Blue Skies and Tailwinds .....
2017 Mishawaka Pilots Club. All Rights Reserved. The Mishawaka Pilots Club is not responsible for the misuse of any information provided
MISHAWAKA PILOTS CLUB
In Loving Memory .......
It is with great sadness that we've lost a good friend and long time Pilots Club Member and Veteran, Robert (Bob) Dayhuff.
March 24, 1940 - February 15, 2019
Dr. Robert F. Reed M.D.
Edward J. Meidel
It is with great sadness that we've lost a good friend, Founder, and long time Pilots Club Member and Veteran, Edward J. Meidel
August 1, 1923 - January 4, 2018
It is with great sadness that we've lost a good friend, Founder, and long time Pilots Club Member and Veteran, Dr. Robert F. Reed M.D.
January 4, 1921 - June 5, 2017
It is with great sadness that we've lost a good friend and Pilots Club Member
Roger H. Neff
April 3,1955 - May 18, 2019 (Age 64)
My Friend Roger (by Walt Talbot)
There are people we meet in life that impact us in ways we cannot anticipate. Roger Neff was one of those people.
Roger was born on April 3, 1955 in South Bend, Indiana. The first born son with an older sister and eventually another brother and sister. Roger was diagnosed with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. His mother was told that he would not live past the age of 2. She was urged to institutionalize Roger but refused.
Roger’s mother taught him how to read which became one of his favorite pastimes and
ultimately made him a rogue scholar of sorts. He was always learning. His favorite subject was history, specifically 20th century military history. If you asked Roger a question such as, “How did the US get involved in Vietnam?” He would answer the question starting with French colonization, then WWII fallout, Dien Bien Phu, the Tet offensive, and the hasty evacuation of Saigon. Dates, context, key and secondary players were always found within these answers. The depth and detail of Roger’s knowledge and memory was incomparable to most people I know including myself.
There were many other subjects that sparked Roger’s interest and often came up in
conversation. Recreational subjects included deep sea diving, formula 1 racing, classic movies and TV (Buck Rogers, Clutch Cargo), and mountaineering. Philosophy, cosmology, theology, and medical science were always up for debate with Roger. He loved sipping on a good cup of coffee and being challenged on his ideas. He was willing to learn from others as well as teach. At the end of the day, being friends with people who had opposing views was foundational to a free society in Roger’s eyes.
As a skeptic, Roger struggled to understand where and how a supreme cosmic being fit into the plethora of information he had absorbed through the years. He thought it impossible that the universe was simply a result of chance, matter, and time. However, he struggled with the problem of evil in the world. This sparked many talks of objective versus subjective moral reasoning, truth, human value, social justice, etc.
If I had one word to describe Roger it would be “aviator.” Out of all the complexity and depth of Roger’s knowledge, aviation was his passion. It was certainly the bookends of our relationship. Our first and last interaction. From the Wright brothers to NASA to current aviation trends, Roger was an expert.
In 2013, Roger, his brother Bill, and myself took to the sky’s for the first time. Roger in the left seat and I in the right. Roger balked at fear and brilliantly manipulated the Cessna’s control yoke not realizing he had full control. My hands were neatly planted in my lap. Following the flight Roger said, “the only thing that would have made the flight more magnificent would be buzzing the tower paired with the “The Right Stuff” movie soundtrack.”
In the fall of 2018, Roger started pursuing his dream of flight by joining Mishawaka Pilots Club and Mishawaka Air Activities. During that time Roger logged several hours in his Cessna performing airman certification maneuvers such as stalls, steep turns, and emergency procedures. His final flight, just weeks before his passing, was somewhat eventful. The airplane experienced a full electrical failure. This failure was paired with gusty crosswinds, looking for control tower light gun signals (due to radio failure), and loss of flaps. Roger got his adventure. He didn’t even need “The Right Stuff” soundtrack.
In another life Roger wanted to drive his Corvair around on the big island of Hawaii with his beautiful wife to his hangar where his P51 Mustang was waiting for him. However, Roger lived this life instead. He had few complaints and many friends. His legacy represents a triumph over adversity and the intrinsic value of humanity. Roger would want everyone reading this to challenge themselves in the minor and major daily tasks of life regardless of obstacles. He would challenge us to find and engage with people that we are diametrically opposed to with civility in an attempt to find common ground. These thoughts represent Roger’s true passion, people.
I will miss you my friend.
April, 3 1955 to May 18, 2019
Walter H. Misch Jr. left us on July 7th, 2018, surrounded by family, at the age of 90
Wally enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of 17, serving his country proudly for nearly 7 years. He was trained as a machinist's mate and ranked as a Second Class Petty Officer prior to his honorable discharge. Wally served aboard several ships, most notably a minesweeper and the Comstock LSD-19, which he was proud to report earned 10 battle stars for it's role in the Korean War. Serving in both the end of WWII and the Korean War, Wally honed his given talent for machine repair and other mechanics as well as becoming quite talented with various firearms. Wally believed it to be his "privilege" to serve his country and would've made the Navy his career choice, however he was needed back home to assist his father and uncles at Misch Manufacturing. He worked for and eventually became a partner in this business with his brother, Don and cousin, Bill.
When Wally was approximately 40 years of age he stumbled upon flying. His love of airplanes and tenacity for flying earned him a private pilot's license. He flew or as he liked to say "punch holes in the clouds" until his mid eighties, achieving logged air time at nearly 4000 hours. He was also one of the founding members of the Mishawaka Pilot's Club.