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December 9, 2017

(ret) Major Earl Dean Uhler, Jr., 1923-2017 Warrensburg, Missouri

Earl wants each of you to know how lucky and blessed he was to have known you and how fortunate he was to have been either your father, your grandfather, or your friend. He mentioned so many times these past few years to each of us, and even in his last hours what a good life he was able to live, with his great friends, family, wife and town. Thanks again for the great staff at the Veteran’s Home of Warrensburg, Western Missouri Medical Center and Warrensburg Community Center. Especially to Jim Whitfield and Marvin Neal as two of the people instrumental in bring the VA home to Warrensburg.

Earl said that the real heroes were those servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

He lived, truly lived 94 great years, he lived a long life that few people will reach. While it is extremely difficult to lose a loved one, we know Earl Uhler lived an incredibly full life.  

At the risk of leaving some names off this list we would still, however, like to read some names, not an exhauster list but they represent many of Earl’s friends-heroes representing so many great families around Warrensburg.

We thank you, thank you for your love and kindness

With Love, Bruce, Margo, Chris, Michael, Emily Uhler Jill and Marvin Buford.

Some of our Heroes and great friends in our lives.
Doug Busby
Reed Maxson
JC Sutton
Dave Tackett
Emerson Smith
Marshall Lederer
Jeff Dixon
Bob Tackett
Adrian Harmon
Ike Skelton
Len Gregg
Harold Caskey
Howard Chappell
Sam Briscoe
Don Smarr
Orville Clarida
Lee Bodenhamer
Jack Bodenhamer
Wayne Cleveland
Bob Ruth
Russell Elsberry
Bud Love
Joseph "Skip" O'Hara
Sam Briscoe
Jim Whitfield
Mac McHarg
Albert G. Rampone II
Dean Williamson
Floyd Walker
William Turnbow
Bill Burton
Alex Nassif
Owen Wyatt
Albert White
Marvin Buford, Sr.
Clinton Coonrod
Jack Jennings
Jay Buente
Sam Bradley
Ira Lane
Harold Visser
Max Swisher
Arnold Hibdon
Thomas Bright
Joe Raber
Steven Arnold
Charles Morley
Russell Crawford
Charles Matthews

Major Earl D. Uhler, Jr. (Ret), Warrensburg, Missouri, passed away at Western Missouri Medical Center early in the morning on December 9, 2017. Earl had been an active and vibrant resident of the wonderful Warrensburg Veterans Home in Warrensburg for the past 18 months. 

Earl was born October 20, 1923, in Pikesville, Maryland (Baltimore) to Lt. Col. Earl D. and Blanche Duvall Uhler. He had one younger brother, Edwin “Ned” Uhler who died this year, and his younger sister Nancy Uhler Waterman who died in 2009. He met his future wife, Janie Lou Russell, on Valentine’s Day 1945 when attending a basketball game in Morrow Gym at UCM. When he saw her the first time he told his friend “I’mgoing to marry that girl.” He married Janie Lou Russell on September 4, 1949, in the First Christian Church of Warrensburg. Janie Uhler passed away March 10, 2010. 

Earl attended high school in Baltimore at the Boy’s Latin School and then entered as a freshman to the University of Maryland in 1941. After the war, Earl graduated from the University of Maryland and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He played varsity lacrosse and freshman football for the Terrapins. On December 10, 1942, he enlisted in the Reserve Corp, which was a way for enlistees to guide their way to a branch of service. Earl chose the Army Air Corps and took basic training at Miami Beach and then went to Camp Lee for processing.During training he remembered... “a full colonel called me into his office. I remember being so nervous. But see, my father was in an artillery outfit. The colonel said he had gotten a call from my father and he said he wanted me to be in an artillery unit, I just looked at that colonel and said sir, I think my future is in aviation, he looked back at me and said, ‘Son, I think you’re right’ and that was that.

He went to Xavier University for pre-flight training. He took his flight training in late 1943 in San Antonio, Texas and then reported to Sikeston, Missouri for primary training in the PT-19, where he received his white pilot scarf for his first solo flight. Then he was assigned to Independence, Kansas to receive instrument flying training in the BT-17. He flew C-46 and C-47s in the China Burma India Campaign in the 14th and 10th Air Forces, flying Chinese troops, munitions, and gasoline from Shanghai to Peiping (Beijing) and then to Manchuria through the Himalayas. On December 1, 1945, Earl played halfback in the Army – Navy game held at the Palindrome in Shanghai, China in front of 10,000 spectators. He successfully flew 20 CBI missions, thanks to good navigators, on the 530 mile “Hump” flight into China while based at Myitkyina, Burma. A veteran pilot once explained the “CBI takeoff” to newcomers: “If you can see the end of the runway through the rain and mist, then a takeoff is expected.”
He was in the 12th Combat Cargo Squadron and then in the 333rd Troop Carrier. He went around the world having flown a new C-47 from Florida to Burma with 11 stops by way of South America, Morocco, Egypt, Iran, India, and others. After the war ended, he was put on a LST ship in charge of transporting horses to the Chinese and returning Japanese prisoners of war to Japan. Months later, he came back on his LST through San Francisco Bay and took a train back to Warrensburg before going on to Baltimore. Uhler served for eight years on this enlistment and was discharged in February 1950. 

Janie and Earl moved to Washington D.C. for two years in 1947, then back to Warrensburg, and then on to Marshall, MO for two years in 1952. Earl worked for Russell Brothers then, and later at KOKO radio, the Gas Service Company, tax auditor for the State of Missouri, Associated Industries of Missouri, and was the Broker-Owner of Century 21 Real Estate in Warrensburg, and KLUK-KIX FM radio. Earl was very active in community affairs serving as Rotary Club President, (Paul Harris Fellow), Chamber of Commerce President – twice (his first time he was 28 years old and the youngest ever elected), AFA Air Force Association President – twice, life long Elks Member, American Legion – Commander and life member, UCM Mule Train, Community Development Council, Jaycees – State President, State VP (started Warrensburg Jaycee’s with Jim Whitfield), QB Club – Quiet Birdmen, VFW – Commander, Sunset Hill Cemetery Board, Warrensburg Flying Club, Retired Officer’s Association – life member, Daedalians, Warrensburg Canoe Club, Honor Flight to Washington D.C. 2011, and he also participated in numerous military honor guards.

Earl loved Warrensburg, especially the wonderful Community Center and its staff and patrons. He went there often for his lunches and he worked out at least three days a week until he was 92 years old. He then continued to work out in the rehab center at the Missouri Veteran’s home, continuing until just two weeks before his passing. He used every bit of strength in his heart until it wore out, it did not rust out.

Earl had gift of gab, was nicknamed “Yak” by his fraternity brothers and had a love for meeting people. He thrived on social contact, outings, going on picnics, camping and canoeing with the Warrensburg Canoe Club. He transported many of “Earl’s Girls” in his van out to dinner on Wednesday nights with Janie and continued this tradition after her passing. Earl loved watching and cheering on the Mules and Jennies, especially basketball, volleyball and football. The only ones that might not have enjoyed him at games would be the referees. Earl also refereed high school football and some college games in his career.

Earl missed flying and thus entered the Missouri National Guard as pilot on June 22, 1961, and went to back to basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia at the age of 37. He flew for the MO ARNG 635th Aviation Co. At the age of 47, Earl was sent to Fort Rucker, Alabama to the US Army Military Aviation School to earn his helicopter certification, which he flew until retiring from Missouri Army National Guard Company D, 38th Aviation Battalion. He went through his flight training with young, US Army, Laotian and Cambodian Army pilots training for Vietnam. At the age of 60, as a Warrant Officer, he took his last flight as a military pilot flying his “Huey” UH-1 at Whiteman AFB, where his unit was stationed and was welcomed back with champagne on the flight line. He was awarded a Major Leaf and the Army Master’s Pilot Wing. He was certified for commercial, instrument, multi-engine, and helicopters. He loved to fly.

Military Service
Army, ERC Pvt. 15 Dec 42-1 Mar 43
Army, AUS 1st Lt. 2 Mar 43–9 Jul 46    Active Duty 2 Mar 43-9 July 46
Army, ORC 1st Lt. 10 July 46 – 13 Aug 47
MD ARNG 1st 14 Aug 47-30 Jun 49 (Maryland)
MD ARNG 1st Lt, 1 Jul 49-1 Feb 50 (Maryland)
MO ARNG CAPT-Warrant Officer-MAJ 22 Jun-19 Oct 83 

He leaves behind his loving daughter Jill Uhler and her husband Marvin Buford of Ft. Myers, Florida; Bruce and Margareta Uhler of Nybro, Sweden; Grandchildren Sgt. Chris Uhler of Kalmar, Sweden; Michael Uhler of Lund, Sweden; and Emily Uhler of Stockholm, Sweden. He also leaves behind his nieces and nephews: Russ, Judy, Sally, Dean, Eric, Tod, Candace, Sue, Chris and Amy, along with countless friends. 

Earl loved the people and town of Warrensburg, Missouri. He often repeated the comment of how lucky and blessed he was to have so many good friends, to live so long, and that he had a great family and wife.
 One of the very last of America’s greatest generation in Warrensburg, he never met a stranger.

Please, no flowers. It is suggested that a donation be made to Warrensburg Veterans Home, First Christian Church of Warrensburg, or the American Legion Post 131.  Donations may be left at Sweeney-Phillips.

Pallbearers are: Chris Uhler, Michael Uhler, Bruce Uhler, Rich Lawson, John Flynn, Larry Elliott
Honorary pallbearers are: Larry DesCombes, Vi Bielfeldt, Richard Dudley, Tom King, C. L. Holdren, Bob Russell, Gen. Paul Tibbets, IV., Lynn Harmon.

Pilot’s Prayer
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind
 along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.


 Services were held on 
December 21, 2017 at The First Christian Church, Gay at Holden Street.  
10:00am visitation
11:ooam services by Pastor Jerry Basye, with internment and military honor guard at Sunset Hill Cemetery.  Light food after the services in the basement of the church. In lieu of flowers suggested donation to First Christian Church, Missouri Veteran's Home of Warrensburg, or the America Legion Post 131 of War, or the VFW.

Dad passed away at 0325 hours 09 December 2017 ---and always lived on the sunny side of life. It was our privilege and honor to know this man. His big heart just wore out, it did not rust out....love you pops. Thanks to my sister and brother in law's information from the hospital I was able to get here for his last 3,5 hours of life coming in from Romania. Pops held on, one last time, for my arrival. Jill was a dear to rub his forehead and we help his hand. In his last hours he said he lived a great life (as he said his whole life), a lucky life with a great family, wife Janie, daughter Jill and Marv, Margareta, grandkids Chris, Michael, Emily and his friends. He loved Warrensburg and he loved to fly. Thanks to the great staff and musicians at the Veteran's home in Warrensburg, Dr. Hason, and the wonderful night nurses/staff at Western Missouri Medical Center. dad loved singing "if you keep on the sunny side of life." at the Veteran's Home every Friday Happy Hour.
Lt. Earl D. Uhler, Jr. 1944, USAAC - CBI 1945








Earl D. Uhler, Jr

THREATENING NAVY'S ALL STARS are these Army backs as they prep for the big China Bowl Game at the Canidrome here a week from today. Left to right they are Mike Del Sordi, Everett George, Al Yourkewicz and Earl Uhler.
China Bowl Link

THURSDAY, NOV. 22, 1945                                           THE STARS AND STRIPES                                                     CHINA THEATER

 Army Pilots Suffer;  Too Much Talent
  SHANGHAI, Nov. 21 - The Army All-Star Football squad's first scrimmage yesterday at the Race Course was, in the words of coaches Alex Atty, Hal Ave, and Park Myers, "to have separated the sheep from the lions." After two hours of violent colliding and bouncing by the candidates, however, the triumvirate was no more prepared than previously to select a tentative starting lineup.
  Out of some 50 hopefuls, there were at least 30 who appeared lion enough to make the starting lineup in the China Bowl game against the Navy All-Stars at the Canidrome here Dec. 1. As a result the co-coaches have just about decided not to cut the squad and to carry as many prospects as stick it out.
  Matters will be complicated though, by the fact that neither Army or Navy expects to have complete uniforms for more than two teams each.
  Although none of the soldiers were able to scrimmage more than a few plays apiece, some made particularly vivid impressions. These included Earl Uhler and Dean Hauserman in the backfield, Dave Cunningham, end, and Charles Borde, tackle.
  Uhler, running from left half carried off tackle or around end with the velocity of a bullet. He didn't slow up, either, when husky tacklers loomed up before him.
  Hauserman, 200-pound fullback, used skill as well as power in advancing the ball. Several times he went places after cutting away from or hitting and spinning off the secondaries.
  Cunningham used to play for little Ouachita College in Arkansas while Borde performed for the Fort Riley eleven last season.

  Among those who have been prominent in the Navy workouts are Frank Ruggieri, 210-pound guard from Purdue, and little Johnny Biddle, halfback from Brownsville, Pa. In addition to having been one of the best football players in the Big Ten in 1942, Ruggieri was runner-up for the National Collegiate AA heavyweight wrestling title. Biddle, who hasn't gone to college yet, has been displaying speed and other abilities.

Lt. Uhler (on horseback) at Cairo enroute CBI 






+5,000 flight hours 10 fixed wing and 6 helicopter certifications, and 1 glider. Flew China Burma India in World War II, from Baltimore, Maryland. Son of Lt. Colonel, Earl D. Uhler, Sr. Father was the Provost during WWII on the Eastern Seaboard and responsible for the prisoner of war camps. Earl is the father of Bruce, Jill and grandfather of former USMC Sgt. Chris Uhler of Kalmar, Sweden, Michael Uhler of Lund, Sweden, Emily Uhler, Stockholm Sweden.

“A part of America’s Greatest Generation”, he never met a stranger and he would rather be flying than doing anything else! 

Earl D. Uhler, Sr
Son of Col. Earl Dean Uhler, Sr and Blanche Duvall Uhler.  Earl Sr. was to leave the military in late 1941 and then with the attack on Pearl Harbor he was promoted to Lt. Col and became the Provost Marshall for all POW Camps on the East Coast of the United States.  He then retired from the military in 1945. Earl and Blanche are buried together in Arlington National Cemetery. Earl Dean Uhler, born in Elkton, Maryland in 1892 to Samuel and Molly Uhler. He had three brothers, Harry O. Uhler, Norris Uhler and Leonard Uhler, and a sister, Catherine Uhler Abbott, still living at the time of his death who all settled in Baltimore as did he. As a boy he lived in Owings Mills, Maryland and graduated from Franklin High School in Reisterstown, then called Franklin Institute. He studied Mechanical Drawing at Maryland Institute where he graduated in 1915. He enlisted in the 110th Field Artillery, 29th Devision in 1917 and saw action in France in World War I.


Earl's mother, Blanche Duvall Uhler was a homemaker, avid gardener and member of the Halethorpe Garden club. She was a life long volunteer giving many years of service tot the Spring Grove State Hopsital in Baltimore county and at Walter Reed Army Hospital. She spent many winters in st. Petersburg florida and lived for many years as an active volunteer at the Army Distaff Hall in Washington, DC.



Earl, Jr was born October 20, 1923 in Baltimore, Maryland and had one brother Edwin “Ned” residing in the Baltimore area and one sister Nancy Uhler. He married Janie Russell Uhler Sept. 4, 1949 in the First Christian Church of Warrensburg and Janie passed away March 10, 2010 from LMS cancer that she bravely faced for 10 years.



Lt. Earl D. Uhler, Jr 

Earl attended high school in Baltimore and the Boy’s Latin School. He then entered as a freshman at the University of Maryland in 1941 but the war interrupted his studies. Earl graduated from the University of Maryland after the war where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He played varsity lacrosse and played freshman football for the university.

In 1942 he enlisted in the Reserve Corp which was a way for enlistees to guide their way to branch of service in rather than being drafted and not having a choice. Earl chose the Army Air Corps and four months later went to Camp Lee for processing. He went to Xavier University for pre-training, and pre flight training. He took his flight training in late 1943 in San Antonio, Texas and then to Sikeston, Missouri for primary training in the PT-19 where he received his white pilot scarf, goggles, leather pants and fur-lined leather jacket and cap. And where he snuck out of training a lot. He went to Independence, Kansas to receive instrument flying training in the BT-17. The PT-17 was a very important element in our wining World War II. In many cases our enemy had good airplanes and competent pilots, mostly through experience gained during the early days of the conflict, including the Spanish Civil War. When American pilots entered the different theatres they had something that no other pilot had, excellent instruction in some of the best training aircraft ever designed. Before the new Ensigns and Lieutenants were shipped out to fighting squadrons they had training, averaging about 200 hours, in two of the acknowledged best training aircraft ever designed, the PT-17 primary trainer and the North American AT-6 Texan, known as the Pilot Maker. 



Flew C-46 & C-47's in the China Burma India Campaign in the 14th and then 10th Air Force flying mostly Chinese troops, munitions and gasoline from Shanghai to Beijing and then to Manchuria.

Was in the 12th Combat Cargo Squadron 1st and then in the 333rd Troop Carrier.

At the age of 46 Earl was sent to Fort Rucker Alabama the US Army Military Aviation School to learn to fly helicopters for the Missouri National Guard 

Last Flight as Helicopter Pilot age 60 Huey UH-1
Earl was very active in community affairs
High School and College Football Referee in Central Missouri
Rotary Club President, Paul Harris Fellow
Chamber of Commerce President – Twice
AFA Air Force Association President – Twice
Life Long Elks Member
American Legion – Commander
UCM Mule Train
Community Development Council
Jaycees – President, State VP, District
QB Club – Quiet Birdman
VFW – Commander
Sunset Hill Cemetery Board
Warrensburg Flying Club
Warrensburg Canoe Club
Honor Flight to Washington DC 2011
Earl’s Girls and the Widow Women for Dinner on Wednesday Nights!
He volunteered for many, many Honor Guards

Earl’s children are Bruce and Jill.  Jill and her husband Marvin Buford live in Ft. Myers, Florida. Bruce lives in Nybro, Sweden with wife Margareta.


Lt. Col Earl D. Uhler, Sr
Major Uhler's Mother was Blanche Duvall Uhler, a direct descendant of Maureen DuVall (the emigrant)
Major Earl Dean Uhler, Jr is the son of Blanche Irene Duvall Uhler (wife of Lt. Col. Earl Dean Uhler, Sr).
Blanche Duvall Uhler’s father was Ullysses Grant Duvall, who is also buried at Arlington National Cemetery where Lt. Col. and Blanche are buried together.
Blanche Duvall is a direct descendant of the Mareen (male) DuVall, known as the “The Emigrant”.

Genealogy Mareen DuVall
Known as "The Emigrant", his notable descendants include U.S. Presidents Harry S. Truman and Barack Obama, American Vice-President Dick Cheney, Wallis Simpson (for whom Edward VIII gave up the throne), and actor Robert Duvall.

Other descendants include U.S. Associate Supreme Court Justice Gabriel Duvall, billionaire Warren Buffett, Confederate General Bradley Tyler Johnson, and Confederate spy Betty Duvall.
http://www.bramwellwv.com/chestnut/duvall.html

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/baltimoresun/obituary.aspx?page=notice&pid=137480431#fbLoggedOut

LTC Earl D Uhler gravesite












Earl's Mother Was Blanche Duvall...




Uhler Geneaology Book pdf



 http://www.uhler.org/
For Panortha
> > Does anyone know anything about Catherina Uhler of
> > Forks Township, born about 1788, daughter of Jacob
> > and
> > Margaretha (Messer) Uhler, married Peter Siegel or
> > Siegle, probably had two children, and declared a
> > "Lunatic" at her death about about 1834 or 36? She
> > was
> > buried beside her uncle Johann Uhler in Salen Church
> > cemetery.
Thank you. Linda O'Brien 
> > 
lmobrientribe@yahoo.com
> 
                      Johann Dietrich Uhler
Birthdate:
November 30, 1711
Birthplace:
Ettlingen, Baden, Germany
Death:
Died January 5, 1765 in Manchester, York, Pennsylvania, United States

Immediate Family

o   
o   
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Anna Uhler mother

Johann Uhler's Timeline

1711
November 30, 1711
Ettlingen, Baden, Germany
1739
July 10, 1739
Age 27
New Holland, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
1751
September 21, 1751
Age 39
York, Pennsylvania, United States
1765
January 5, 1765
Age 53
Manchester, York, Pennsylvania, United States


Johann Dieterich Uhler (d. Dec 25, 1764)

Johann Dieterich Uhler (son of Erasmas Uhler and Sabina Friedlin) was born in Germany, and died Dec 25, 1764 in York County, PA.. He married (1) Elizabeth Geiss on Jul 10, 1739 in New Holland, Lancaster, Pa. He married (2) Anna Margaret KALTREIDER on Jun 27, 1758 in York County, PA..

 
Includes NotesNotes for Johann Dieterich Uhler:
York County, Pennsylvania, 1733-1800: Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church Name Description Date of Event Event Other Names Associated with this Event

Andrew Uhler Born 21 September 1762 Birth View Records
Andrew Uhler Baptized 14 November 1762 Baptism View Records
Dieterich Uhler Father Baptism View Records
Margaret Uhler Mother Baptism View Records

Passed on Estate in Germany to Son?? Listed in Sons Will

Deitrich's Will:
York County, Pennsylvania Wills, 1749-1819
Name: Andrew Uhler
Description: Son
Date: 25 Dec 1764
Prove Date: 15 Jan 1765
Remarks: Uhler, Dietrich. Dec. 25, 1764. Executors: M. Eichelberger and George Myer. Manchester Township. Wife: Margaret Uhler. Children: Adam, Erasmus, Valentine, Andrew, Rosanna, Barbara, Eve, Elizabeth, Savenah and Catherine.

Tree Source: Entries: 15596 Sun Aug 26 00:48:00 2001 Contact: Karl Hoffman
Naturalized 10 April 1760. Arrived in America in 1737 on the ship Charming Nancy. Married by Rev. John Casper Stover. Also on the ship was Vallentin Uhler (a brother?) and Hermanus and Anna Margaretha Orendorff
Marriage at New Holland recorded as Johan Dietrich Ulrich.
Source: Eighteenth Century Emigrants from German speaking lands to North
America by Annette Burgert. Breinigsville, PA : The PA German Society, 1983 Early baptism records show the name spelled as ULRICH

More About Johann Dieterich Uhler:
Record Change: May 09, 2004

More About Johann Dieterich Uhler and Elizabeth Geiss:
Marriage: Jul 10, 1739, New Holland, Lancaster, Pa.

More About Johann Dieterich Uhler and Anna Margaret KALTREIDER:
Marriage: Jun 27, 1758, York County, PA..

Children of Johann Dieterich Uhler and Elizabeth Geiss are:
  1. Adam Uhler, b. Feb 14, 1742/43, d. date unknown.
  2. Barbara Uhler, b. Sep 06, 1744, d. date unknown.
  3. Andrew Uhler, b. Apr 09, 1747, d. Feb 09, 1760, Forks, Northampton Co..
  4. Eve Uhler, b. Jul 06, 1749, d. date unknown.
  5. Erasmas Uhler, b. Sep 21, 1751, d. date unknown.
  6. Rosanna Uhler, b. Dec 28, 1764, York County, PA., d. date unknown.

Children of Johann Dieterich Uhler and Anna Margaret KALTREIDER are:
  1. Elizabeth Uhler, b. Jun 06, 1759, d. date unknown.
  2. Maria Sabina Uhler, b. Jan 21, 1761, Philidelphia, Pennslyvania, d. date unknown.
  3. +Andrew Uhler, b. Sep 21, 1762, Christ Evangelical Lutheran Chuch, North Hampton PA, d. date unknown.
  4. Catherine Uhler, b. Sep 18, 1764, Philidelphia, Pennslyvania, d. date unknown.
Uhler Family History - Lineage - Genealogy

Earl Dean Uhler, Sr School
Earl Dean Uhler (Sr)

LTC Earl Dean Uhler, Sr


Add caption
 Pop Pop's Gravesite














Earl, sister Nancy, brother Ned


Earl went through his flying schools in the Army Air Corps with
Robert J. Thomas (1922 - 2014)
Robert J. Thomas
West Melbourne, FL

Robert Jenkins Thomas, a resident of Central Florida since 1963, passed away peacefully at home on December 14, 2014 with his wife and son by his side.  He was born on February 20, 1922 in Baltimore, MD to Otto Rheinhardt Thomas and Iva Jenkins Thomas.

He was a graduate of the Army Air Corps Flight Cadet Class 11H and flew C46 and C47 aircraft in China/India/Burma, Japan, and later with the USAF in Korea.  Bob then served in Air Force Command Posts until retirement from the service as a Second Lieutenant.

He was then employed as a Safety Director and Public Relations Representative for the Utilities Department of the City of Cocoa from which he also retired. Bob was a pilot for much of his life, and flying was his passion.  He owned a small private airport in Ryderwood, MD with his late brother, Heinrich Hans Jenkins Thomas.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 58 years, , his son, Mark S. Thomas, daughter-in-law, Pamela A. Thomas, grandson, Nicholas D. Thomas, all of Gainesville, FL. In addition to his brother Bob, was predeceased by his sister. Iva T. 'Dimpie' Derrick, brother-in-law, H. Frederick Derrick, Laurel, MD, as well as his nephew, Thomas B. Derrick (Patty), Rehoboth Beach, DE.  Additional survivors include his nephew and namesake, Robert R. Derrick (Mary), Laurel, MD, sister-in-law, Marilyn Grossman (Bernard), NY, nephew, Douglas S. Thomas, Orlando, and niece, Karen Gowen, MA.

Services with Military Honors were held on Monday, December 22 at 1pm at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, FL.

Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org, 4899 Belfort Rd, Ste 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256 or to the donor's favorite charity.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Dec. 19, 2014

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