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Richard James Followill

Richard Followill, a former Estes Park resident, passed away Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at Western Home Communities in Cedar Falls, Iowa at the age of 91.

He was born in Collinsville, Illinois, March 16, 1919 to Dexter Bemis Followill and Katherine (Smith) Followill. He grew up in Rolla and went to Kemper Military School and the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, receiving a degree in Metallurgical Engineering in 1940.

He learned to fly a Piper Cub and although he pursued a number of different jobs, he always returned to aviation. He was a civilian pilot for Jim Campbell Flying Service, trained RAF pilots during World War II at the British Flight Training School in Terrell, TX until 1945, and flew for Army Aviation in 1946. After owning a service station and working for the US Geological Service, he returned to Army Aviation in 1951 as a flight instructor. In 1954, his career moved him to Ft Rucker, AL and he became a civilian test pilot for the Army Aviation Test Board until retiring in 1981. He flew a total of 50 different fixed wing aircraft and 31 different helicopters for more than 16,000 accident free hours, participated in world record flights, and wore the wings of a Master Aviator.

On March 24, 1943 he married Maurine Wilkinson and they remained together until her death January 23, 2009. Mr. Followill was a devoted and loving husband and father of two boys.

He and Maurine moved to Estes Park, Colorado in 2006, residing at Good Samaritan Village, to be close to their son David and daughter-in-law Sherry. They moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa in 2008, residing at Western Home Communities, to be close to their son Richard and daughter-in-law Carolee.

He touched the lives of everyone he came in contact with, teaching by example and reaching out on a personal level.  He will be dearly missed by his family and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Maurine Followill, a daughter, Carolyn Sue, a brother, Bemis Followill, and a sister, Bernice Joslin. He is survived by his son Richard Followill and his wife Carolee of Cedar Falls, Iowa, son Dave Followill and his wife Sherry of Estes Park, Colorado, four grandchildren, Laura Campbell of Savannah, Georgia, Kelly Lofgren of Los Angeles, California, Alex Followill and Larry Followill of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and three great-grandchildren, Ashlyn, Emma, and Katie Campbell of Savannah, Georgia.

A funeral service for Richard Followill was held Saturday, March 20, 2010 at the chapel of the First Presbyterian Church in Rolla, by Rev. R. Lee Jennings. Interment followed in the Followill family plot at the Rolla Cemetery.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association or St. Luke United Methodist Church, Enterprise, Alabama.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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