Name: George E. LEVKULICH , Jr.
Birth: 17 APR 1922 in Brownsville, Fayette Co., PA
Military service BET 1941 AND SEP 1945 1LT, Pilot, U.S. Army Air Corps
Death: 1 AUG 2006 in Craig, Moffat Co., CO
George Levkulich Jr. was born in Brownsville, Penn., on April 17, 1922 to George F. Levkulich, Sr. and Mary Birovcek Levkulich. He was the third child of seven siblings.
George was preceded in death by his parents, George and Mary; his oldest brother John; brother William; sister Helen, her husband Leo Janik and one of her daughters, Sandra Lynn.
He is survived by his brother Bill's wife, MaryAnn; his brother, Pete and his wife JoAnne; his sister, Mary Rose and her husband Jack Peregoy; and his youngest brother, Frank; and numerous nieces and nephews.
George graduated from Superior High School in Wyoming in 1941. Soon after, he went into active service of the armed forces as a fighter pilot of a single engine P47 Thunderbolt. He logged 286.5 combat hours with all his 81 combat missions completed as a 1st Lieutenant in the 231st Army Air Forces Base Unit. A documentary was filmed and narrated by Ronald Reagan illustrating the training and combat missions of George and his fellow pilots. George was also adept at flying the P38 and P51 Mustang, later qualifying as an instructor in fighter pilot single engine training. In September of 1945, the Secretary of War tendered George an appointment in the Officer's Reserve Corp.
Upon his discharge, in September 1945 George brought his flying skills as a pilot for hire home to Craig, later opening the crop dusting/charter business known as Mountain Air Spray. He started out on leased ground east of Craig on Beryl Klietz's property, cutting a dirt runway to land his Super Cub. He later moved his flying service to the current airport out on Colorado Highway 394 in Craig, which was close to the farm where he lived with his family. He gave flying instructions to many residents.
After 16 years of serving the valley with his flying skills, George decided to develop a wheat farm and take up golf. A couple of mishaps in the crop dusting arena, such as clipping a telephone line with his left wing and tangling things, may have helped him decide his road to retirement. As with all things in his life, he pursued golf with intensity, which enabled him to play on the Pro Am tour -- "playing with the big boys," as he would say. Since he didn't go on the pro tour, his rewards were numerous trophies, complimentary golf clubs, and the coveted "cashmere sweaters." George wanted everyone to enjoy the game as much as he did and tried to teach it to many of us.
George eventually purchased a home in Mesa, Ariz., where he could enjoy the winter weather, and, of course, golf. He loved the summers in Craig and the winters in Arizona. While in Craig, he wheat-farmed east of town and had an equipment storage shop on the ground that he purchased from his mother in 1979. Even though in his later years he lost a considerable amount of his eyesight, he'd take his Ford pickup out and about in Craig until the police finally stopped him and told him he just couldn't do that anymore, being "legally blind" as they put it. But that didn't stop him from driving his tractor around the farm and on the back roads.
George loved life and had a soft spot in his heart for his family and his famous dog, Sparkplug. He especially enjoyed the summers when his sisters would bring their families and he could tease his nieces and nephews. George also loved gardening, which added a spark of competition to relations with his siblings and neighbors.
George lived a full and colorful life making an impression on all he was associated with. He will be missed by his friends and family. In celebration of his life, many mementos were on display at the VFW on Washington and Victory Way after the services.
--- Craig Daily Press, August 6, 2006
Father: George LEVKULICH b: 12 MAR 1894 in Czechoslavakia
Mother: Mary BIROVCHAK b: 26 FEB 1896 in Czechoslavakia