John Cawood, age 83, passed away April 25, 2016. He was born November 19, 1932 to Clayton P. and Goldie (Coleman) Cawood of Big Stone Gap, VA. John graduated from East Stone Gap High School in Virginia and Milligan College in Tennessee. He married the love of his life, Gretchen G. Herald, on August 27, 1961 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.
John was able to turn a childhood love of airplanes into a life long journey associated with aviation. After 21 years of service including time in both the Korean and Vietnam wars, and earning multiple commendations, he retired in 1973. Following retirement he continued to follow his love of aviation down many paths ending with towing gliders at the United States Air Force Academy. He was a resident of Colorado Springs for 45 years and was a member of the Quiet Birdmen, the Order of Daedalians, and the Pikemasters Model Railroad Club. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, and a docent for the Peterson Air and Space Museum. He faithfully attended reunion events for the 90th Bomb Squadron of which he was a part in the Korean War.
John is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Gretchen G. Cawood; son, Greg H. (Sarah) Cawood; daughter, Jonni Carol Cawood; two brothers, Clayton P. (Marcella) Cawood and Carl G. (Sharman) Cawood; sister, Gail (John) Wolfe; and 2 grandchildren, Emma Huckle and Noah Cawood. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother and sister-in-law, William L. and Sue Cawood.
John's strong but quiet spirit touched the hearts of many and he was loved by all who knew him. His family loved him dearly and will forever miss his quick wit, hearty laugh, infectious smile, tender heart and loving support. Oh yeah, and his banjo playing too!
A memorial service with military honors will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at the Shrine of Remembrance "America the Beautiful" Chapel in Colorado Springs. Memorial contributions may be made in John's memory to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Published in The Gazette on Apr. 29, 2016
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