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Joanna D. Reilly-Rattelade

Joanna D. Reilly-Rattelade Obituary

Col. Joanna D. Reilly-Rattelade, USAF, retired, 77, of North Carolina and formerly of McAdoo, fell asleep in the Lord on April 26 in Oxford, N.C.

Born in McAdoo, Joanna was the daughter of the late John and Mary (Hwalick) Didick. She was a 1960 graduate of McAdoo High School and earned her nursing degree from Philadelphia General School of Nursing in 1963. She worked at Philadelphia General Hospital from 1963 to 1965. Later in her career, she earned her master's degree in nursing administration.

Joanna took her oath of office, joining the U.S. Air Force on June 8, 1965. During her 25-year career in the Air Force, she was stationed in the United States, Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam. She volunteered for Vietnam but was instead sent to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Here, she served during 1967 to 1969, through the worst time period in the Vietnam War for casualties. During this time, thousands of military personnel were killed or wounded in Vietnam. Joanna worked many long hours, diligently taking care of those seriously wounded men at Clark Base.

Joanna again volunteered for Vietnam and was sent to Cam Ranh Bay in 1970. Joanna finished her Air Force career on the Inspector General Team. She traveled around the world, inspecting medical facilities to make sure they met proper standards. She retired from the Air Force in 1990 with the rank of colonel.

Col. Joanna D. Reilly-Rattelade is an American hero. Joanna was a very strong, compassionate, loving and generous person. She always thought of others before herself. Joanna was deeply spiritual and very wise, she had a beautiful heart and a beautiful soul. She loved spending time with her husband, Gerard, at Cape Lookout and Beaufort, N.C., where they boated, hunted for shells, watched the wild horses, fished, had long walks and watched the sunsets for many years. Cooking for others also brought Joanna great joy. Two of her most requested and favorite dishes were jambalaya and Greek soup.

Preceding her in death, in addition to her parents, were her sisters, Mary D. Postupack and Evelyn Dunlap; brother, Daniel Didick; and nephew, Franklin Dunlap.

Surviving are her husband, Gerard J. Rattelade Jr. and his family; nieces, Barbara Liparela, Dallas; Mary Ruth Price, McAdoo; Joanne Dougherty, Weatherly; Joan Nortavage, New Ringgold; and Renata Devine, University Park; nephews, Mark Postupack, Weatherly; Barry Postupack, Hazleton; and Russell Postupack, Silver Brook; and numerous great nieces and nephews. She will be dearly missed by her close friends and veteran comrades.

Her funeral Mass was held Friday at St. James Catholic Church, Henderson, N.C., followed by a committal service with military honors at Meadowview Memorial Park, Oxford, N.C.

Memorial donations may be made in her honor to the Wolfhounds Veterans Association, 6240 High Country Drive, Helena, MT, 59602, or to the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation, 2247 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622.

Online memorials may be made at http://gnvfuneral



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