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LTC Ollie Ivan Deel

Photo added by Dennis Alan Deel

LTC Ollie Ivan Deel

  • Birth 20 Sep 1919 Gene Autry, Carter County, Oklahoma, USA
  • Death 13 Feb 2007 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
  • Burial Jacksonville, Cherokee County, Texas, USA
  • Memorial ID 17923092

"The beauty of a life well lived never dies; it continues to embrace, inspire, and direct us along our journey...."

My dad. The greatest man that I ever knew! A career military man. One of the last of the Sergeant Pilots of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Veteran of World War II and Korea. Member of the Big Spring High School Hall of Fame. Married for over 54 years to Helen Francis Wood.

"HIGH FLIGHT", the pilot's creed. By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

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 sunlist silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless falls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor 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.

Ollie Ivan Deel was born on Saturday, September 20, 1919 in a log cabin in Berwyn, (renamed Gene Autry) Carter County, Oklahoma to James Emmit Deel and Maudie Viola Sargent.

His paternal grandparents were George Washington Deel and Florence Emaline "Galley" Brookshire and his maternal grandparents were Perry S. Sargent and Julia A. Hyatt.
His paternal great grandparents were Peter Abraham Deel, III and Isabella Serena Duff.

He enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army Air Corps on February 5, 1941 at Ft. Bliss, El Paso, Texas. He was issued serial number 18015204. He received his pilot wings the same year.

He married the love of his life, Helen Francis Wood, on Saturday, October 31, 1942 in Big Spring, Howard County, Texas. My dad would joke about being married on Halloween. He would laugh and say that he still hadn't figured out if he got the "trick" or the "treat"! My mom loved it!

He was blessed with two sons, David Ivan Deel and Dennis Alan Deel. He was also blessed and proud of his daughter in laws, Cheryl Lajuan Poteet Deel and Donna Gail Burklund Deel.

He was so very proud of his grandchildren, Jennifer Denise Deel Woodruff, Jeffery Shawn Deel, Dennis "Alan" Deel, Jr. and Christopher Ryan Deel, and great grandchildren Rheagan Elysse Hathaway and Cooper Ryan Deel, and great step grandson Triston Woodruff.

My dad always had a very positive outlook on life. Even if he were sick, if you asked him how he was doing he would always say, "if I were doing any better, I couldn't stand myself!"

He received his second set of wings at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday, February 13, 2007 at the Air Force Village I in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. He was 87 years old. He was laid to rest in Jarratt Cemetery with full military honors next to his beloved Helen.

The following quotation by Will Rogers about his father also applies to my dad:

"His heritage to his children was not words or possessions, but unspoken treasure, the treasure of his example of a man and father."

A very special thank you to my friend Steve Edquist for sponsoring my dad's memorial.

Family Members