Philip Eugene Poukish passed away peacefully at his home in Yuba City on February 28, 2014. He was one of 5 children born to John and Helen Poukish (all who have preceded him in death) in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on June 28, 1934. Phil graduated from Overbrook High School in Philadelphia. He worked as a meat-cutter for Penn Fruit Company prior to being accepted to Aviation Cadets officer training for the U.S. Air Force.
Phil was proud of his 23 year Air Force career that took him around the world as a navigator. His first assignment sent him to Hickam Field on Oahu, Hawaii in 1955 where he soon met a nurse named Lorraine who would become his future wife. From there, he flew in C-124's for Military Air Transport throughout the Pacific where he became known as "Pin-Point- Poukish" for his ability to navigate accurately. Phil then became the Air Force Advisor to the Air National Guard in Minnesota flying in the C-97 Stratocruiser. He instructed many navigators there for 5 years on missions to Europe, Hawaii, and South America. Air Photo Mapping was his next assignment flying in C-130's spending extensive time photo-mapping Ethiopia, Brazil, and Vietnam. His final flying mission was spent during a tour in Vietnam in the AC-130 Spectre Gunships as a weapons officer, where he earned the Air Force Flying Cross and 8 Air Medals.
Through the Air Force he earned his B.A. from the University of Omaha and an M.B.A. at Michigan State University. He worked as a squadron comptroller at Travis AFB for 2 years before becoming the base Comptroller at Beale AFB until his retirement at the end of 1976. Phil then enjoyed his second career being self-employed working in sales and marketing rising up to Director level with Prepaid Legal Services.
In his youth, Phil enjoyed attending Philadelphia A's games and playing basketball with his brothers. He enjoyed playing tennis and swimming with his kids, gardening, grilling, cheering on the 49'ers and the A's, and family trips with the trailer across the country and to the beach. One could spend hours looking at the stars with Phil trying to learn all the constellations he knew and had used during his years navigating.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 56 years Lorraine, daughters Laura Jones (Gene) of Marysville, Judy Robbins (Gary) and daughter Amity of Galt, sons David (Melinda) of Yuba City, and Jack (Eileen) and their children Hannah, Sophie, Charlie and Sammy of Yuba City. He was greatly loved and will be missed by many.
Memorial services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Saturday March 8, 2014 at First United Methodist Church in Yuba City. There will be a private inurnment with Military Honors provided by the Beale AFB Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to First United Methodist Church - Missions, or the
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Published in Appeal Democrat from Mar. 5 to Mar. 6, 2014