Gone But Not Forgotten

Honoring fallen comrades is an important part of the AOG mission and we ask to be notified as soon as possible of the death of any graduate, Air Training Officer or cadet so that we can take appropriate actions. The AOG has learned of the following deaths within the past 90 days.

For best results, try searching by Last Name (e.g. Smith), Class Year (e.g. 1959), or Cadet Squadron (e.g. CS-01). More complex searches may not return desired results.

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Mr. Bernard Cooney - Class of 1964, CS-22

Deceased on February 24, 2024 - Informed on February 28, 2024

Please contact the Association of Graduates for condolence information. Visitation: 1400 to 1600 hours 3 Mar 2024 at Donaldson Funeral Home of Clarksville, P.A., 12540 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, MD 21029. Funeral Mass: 1100 hours 24 Mar 2024 at St. Peters Catholic Church, 2900 Olney Sandy Spring Rd., Olney, MD 20832. Interment will follow at All Souls Cemetery, 11401 Brink Rd., Germantown, MD 20876. Memorial donation: In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Saint Peter's Catholic Church, 2900 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney, Maryland 20832, or the Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service, Inc., 333 E. 115th St., New York, New York 10029. Obituary: https://www.donaldsonclarksville.com/obituary/Bernard-Cooney

Lt Col (Ret) Lyle Speace , Jr. - Class of 1969, CS-16

Deceased on February 7, 2024 - Informed on February 27, 2024

Please contact the Association of Graduates for condolence information. Service: Services have not been planned at this time. Memorial donations: In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 888-557-7177, lls.org or to LLS Donor Services, P.O. Box 22324, New York, NY 10087. Obituary: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/legacyremembers/lyle-speace-obituary?id=54320537

Col (Ret) Clayton Wittman - Class of 1983, CS-39

Deceased on February 4, 2024 - Informed on February 26, 2024

Please contact the Association of Graduates for condolence information. Visitation: 1300 hours on 23 March 2024 at Zaagman Memorial Chapel, 2800 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Memorial service: 1430 hours on 23 March 2024 at Zaagman Memorial Chapel, 2800 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Memorial donations: Florida State University (Matthew T. Wittman Memorial Scholarship Fund) 325 W. College Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32301-9969, Kent County Veterans Treatment Court (Leave No Veteran Behind) P.O. Box 3500, Grand Rapids, MI 49501, or Kids' Food Basket, 1300 Plymouth Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505 Obituary: https://www.zaagman.com/obituaries/Clayton-Wittman?obId=30754850

Col (Ret) Joseph Bavaria - Class of 1964, CS-14

Deceased on January 25, 2024 - Informed on February 26, 2024

Please contact the Assocation of Graduates for condolence information. Obituary: https://www.wecarelv.com/obituary/Joseph-Bavaria No furthter information is available at this time.

Mr. Raymond Russ - Class of 1974, CS-26

Deceased on February 7, 2024 - Informed on February 22, 2024

Please contact the Assocation of Graduates for condolence information. Mr. Russ' wishes were not to have a funeral. The family will celebrate the life he lived and his birthday on 11 May 2024. Memorial donation: The family has suggested in lieu of flowers donations be made to Best Friends Animal Society, https://support.bestfriends.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=new_memorial_gift&utm_source=vanity&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=bfas+org+legacy. Obituary: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/name/raymond-russ-obituary?id=54369449

Mr. Parker Wright - Class of 1976, CS-05

Deceased on November 27, 2023 - Informed on February 20, 2024

Please contact the Assocation of Graduates for condolence information. Memorial Service: 1400 hours on 29 Dec 2023 at Mowell Funeral Home, 200 Robinson Rd, Peachtree City, GA 30269. Memorial donations: In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to the Tunnel To Towers Foundation, https://dogood.t2t.org/give/320847/?_gl=1*amyqi7*_ga*MTc3NzI1MjkxMS4xNzA4NDY2NzA0*_ga_KKJBEGGEYM*MTcwODQ2NjcwMy4xLjAuMTcwODQ2NjcwMy42MC4wLjA.#!/donation/checkout, or to Samaritan's Purse https://www.samaritanspurse.org/. Obituary: https://www.mowells.com/obituaries/Parker-Smith-Wright?obId=30152760

Mr. Bruce Willard - Class of 1979, CS-38

Deceased on December 24, 2023 - Informed on February 14, 2024

Please contact the Association of Graduates for condolence information. A Celebration of Life will be held in May 2024. No further details are available at this time. Obituary: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/greeley-co/bruce-willard-11598377

Maj (Ret) John Kunz - Class of 1966, CS-16

Deceased on February 7, 2024 - Informed on February 13, 2024

Please contact the Assocation of Graduates for condolence information. Visitation: 9000 until 1100 hours on 16 Feb 2024 at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 22 Notre Dame Ave, Dayton, OH 45404. Mass of Christian burial: 1100 hours on 16 Feb 2024 at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 22 Notre Dame Ave, Dayton, OH 45404. Memorial donations: In lieu of flowers, donations to the Air Force Museum Foundation at https://www.afmuseum.com/givenow, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO) at https://dsaco.net/donate/, Ohio's Hospice of Dayton at https://www.ohioshospice.org/give/ or to Our Lady of the Rosary Church at https://secure.myvanco.com/L-ZHV2/home.

Lt Col Julio Rodriguez - Class of 2000, CS-20

Deceased on January 29, 2024 - Informed on February 13, 2024

Please contact the Assocation of Graduates for condolence information. A Celebration of Life : 1800 to 2000 hours 9 Feb 2024 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Chapel, 6250 E 1200 S, Heber City, UT 84032. A Funeral service will be held at 1118 hours 10 Feb 2024 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Chapel at 6250 E 1200 S, Heber City, Utah, 84032. Interment will immediately follow at the Heber City Cemetery, 680 N 550 E, 84032. To stream the services, please visit: https://webcast.funeralvue.com/events/viewer/97386/hash:B497A2EBDE276405 Obituary: https://www.probstfamilyfunerals.com/obituaries/Julio-Rodriguez-7/#!/Obituary

Col (Ret) Marvin Odefey - Class of 1963, CS-06

Deceased on January 21, 2024 - Informed on February 9, 2024

Please contact the Association of Graduates for condolence information. No service details are available at this time. Memorial donations: In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to be made in memory of Colonel Marvin Odefey. Contributions can be made to St. John The Baptist Catholic Church, 1000 Country Acres Drive, Johnstown Colorado 80534. To make a donation online, please visit https://www.sjbjohnstown.org/. Obituary: https://www.romerofuneralhome.com/obituaries/Marvin-LeRoy-Odefey?obId=30606647

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Frequently Asked Questions

Gone But Not Forgotten Annual Publication

The Air Force Academy Association and Foundation are introducing a new benefit to better memorialize USAFA graduates and support their families. We are launching a new annual memorial publication in 2025.

A: As the Academy graduate population ages, Checkpoints is increasingly insufficient in accommodating the increasing number of obituaries. This has necessitated the creation of a new publication as part of our commitment to remembering all fallen graduates, Air Training Officers and cadets.
A: The purpose of the publication is to honor and perpetuate the legacy of the Long Blue Line through the personal stories of our graduates. The publication is in the spirit of our mission to support the Academy, serve graduates and preserve the heritage of the institution.
A: Gone But Not Forgotten will be part of the final name, which is not yet finalized.
A: No, but the Association will list basic information on deaths in each issue of Checkpoints.
A: No. If/when memorial articles are sent to the AOG, the tribute is posted to this webpage.
A: A complimentary copy will be mailed to a loved one of the deceased. It is not yet determined if the printed publication will be available at a nominal cost or at no cost to AOG members.
A: There will be a one-year transition period. Memorial articles sent in to run in Checkpoints in 2024 will also appear in the inaugural memorial publication. The deadline for Gone But Not Forgotten submissions in the December 2024 issue of Checkpoints is mid-October, but any memorial articles about deaths for the remainder of 2024 received by mid-January 2025 will appear in the inaugural 2025 stand-alone publication. Then going forward, the full years’ worth of tributes would be published in the next year’s volume.
A: The first memorial publication will likely be printed in February or March of 2025.
A: We currently have a 400-word maximum for each memorial tribute and will continue with that limit for the first stand-alone publication. We’re doing this because we have already received submissions at that length and don’t plan to ask for longer versions for the 2025 edition.
A: We will transition to roughly 450- or 900-word options for memorial tributes. Whoever writes and submits the memorial article with have the option to write to either word limit.
A: A recent favorite photo of the deceased, when possible. The photo (head and shoulders, color preferred) should be emailed as a .jpg and sent as a high-resolution image.
A: Please email Next-of-Kin Support Specialist Terri Davis at deceasednotifications@usafa.org.
A: Please reach out to David Bitton, assistant director of strategic communications and publications, at 719-247-8745 or use our Contact Form.

Gone But Not Forgotten