Published: Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Feb. 18, 1941 - Feb. 17, 2010
A viewing will be held for Airlee Owens, 68, of Bandon from 1 to 7 p.m., Friday March 5, at Amling/Schroeder Funeral Service, Bandon Chapel and funeral services will be held at the Bandon High School gymnasium at 1 p.m., Saturday March 6. Military honors will be held at Oddfellows Cemetery in Bandon.
Airlee was born Feb. 18, 1941, five miles north of Middlesboro, Ky. He moved to Bandon with his family at the age of 11. He died Feb. 17, 2010, in Portland, at the VA hospital.
Airlee was a passionate patriot and loved the United States of America. He joined the United States Air Force on Aug.17, 1959. He was sent to Syracuse University in New York where he was trained as a Russian linguist. He served one tour of duty at a ground listening post in Karamursel, Turkey, just south of the Black Sea and served his second tour of duty at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. He has said that probably the best decision he ever made in his life, outside of his becoming a Christian, was to have joined the Air Force.
Airlee was a proud member of a group of reconnaissance flyers called the Prop Wash Gang. He was a life member of the Freedom through Vigilance Association, made up of all former intelligence specialists in the Air Force. He was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans organization and a member of the American Legion. He also belonged to Mensa. Airlee was a fairly good photographer and he loved to write. Occasionally he put both talents to work and had been published in several magazines. He was member of Pacific Community Church which he attended regularly for many years. He loved his church, the brothers and sisters therein, his country and his friends — mostly veterans.
Airlee is survived by his sisters, Rosalie Meek of Central Point and Suzie Owens of Broadbent; a daughter, Tanya Ornelas of Springfield, Mo.; a son, Bradley Scott Owens formerly of Springfield, Mo., now residing in Bandon; and four grandchildren, Jesus, Anthony, Nikayla and Myranda.
Airlee was preceded in death by his parents, Hubert Owens and Martha B. Owens; and his brother, Bobby Owens.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the Prop Wash Gang, P.O. Box 363, Bandon, OR 97411.
Arrangements are under the direction of Amling/Schroeder Funeral Service, Bandon Chapel, 541-347-2907.