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Kenneth W. Yon, age 84, passed away surrounded by his family on Wednesday, November 20, at his home in DeBary. Kenneth was born on December 14, 1928 to Cecil and Mary Yon in Altoona, Pennsylvania and had an older sister, Janet. Ken attended Penn State University prior to joining the U.S. Air Force, Strategic Air Command, where he served as a pilot during his career including the Korean and Vietnam wars. Ken served in the Air Force for over 23 years from June of 1952 to August of 1974 and retired as a Lt. Colonel. He flew the AT-6 Texan, B-29, B-25, B-47, C-47, and the B-58. Ken flew 25 combat missions over North Korea in the B-29, and received the Air Medal and the Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars. Ken was stationed at Grissom AFB, IN where he flew his favorite plane, the B-58 Hustler, and was the Squadron Commander of the B-58 training unit. He was then promoted to Commander of the Combat Crew Training School. He received the Bronze Star Medal for his missions in the Vietnam War. Ken's last assignment was at March AFB, CA and was the Air Operations Manager. Ken also received the Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Air Force Longevity Service Award with 5 OLC, Korean Service Medal, UN Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1 OLC, Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 OLC, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 2 OLC, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation. After retirement from the Air Force, Ken worked in remodeling and home repairs for 25 years. Ken was well known in DeBary for his kindness to people and animals, his generosity, and his faith. He loved boating, camping, flying, fixing things, and spending time with his family. He cherished his two granddaughters, Kelly Megan and Kaitlin Elizabeth Davis. Ken and his daughter Kim went to Washington D.C. in June of 2013 with the Honor Flight of Central Florida. Ken was a long time member and one of the founders of Emmaus Lutheran Church. Ken loved his country, his family, the military, his beloved B-58 Hustler, his dog Barney, and God. He is survived by his wife of 62 years Laura Marilyn Yon; daughter Kimberly (Jeffrey Davis) Yon-Davis; son Nathan (Jo) Yon; sister Janet Finnegan; two granddaughters Kelly Megan and Kaitlin Elizabeth Davis; one niece Cynthia Elizabeth Finnegan; and two nephews Thomas Finnegan III and Peter Finnegan. A life celebration service will take place on Monday, November 25, 2013 at the Lutheran Church of The Providence in Deltona at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Florida Hospital Hospice or Honor Flight of Central Florida. Arrangements entrusted to Deltona Memorial Funeral Home, 1295 Saxon Blvd., Orange City 386-775-4260.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal from Nov. 22 to Nov. 23, 2013