Charles R. DOKE

Obituary

DOKE, COL Charles R. USAF Ret. Col. Doke passed peacefully March 20, 2013 after a courageous 17- year battle with Parkinson's. His devoted and loving wife of 57 years the former Irma Jean Simpson was by his side. He was born in Lakeland, on July 14th 1930. He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Elon and his beloved grandson, L/Cpl Thomas E. Rivers Jr., killed in Afghanistan April 2010. He is survived by his three daughters, Nancy Doke Harrison (Peter), Miami; Charon Rivers (Tom), Birmingham, AL; Cathy Doke Robbins, Washington D.C.; and grandchildren, Capt. Ashley E. Coley Afghanistan; William C. Coley Birmingham, AL; and Rachel Rivers, Birmingham, AL; and sister-in-law, Shirley Simpson, Tampa. Col. Doke graduated from Hillsborough High School class of '48. He attended the University of Florida until the Korean War, when he joined the Air Force, graduating from Pilot Training as a 2nd Lt., he flew F-84 combat missions in Korea. Upon returning stateside he received an engineering degree from Texas Tech. He then served in the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, the first F-4 Wing to deploy to Vietnam, where as a Flight Test Pilot and a Combat Pilot he flew 106 combat missions during his two tours. He returned to serve as Fighter Squadron Commander, 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, stationed at MacDill AFB. His role included hosting, and directing the training of 34 Royal Australian aircrews and 106 technicians for Operation Peace Reef, the internationally sensitive lease and delivery of 24 F-4 aircraft to the Australian Government. His last roll in active duty was Deputy Commander for Logistics in Kunsan, Korea. His numerous awards include Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Air Medal with Clusters, and many other various Medals and Awards. The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to either the Wounded Warrior Project , 4899 Belfort Road, Ste. 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256; www.woundedwarriorporject.org. Or Support Our Soldiers, 733 Mill Springs Road, Birmingham, AL 35244, www.supportoursoldiersalabama.org. The family thanks the staff at Fletcher Health for their kind and loving care, and the Gold Team of LifePath Hospice. Visitation will be Monday, March 25th at 1 pm with Services following at 2 pm at Chapel of St. Paul's Catholic Church 12708 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa. Burial Services with Full Military Honors will be Tuesday, March 26th at 11 am at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell. www.blountcurrycarrollwood.com

Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Mar. 24, 2013
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