Colonel John William Rushfeldt
August 2, 1931 to January 8, 2015
Colonel (USAF Ret) John William Rushfeldt, age 83, passed away peacefully at his home in San Antonio TX after a six year multiple myeloma illness. He was a devoted and loving Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great-grandfather. He was born in Degroat Township, North Dakota, a direct descendant of Homesteaders of the Dakota Territory. He maintained the original Rushfeldt North Dakota homestead throughout his life. John was a life-long Lutheran; baptized and confirmed in the Chain Lake Lutheran Church, Churchs Ferry ND. He attended the township school and graduated from Devils Lake Central High School in 1949. He attended North Dakota State University in Fargo for one year and Minot State Teachers College for a semester; then taught for one-half year in the one-room, eight grade school near Starkweather ND.
He began a distinguished 34-year career when he enlisted in the USAF in 1951. Basic training at Lackland was followed by technical training at Shepherd AFB and assignment to Mather AFB CA as an aircraft mechanic.
John applied for and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet program. He attended Basic Flight Training at Hondo Field, TX and Advanced Pilot Training at Foster AFB TX, Fighter Interceptor Training at Nellis AFB NV, and Pilot Instructor Training at Randolph AFB TX.
He served in Korea, France, Vietnam, Thailand, Germany and England. Additional stateside assignments were at Perrin AFB TX, Graham AB FL, Vance AFB OK, Moody AFB GA, Mountain Home AFB Idaho, Reese AFB TX and Kelly AFB TX where he retired on January 1, 1984.
After USAF retirement, he was first employed by Lockheed. In 1993, he retired as Regional Marketing Representative for Rolls-Royce Inc. Colonel Rushfeldt earned his Bachelor degree at University of Nebraska at Omaha and Masters Degree from University of Northern Colorado.
Colonel Rushfeldt is survived by his wife of 31 years, Shirley, and his children, Mark and wife Lucy of Woodland Park CO; Dean and wife Debra of Hudson CO; Paul Rushfeldt of McAllen, TX; Lori and husband Daniel of Midlothian TX; six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Betty Rushfeldt of Oberon, ND, Marilyn and Warren Wolfe of Kennesaw GA, and Clifford and Analease Walker of Valdosta GA. He is also survived by his step-family: Delores Hagen of Seguin, TX; Katrina Meuth and Gary Lemly, Jr. both of San Antonio, TX; eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Colonel Rushfeldt was preceded in death by his wife of 29 years, Kathleen; his parents Wilhelm Oscar Rushfeldt and Mabel Oline Johnson Rushfeldt; brother, Glen Rushfeldt of Oberon ND, and granddaughter Shannon Tompkins.
While actively living his Lutheran faith, Colonel Rushfeldt was a founding member of Ascension Lutheran Church, Marianna FL; in the first membership group of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Leon Valley TX, and member of Zion Lutheran Church of Helotes, San Antonio TX.
His family is grateful for his loving care and support from Dr Anu Dham and staff at the Cancer Care Center, Senior Bridge home health care, and CHRISTUS Hospice. In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to the Zion Lutheran Cemetery Fund or the American Cancer Society.
Family will receive visitors on January 20, 2015, from 5:00 p.m.to 9:00 p.m. at Sunset West Funeral Home, 6321 Bandera Road, San Antonio TX 78238. Services will be January 21, 2015, at Zion Lutheran Church of Helotes, 9944 Leslie Road, San Antonio TX 78238, at 8:30 a.m. Internment will be at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 11:00 a.m.
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