LCDR John H. Wachtel, USN (Ret.)
1927 - 2013
"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth, put out my hand and touched the face of God"
John Henry Wachtel, 86, passed away peacefully at his Milton, Florida home on Friday October 11, 2013, surrounded by his family. John was born on August 28, 1927 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin and has been a resident of Milton for 45 years. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Viola Wachtel, and his siblings Dorothy Vieau, Robert Wachtel, and Mary Zebrauskas. He is also preceded in death by his beloved son, John Christopher, with whom he is now joyfully reunited.
After graduating from Washington High School in 1945 in Two RIvers, John entered the Naval Aviation College Program and attended college in the Midwest followed by flight training at NAS Pensacola and Whiting Field. He went on to dutifully serve 23 years in the US Navy in fighter, transport and training squadrons in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. During his Naval Career, he earned a mathematics degree at Tulane University and taught navigation at the US Naval Academy. He met his future wife, Emily Joye Chalker, in 1953 while serving as a flight instructor in Pensacola.
After his retirement in 1970, John earned a computer science degree from the University of West Florida and subsequently worked as a computer analyst for MR&R Trucking Co. and Pensacola Junior College. Upon his retirement from PJC, John spent his remaining years enjoying his family and relaxing at their home on the Blackwater River.
John leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife, Joye Wachtel; his devoted children Lisa Kozak (Dennis), Judy Robinson (John), and Michael Wachtel; his grandchildren, Eric, Chris and Brian Kozak, Erin and Taylor Wachtel, Daryl, Jeff and Emily Robinson, Ella Grace and John Michael Wachtel. He is also survived by his brother, Joseph Wachtel (Bernadine), as well as many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Tuesday, October 15th from 6-8 pm at Lewis Funeral Home in Milton. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, October 16th at 10AM at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Milton, followed by a procession to Barrancas National Cemetery for interment with full Military Honors. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church or Covenant Hospice.
The family would like to express our deepest appreciation to Covenant Hospice for the loving care and compassion they provided during this difficult time.
"And He will raise you up on eagle's wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His Hand."
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Published in Pensacola News Journal on Oct. 15, 2013