Lt. Colonel USAF (Ret)
Eugene J. Comontofski, Lt. Colonel USAF (Retired), 56-year resident of San Antonio, passed away Mar. 22, 2014 at 94 years of age. Born on Aug. 3, 1919 in Woodland, CA, he was the son of the late August Comontofski and Freida Leutwein. Though he grew up with feet planted firmly on the earth of his father's farm, Gene's eyes were always on the sky above; he fulfilled his dream, and became a career pilot. He enlisted in the Air Corps in January, 1942. During WWII he flew more than a hundred perilous missions over the Himalayas as one of the China-Burma-India 'Hump' pilots, delivering troops and supplies while taking enemy fire. He proudly served his country as a pilot for 20 years, and retired from the Air Force Logistics Command in 1962, having received several military awards, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Asia-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the Medal for Humane Action - Berlin Airlift for his 114 Berlin missions flown. Following his military career, Gene was a test pilot. He retired in 1986 as a private pilot for a San Antonio corporation. Though no longer in the cockpit, his love of flying never left him - now he soars again, this time with the angels. Gene was a charter member of Oak Hills Presbyterian Church, and was a member of Randolph AFB Officers' Club, the CBI Hump Pilots' Association, the Order of Daedalians, and the Knife and Fork Club in San Antonio. He leaves behind to cherish his memory: his wife of 23 years, W. Joye Comontofski of San Antonio, TX; son Craig Comontofski (Linda) of Martinsburg, WV; son Ken Comontofski (Suzanne) of Nampa, ID; daughter Carol Elliot of Austin, TX; stepson Bret McCartney (Barbara) of Abilene, TX; sister-in-law Dorcys Burchill of Walnut Grove, CA; niece Linda Van Loben Sels (Topper) of Walnut Grove, CA; seven grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and two step-great-grandchildren. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Marjorie C. Pollock; his first wife, Louise (King) Comontofski; and a son-in-law, David J. Elliot III.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 10:30 am at Oak Hills Presbyterian Church, 6739 Callaghan Rd, San Antonio, TX (210) 342-0271. Family will receive friends at the church between 9:30-10:30 am. Private interment with full military honors will follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations to Boysville, Inc. P.O. Box 369, 8555 E. Loop 1604, North Converse, TX 78109-0369, or to Oak Hills Presbyterian Church, 6739 Callaghan Rd, San Antonio, TX 78229. You are invited to sign the Guestbook at www.porterloring.com Arrangements with PORTER LORING MORTUARY, 1101 MCCULLOUGH AVE, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Apr. 1, 2014