Lt Col Patrick Joseph Ash


Lt Col Patrick Joseph Ash

Death 16 Feb 2011 (aged 57)
Burial Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA
Plot Section 6, Row E, Lot 28
Memorial ID 70847022 View Source
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Suggested Edit: Kindly include the bio/obit for our classmate. Also, please replace the grainy photo with better quality photo. Thanks Perry Lamy, Class of 75 Virtual Cemetery

Retired Lt Col Patrick J. Ash, USAFA Class of 1975 (“Ignotum Vincere”), died Feb. 16, 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Pat was born Sept 21, 1953, in Orange, N. J., the only child of Harry and Alice Ash. The family moved to Tom’s River where he graduated from St Joseph’s High School in 1971. Following appointment to the Academy in 1971, he was a member of the Tiger 10 squadron and was active in the Catholic choir.

Following graduation, Pat earned his flying wings at Columbus AFB, Miss. and followed with B-52 training at Castle AFB, Calif. After B-52 training, he was assigned to Robins AFB, Ga, where he met and married Cynthia Leas, an Air Force nurse. Cynthia shared Pat’s journey for the rest of his life. Together they were stationed in the Philippines, Andrews AFB, Va; Tinker AFB, Okla.; Elmendorf AFB, Alaska; and he retired at Andrews AFB in 1995. Pat also earned a Master’s degree in Personnel Management. During his flying career, he flew the B-52, T-38, T-39, C-12, AWACS, and C-20. While at his final assignment with the 89th Airlift Wing, he traveled extensively throughout the world transporting senior government officials and doing advance preparation for Presidential Air Force One travels.

After military retirement in 1995, Pat began a flying career at FedEx, which allowed him to return to his favorite place (Alaska) in 1996. He flew around the world as an MD-11 Captain and was on the staff of instructors as the Anchorage flight simulator. Pat was a FedEx flight safety committee member and an accident investigator. He was also one of the first pilots at FedEx to qualify as a Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) and worked closely with the Anchorage Police Department for FedEx FFDO training improvements.

Pat was a devoted Catholic. Blessed with a beautiful baritone voice, he was a key member of the choir wherever he lived. Pat and Cindy were also avid sports enthusiasts and supporters of the Baltimore Orioles, Alaska Aces (hockey), and Alaska Pilots (baseball). He took up hockey at age 35 and enjoyed playing in the “old men’s” leagues and later transitioned to refereeing. Pat and Cindy curled together, attended sports events throughout the US, and enjoyed scuba diving during many trips to their favorite vacation locale, Hawaii.

Pat was a caring man with a very generous spirit and had innumerable life-long friendships. He is remembered for his warmth and unique wry humor. Pat’s ever-positive outlook was an inspiration to his many friends and extended family throughout his life, especially during his three-and-a-half-year battle with cancer.

Pat is survived by his wife of 33 years, Cynthia Leas; his mother, Alice Ash of Lakewood, N.J.; his son, SMSgt John (Kay) Mister, and grandsons, Jay and Ben Mister, of Syracuse, Utah; and numerous friends and extended family around the world. His father, Harry Ash, preceded him in death.

Friends, family and many members of his FedEx “family,” attended Pat’s February 21st funeral service in Anchorage. Gary Janelli (’75) spoke about his long-time friend and fellow FedEx pilot. Pat’s memorial service was held at the USAFA cadet chapel March 14th with the original choir director, Mr. Ed Ladouceur, returning to honor Pat by playing the organ alongside the current choir director, Mr. Gary DeKler. Interment with full military honors followed at the USAFA cemetery. Friends and family from the “lower 48” and many “'75ers” attended the Academy services.

Donations may be made in memory of Patrick Ash to St Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 2901 Huffman Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99516.

Pat’s wife, Cynthia Leas and son John | April 2011

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  • Created by: Ron West
  • Added: 4 Jun 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 70847022
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lt Col Patrick Joseph Ash (21 Sep 1953–16 Feb 2011), Find a Grave Memorial ID 70847022, citing United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Ron West (contributor 47389384) .