam. During this time with Air America, he assisted U.S. civilian and military personnel, often flying in challenging circumstances. He spoke about flying while under artillery fire, transporting personnel or delivering supplies to those in need. He assisted in the final evacuation of Vietnam, rescuing people from rooftops and safely taking them to ships in the South China Sea. The Blue Ridge was one of those ships. By this time, the Blue Ridge could sort out the rogue helicopters fleeing Saigon from the Air America helicopters carrying refugees. Air America helicopter pilot Larry Stadulis was also told to stand down at the ship and was sent below. A short time later, he was told he needed to return to fly an unattended helicopter. Seeing that Larry was going back, Dave Kendall climbed in with him. Without hesitation and at their peril, they shuttled back and forth between ship and shore, hauling in refugees the rest of the day. By nightfall, both men were mentally and physically exhausted, as they found themselves in the middle of the South China Sea, in light rain, trying to find the carrier USS Midway. The Midway turned off all lights, and Larry and David were in total darkness. To make matters worse, the twenty-minute low fuel light in the helicopter had been on for fifteen minutes, and no one knew how accurate those lights were. Larry and Dave were in trouble. They were calling for help from the Midway, and the ship's radar could see them, but they could not see the ship. The low-fuel warning light kept getting brighter and brighter. Throughout the day, it had been evident that Air America's pivotal role in the evacuation was not clearly understood by the other players, as cooperation from those who were supposed to be informed had been slim to none. The ship was also not sure who was in the helicopter. In this situation, however, the Midway's cooperation was imperative. Larry informed the Midway that they needed a light and could not see the ship. It was now time for the Midway's commanding officer to decide and do it fast. The helicopter had only a few minutes of fuel when the Midway relented and turned on every topside light. Larry said it looked like a Christmas tree, and it was most definitely a gift. Larry and Dave landed on the flight deck, running on fumes. The effort made by Larry and David deserve more than just a mention. It represented exemplary conduct topping the highest standards for bravery. Larry and David did not do this work for recognition. They never knew that anyone cared, but the people they rescued that day did care, and they owe them their lives. Every Air America pilot who knew Larry Stadulis respected him. That's the kind of person he was. Larry was recognized for his courage by Senator Charles H. Percy during the rescue of the Senator and his family in 1967. He developed strong relationships among other pilots, personnel of Air America, the United States military services and reminisced each year during annual reunions held throughout the United States. He proudly served the United States in Vietnam. He appeared in a special documentary, by the History Channel, about Air America. His service to the United States has left a strong impact on Lawrence and his family. He returned to Nanticoke in 1975 and later operated the Larmel Inn, with his family, until its closing in 2011 when he began working at the Veteran Administration Medical Center and continued to assist veterans at that facility. He is survived by his daughter Kristina Davis and her family, Mountain Top, son, Scott Stadulis, Lancaster and former wife, Melanie Stadulis, Alabama. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Charles, and Robert.
Herman Eugene Jackson (November 6, 1930 – July 9, 2023)
Major Herman Eugene Jackson (Bud Jackson), 92, of Kings Mountain, NC died on July 9, 2023. Born in Kings Mountain NC, he was the son of the late Beverly Paul Jackson and Fannie Mae Mitcham Jackson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three sisters. Bonnie Jackson Warner, Mae Jackson Carroll, and Maxine Lavinia Jackson. And one great grandnephew Barney Lineberger. Survivors include two nieces Pam Lineberger and Ann Carroll, two grandnephews David Warner and Tim Warner, three great grandnephews Dylan Warner, Coleman Warner, Cameron Warner, and one great grandniece Emily Warner. Major Jackson retired from the US Air Force and was a pilot for Air America. He was a patriotic man who loved his country, his family, and his friends. He lived in Merritt Island, FL for many years. In 2019 Major Jackson moved to Summit Place in Kings Mountain, NC. After breaking his hip, he was transferred to Abernethy Laurels in Newton, NC where he lived for a few weeks before his death. There will be a private graveside service.
Donations can be made to: Alzheimer's Association - Western Carolina Chapter 4600 Park Rd STE 250, Charlotte, NC 28209
William Niles Utterback (July 8, 1938 - February 7, 2023)
Cpt. William Niles Utterback Ret. was born July 8, 1938, died February 7, 2023, in Puyallup WA. Willie (or Bill) was born in San Francisco to Orval and May Utterback. He was the first of seven children. As a young boy his family moved to Washington state where he would officially reside the rest of his life. He joined the Air Force right out of high school and became a fighter pilot. He flew 222 combat missions during the Vietnam war. Then he joined Air America until they were disbanded, after which he flew commercial including America West Airlines. He also joined the Army National Guard to fill in his military time. He loved to fly! His flying took Willie all around the world, but he discovered an affinity for Thailand with the first visit to the country. He married Tasanee in 1968 and they had two daughters, Susan, and Janet. They were married for almost forty years before her passing. Years later he married Wanee who also predeceased him. Willie had unmatched zest for life, he loved to tell stories and he had so many! He had faced death many times and survived – during the Vietnam war and after. His illnesses included cancer five years ago, then recently the lymphoma returned, and Willie died of a respiratory infection, complicated by cancer. Willie was a dependable, responsible father, husband, brother, and friend - often the person one would go to for questions about almost anything. He is loved and missed by his surviving family and friends including daughters Susan and Janet, stepdaughter Chompoo, grandson Ari, siblings Sharlene, Jimmy (Cynthia) and Susie and countless nieces and nephews.
Clarence Joseph Abadie (November 30, 1934 - March 10, 2023)
Clarence J Abadie, Jr (CJ) passed away peacefully on March 10, 2023, in Reserve, LA at the age of 88. He was born in New Orleans to Clarence J Abadie, Sr and Daisy Mae Abadie and raised in Norco, LA. His parents preceded him in death, as well as his sister, Sheila Gonor, and wife, Mary Anne Bradley Cook Abadie. CJ is survived by his 3 sons from his previous marriage to Wantani Onwan; Lex (Marilou), Thai (Angelie), and Edward (Keiron Pratt); two granddaughters; one great grandchild; and siblings Catherine Trepagnier, and Richard Abadie, along with many nieces and nephews. CJ graduated from Destrehan High School and then attended Southwestern Louisiana University (majoring in mechanical engineering), before deciding to pursue his love of flying. He joined the Navy's flight training program and became a Naval Aviator. He was commissioned upon graduation as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and became a helicopter pilot. He was ultimately stationed in Japan and prior to discharge from the Marines, the CIA came recruiting. Rather than return to Louisiana, he chose adventure, and landed in Southeast Asia prior to and during the Vietnam War. He began his 14 years in Southeast Asia as a Helicopter pilot in Vientiane, Laos with Air America, Inc. He also lived in Taipei, Taiwan while working at Civil Air Transport (CAT) and Air America Headquarters. He became the Vice President of the Northern Thailand Division of Air America in Udorn, Thailand and was there until August 1974. CJ and his three sons then returned to the US, but not before traveling around the world with stops in India, Kenya, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Egypt, Greece and Venezuela. After arriving back in the US, CJ then finished his education at Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Professional Aviation and Management. He began his next chapter in management, working for companies, such as Northrop Worldwide Aircraft Services, Pan Am World Services, and retired from Johnson Controls. His adventurous spirit led him to live and work in Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Abu Dhabi, UAE and Andros Island, Bahamas. CJ was passionate about his interests and hobbies and would continue until he was an expert. He had over 10,000 helicopter flying hours, and even built 2 helicopters and an ultralight aircraft which he flew from his home. He became a hot air balloon pilot, fixed wing pilot, and master scuba diving instructor. He was involved in falconry and raced homing pigeons, Harley Davidson motorcycles, classic cars, and Ham radio. His last big adventure was in a 50-foot houseboat that he purchased in Ft Lauderdale, Florida and sailed around the Florida Keys, up through the Gulf of Mexico, to Mobile, up the Tombigbee River to the Tennessee River, and to Goose Pond Marina in Scottsboro, Alabama. He accomplished that 30-day odyssey when he was 84 years old! He will be remembered by many as "The Most Interesting Man in America". Definitely a long life, lived to the fullest. CJ requested no funeral or memorial service. He was buried at St Charles Borromeo Mausoleum in Destrehan, Louisiana.
Clarence F. Beverly
Clarence F. Beverly, age 86, of Cherry Hill, NJ, formally of Paulsboro, New Jersey, departed this life on August 02, 2022. He's survived by family and friends. Clarence was a pilot for Air America, Inc., operating out of Saigon, South Vietnam.
Henry Martin Schiller, Jr. (August 9, 1935 - February 2, 2023)
“Hank” “Paw Paw” “Grump”
Hank had the kind of life most people only dream about, joining the Army after high school, where he was a photographer. He went on to attend field artillery officer candidate school then on to Army aviation. He flew for Air America to help fight the spread of communism, then settled down to fly for Japan Air Lines. He lived with his young family in Japan before purchasing a working farm in Spotsylvania VA in 1979, where he retired in 1994. Hank ran numerous marathons and was an avid water and barefoot skier. He taught countless people how to ski and to drive a boat. He took retirement seriously, becoming a full-time golf player and a part time poker player. He led his home course as club president and traveled extensively with his standing foursome at courses across the country by way of his Beechcraft Bonanza. He is survived by his wife of 57 years Madeleine Nguyen; three children Lani (Larry), Dawn (Scottie) and Michael; four grandchildren Holly, Jeff, Henry, and Ryan; his younger sister Mary; and many nephews and nieces. Hank and Madeleine moved in with his daughter Dawn’s family in 2020. He entered the Catholic Church at the young age of 87, less than one week before losing his battle with Parkinson’s. Hank loved his family, his friends, his country, his dogs, golfing, poker, Coca-Cola, and milkshakes.
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