1937 ~ 2014|
U.S. Air Force Lt Col Melvin E Pollard (Ret) passed away on January 8, 2014, in the G. E. Wahlen VA Nursing Home in North Ogden, Utah.
Born in Ash Grove, Missouri, to Felix and Grace Pollard, he grew up in Odessa, Texas, where he watched airplanes cross the West Texas sky and dreamed of being a pilot. His dream came true when he skipped 12th grade to join the Air Force Academy's first graduating class. He fulfilled another dream by marrying Louise Kelley, his best friend for the next 52 years.
As an Instructor Pilot, Mel trained new pilots in T-33s and T-38s. In Vietnam, Mel flew F-4Cs, logging 121 combat missions out of Da Nang. He went through the July 1967 rocket attack on the air base at Da Nang, as well as the first Tet offensive in Saigon.
In 1979, Mel and Louise moved to Utah, where the skiing, sailing, and camping captivated them. So after 23 years in the Air Force, Mel retired, starting a second career in Utah as an engineer and consultant in the aerospace industry. In 1994, he retired again, starting a third career with his wife running their photography company, The Outside View, and enjoying their three grandchildren. He and Louise traveled extensively, photographing in the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe, and Southeast Asia. He never lost his fascination with airplanes and was a former Flight Captain in Daedalians.
Mel is survived by his wife Louise; daughter Kelley, son-in-law Andy Lindberg, and grandson Orion of Layton, Utah; and son Ray, daughter-in-law Jennifer, and granddaughters Lauren and Makenna of Sandpoint, Idaho.
There will be an open house to celebrate Mel's life at Mel and Louise's home on January 25, 2-5pm, for relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bone Marrow Foundation in Jennifer Price Pollard's name, to help fund a bone marrow transplant for Mel's daughter-in-law, Jennifer (http://bonemarrow.org/financial-assistance/one-to-one-funds/participants/jennifer-price-pollard/). Mel's ashes will be interred at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.aaronsmortuary.com.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Jan. 12, 2014