MSgt Johnnie Lee Blaney, USAF, Ret.
Of San Bernardino, went to heaven on Feb. 5, 2014. Born Oct. 21, 1929, near Sicily Island, LA, Johnnie joined the Air Force while in high school in 1946. He was stationed all over the country before moving to Norton Air Force Base in 1967, where he was a loadmaster foreman until his retirement in 1973. While stationed in Hawaii, he was awarded "Airman of the Year" of 1952. He was also hand-picked to serve on the team that picked up the Apollo 11 astronauts onto the USS Hornet in the Pacific; Johnnie supervised the loading of the moon team's Mobile Quarantine Facility from the ship onto the giant plane that returned them to Texas. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Helen, and their five children: Kathy (Richard) Stratton, of San Bernardino; Jeanne (David) Felker, of Springfield, GA; Debbie Watkins, of San Bernardino; David Blaney, of San Bernardino; and Tammy (Dirk) Isaacs, of Highland. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Private interment will be at Riverside National Cemetery.
Published in San Bernardino Sun on Feb. 16, 2014