Jeffery A. Fairbrother
Jeffery A. Fairbrother passed away under home hospice care in Comanche, Texas on March 22, 2019. He was peaceful and comfortable and did not struggle.
Jeff was born on March 29, 1940 to Myrl Godspeed Fairbrother, Sr. and Nellie Druscilla Johnson Fairbrother in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was preceded in death by both parents, his wife Kathleen Diane Davis Fairbrother of 39 years, his brother Myrl Fairbrother and spouse, and his sister Phyllis Fairbrother Lucchesi and spouse. Kathy passed away in 2002. He is survived by his wife Beth Waggoner Fairbrother, daughter Cynthia Fairbrother Fitch and husband Clinton (Vail, Colorado), and daughter Christine Fairbrother Gilbert and husband Bill (Granbury, Texas), brother Larry Fairbrother and wife (Orlando, Florida), grandchildren Clinton Robert Fitch IV, Catherine Vinita Fitch, Kasey Diane Fairbrother, and Ty Taylor Gilbert, and great grandchild Braydon Cooper Fitch. Jeff married Beth Waggoner Fairbrother in 2009 in Comanche, Texas. He has wonderful nieces in Grand Rapids. Survivors include each of them and their spouses, their 17 children, and their 39 grandchildren as well. Jeffery embraced Beth’s mother, Ruth Adele Moore Waggoner, Beth’s 3 children and their spouses, and Beth’s 6 grandchildren.
He went to the recruiting office for the Air Force to accompany a friend, took the test and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Program. This was a unique program and no longer exists – however, at the time it was designed to allow high school graduates to be placed directly into the pilot training program. It was discontinued in 1961 and requirements were changed.
He was assigned to 61-D and sent to Lackland AFB. After completing pilot training, he was assigned to USAF Basic Training in Lubbock, Texas. Upon graduation, he was a new 2nd Lieutenant and pilot and he was sent to Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City, OK for intensive training in the C-124 (Globemaster).
Prior to going to Vietnam he was involved in missions to support DOD in special circumstances all over the world, support troop movements for the Army (including the Cuban missile crisis), deployed to the UN for Congo Airlift support, flew several CIA missions, a mission for NASA, and a NUMA mission involving Jacques Cousteau. In 1963, he volunteered to serve in Vietnam based in Saigon and flew several hundred combat missions.
Jeffery met and married Kathy Davis in Dover, Delaware in 1964. He left the Air Force in 1966 to take a job as a Captain with Pan American Airlines based in San Francisco, California. He experienced the hey-day of the Pan-Am experience and enjoyed travel and trips all over the world. He was able to travel to many destinations with Kathy and his daughters. This inspired a love of travel in each of them. He transitioned to Delta Airlines when Pan Am was purchased in the 1980’s. He flew many notable individuals, musicians, singers, and actors, including the Beatles, the Philadelphia Eagles, Liza Minelli, Larry Hagman, Paul Hogan and others. At that point in time, the passengers were able to come into the cockpit and meet and visit with the Captain.
Travel and community service were important to him. Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Pecan Plantation Volunteer Fire Department, Lions Club, Civil Air Patrol Granbury Squadron 441, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Rio Brazos Texas Master Naturalist Group, and the Comanche County Historical Museum.
Services will include a Visitation at the home of Ruth Adele Waggoner in Comanche on April 11th 4-7 pm, a ‘Celebration of Life’ at Barking Rocks Winery in Granbury on April 12th 4-7 pm, and a graveside service at Holly Hills Memorial Park in Granbury on April 13th at 2 pm. For more information, contact Beth Fair-brother at 325-330-9014.
In lieu of flowers, please consider the Comanche County Historical Museum Remodeling budget (Jeff was always remodeling) Comanche First Baptist Church, Granbury Civil Air Patrol Squadron 441, or Fossil Rim Wildlife Refuge.