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Lt. Col. Edward L. Hlavaty USAF, (Ret.) (08-17-2017)
Lt. Col. Edward L. Hlavaty,
retired United States
Air Force pilot took his final
flight on August 5, 2017 at the
age of 87.
He was born July 19, 1930
in Crete, Nebraska and was a
resident of Lillie, Louisiana.
Visitation was held Saturday,
August 12, 2017 from 5-7
p.m. at Kilpatrick Funeral
Home in Ruston. Funeral
services were held on Sunday,
August 13, 2017 at 2:00
p.m. at Glory Ministries in
Junction City, Arkansas. Interment
followed at Union
Grove Cemetery in Lillie,
Louisiana with full military
Ed was preceded in death by: His parents, Martin and
Antoné (Kovanda) Hlavaty; beloved wife of 55 years, Betty
Jo (Washam); a brother, Lad Hlavaty; and nephew, Rick
He is survived by: His daughters: Laura Huffman and
husband Jerry and Julia Rockett of Lillie, Louisiana; two
grandsons – Zachary Edward Huffman of Ruston, Louisiana
and fiancé, Emily Arnold, and Nathaniel Richard
Rockett of Lillie, LA; a granddaughter, Chelsea Roselyn
Huffman of Lilile; in addition to a host of nieces and
nephews he adored.
Ed graduated from Crete High School in Crete, Nebraska
and played football at Doane College in Nebraska.
He graduated from the University of Omaha and spoke
three languages – Czech, Russian, and Latin. He began
his career as a USAF Pilot in 1951. During his Air Force
career, he flew the KC-97, C-47, B-29, C-130 Hercules, and
C-124. In 1969, he was transferred and proudly served as a
command pilot flying the Sikorsky CH-3 Jolly Green Giant
helicopters (his favorite) on numerous combat rescue missions
in Vietnam. He received two Distinguished Flying
Cross medals, one with Valor, the Air medal with four oak
clusters and numerous other medals and citations. Following
his tour of duty in Vietnam, he was commander of 10
helicopters and participated in the geographic survey of
the United States, Brazil, and South America. He retired
from the Air Force in 1973.
After his Air Force career,
Ed worked for Wanek’s
Furniture and managed
The Shake Shoppe in hishometown of Crete, Nebraska. He also worked as an auto
parts manager in Ruston and Bernice. He enjoyed substitute
teaching and working at the Junction City High
School where he was known as Mr. Ed.
He will be dearly missed and remembered for his great
love of God, family, friends, and his Country.
Pallbearers were Dr. Chris Washam, SSGT Jesse Washam
(USAF), Larry Peregrine, Chad Elliott, Colin Rockett,
Casey Jackson, Zachary Edward Huffman, Nathaniel
Rockett and Brandon Young.
Beverly Jean Swanson