HEMMINGWAY, Richard, Earl, 85, of Brooksville and formerly of Tampa, passed away Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Born in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Oct. 24, 1928, he grew up in Valdosta, Ga. He was the son of Silas M. Hemmingway and Ora Brown Hemmingway, and was preceded in death by his sister, Faye Sampson. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ruth; daughters, Susan Hemmingway and Nancy Watkins (Robert); his grandchildren, Richard Watkins (Marsha), Elizabeth Thompson and Michael Watkins; his great-grandson, Thomas; and sister, Gaye Jeffrey. Richard graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He soon followed his desire to serve his country as a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning his wings at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fl. In 1966, he was deployed to Vietnam, where he served as commanding officer of the VMA-214 Black Sheep squadron and earned a Bronze Star for valor in combat. He had many accomplish-ments in the military. As third in command of the VMA-225 squadron, he was positioned on the USS Enterprise carrier during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and is listed in Naval Aviation History as a member of the first squadron to fly trans-Atlantic. In the Marine Corps, he earned advanced degrees from the U.S. Naval Academy Post-Graduate School in Monterey, Calif.; California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.; and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. At Caltech, he studied aeronautical engineering. Those talents were put into our nation's service as the chief project officer for the design and development of the A-7 Corsair II. Richard retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1971 after 20 years of military service. He and his family then moved to Tampa, where he joined the Hemmingway and Associates accounting firm. He and Ruth lived on Davis Islands for 26 years before moving to Brooksville after his retirement from Hemmingway and Associates. He loved flying, playing with his grandchildren, and after retirement in Brooksville, raising and riding his horses. He cared deeply for his family, who will always cherish his memory. A private graveside service will be held at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. Memorial donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project. Arrangements are by Merritt Funeral Home in Brooksville.
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Merritt Funeral Home and Crematory Brooksville Chapel
2 South Lemon Avenue Brooksville, FL 34601
Published in TBO.com on May 24, 2014