JACQUELINE BAIRD STRICKLAND FOELBER, 82, peacefully joined her Savior and Pilot on Thursday, July 10, 2014. She was born in Portland, Ind., a daughter of Edward W. and Elizabeth Norine Baird. Jackie spent her life knowing that her friends were her family and greatest earthly treasures. She had many passions in life. As a teenager, her family moved to Fort Wayne, and she attended North Side High School, but it was the family move to Muncie, that created her craze as a Muncie Central High School Bearcat fan. She graduated from Muncie Central in 1949 and remained a loyal Bearcat and lifelong friend with many classmates. Her love of flying began as a young adult and continued throughout her life. She proudly joined Eastern Airlines in 1952 and worked as a flight attendant there until 1955. She then accepted a position with Pan American Airlines and was able to combine her love of the Spanish language and flight experience as she flew the Latin American route until 1957. Her travels brought her back to Muncie, where she received her Education degree from Ball State University. In 1959 she accepted a teaching position with Fort Wayne Community Schools where she became an accomplished educator and administrator. She received her Master's Degrees in 1963 from St. Francis College and in 1974 from Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne. Throughout her career she truly believed that it was the meaningful relationships that she had with students and colleagues that made teaching worthwhile. She retired from FWCS in 1989 and continued her education career working for seven years at IPFW as a coordinator for student teachers. She led a life where she was never afraid to prove she could accomplish her goals. She challenged herself to always keep learning and demonstrated this as she pursued her private pilot's license. One of her most satisfying days was on Dec. 6, 1981 as she flew her first solo flight. In 2001, she moved back "home" to Muncie. She has enjoyed being with her dear friends and cheering on her Bearcats. She has been actively involved with the alumni clubs from Muncie Central and her Alpha Chi Omega Sorority sisters from Ball State. Surviving are her husband of 52 years, Thomas E. Foelber of Fort Wayne; daughter, Janne K. (Keith) Ross of Fort Wayne; granddaughter, Sora K. Ross; and sister, Jeanenne Baird Zierer of Ohio; and her precious cat, Saffron. A gathering in her honor is from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 17, 2014 at Don Hall's Guesthouse. We will celebrate her flight in life by toasting her final landing. Memorials may be made to the Allen County SPCA. The Meeks Mortuary & Crematory, Washington Street Chapel, Muncie, Ind. is in charge of arrangements, online condolences may be sent to the family at www.meeksmortuary.com
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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on July 14, 2014