EARL WILLIAM CUMMINGS McALLEN - Earl William Cummings departed this world and entered his celestial home Saturday, June 15. Earl was born 14 January, 1918, at Lexington, Nebraska, an only child of Ward and Emma Cummings. Earl graduated from Bertrand, Nebraska, High School in 1935 during the deep depression and dust bowl period. Earl was fond of sports and received an athletic scholarship from Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana. In his fourth year at Butler and only a few months from graduation, Japanese struck Pearl Harbor. A week after the attack Earl withdrew from school and enlisted in the Army Aviation Cadet Program. He loved flying and in August, 1942, received his pilot wings and commission as 2nd Lt in the Army Air Corps. He volunteered for early assignment for overseas duty. Six months later he was stationed in Yankai, China, flying what was then called, the Hump, carrying aviation fuel and munitions from India to China. In CBI Earl flew more than 600 combat hours, was awarded four Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Air Medals and an Air Force Commendation Medal. In June of 1944, then commander of his unit and promoted to Major, he returned to the United States. A week after arrival he and his high school sweetheart, Phyllis High, were married. In the following six years Kathleen Jaye, John Steven, and Kristine Anne were added to the family. Earl was promoted to Lt Col in 1959, during the Korean War. In 1965 he received a BS Degree in Education from University of Nebraska, Omaha, while assigned to Hq Strategic Air Command Omaha. He retired from the Air Force in 1968. Phyllis and Earl decided to live in McAllen Texas; where they, as members of St Paul Lutheran Church, enjoyed sharing the Gospel with many winter visitors and newcomers to the area. In 1994, with family and friends, they celebrated fifty years of joyful devotion. Phyllis, ill with Leukemia, received her Crown of Glory in 1996. In 2003 Earl and long time friend, Martha Romero, were married. Martha and 11 years old daughter, Thania, bless Earl with happy delight each love filled day. Earl, firmly and confidently, believes the last breath he will take on this earth will also be the first breath he will take in Heaven, at Peace, with the Lord. Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea, Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark; For tho' from out our bourne of time and Place, the flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crossed the bar. Sign the guest book at www.themonitor.com/obituaries

Published in The Monitor on June 18, 2013