Obituary: Kenneth Lowell Charpilloz |

Obituary: Kenneth Lowell Charpilloz

Kenneth Lowell Charpilloz died Dec. 13, 2009, after an adventurous life begun Aug. 25, 1921, on a farm in the hills above Silverton, Ore. He didn’t wear shoes to school in good weather, farmed with his family of seven brothers and sisters, Swiss father and mother of English heritage.

He always worked, at the farm, the Civilian Conservation Corps, Marine reserves and eventually enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He spent the war as a pilot in C-47s in the African Theater of Operations. After the war he separated from the service but returned to fly in the Berlin Airlift in 1949. He stayed in the Air Force and served next in the Korean War where he flew B-26 bombers. He retired as a colonel in 1976, amassing over 10,000 hours flying time, mostly in C-130 strategic and tactical airlift as well as special operations. During more than 37 years of service, he received numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and Meritorious Service Medal. He was selected to fly the remains of General Douglas McArthur to his final resting place in Washington, D. C. He flew missions worldwide in peacetime and in response to crises such as the Alaskan earthquake, African Belgian rescue, Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, etc. Ken was a graduate of the Naval War College. He moved to Carson City upon his retirement from the United States Air Force and spent most of his time walking the area golf courses well after the age of 80. He and his wife of 65 years, Alice, moved more than 15 times in America and three foreign countries. They met and socialized with heads of state, vice presidents, ambassadors, prime ministers, princesses and princes and often entertained other dignitaries.

He is survived by his wife, Alice, a sister Marie Galloway of Salem, Ore., daughter Kathryn Reaver of Carson City, daughter Susan Collins of Santa Barbara, Calif., and son Kenneth Jr. of Simsbury, Conn. Among the many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, his name lives on with Kenneth Lowell Charpilloz III of Los Angeles, Calif. His daughter Mary predeceased him. He was greatly loved by all family, known for his dry wit and he remained a “Colonel from Silverton” to the end. We as Americans are grateful for his leadership, love and dedicated unselfish service to our Nation.