Jack D. Rude, 97, of Amarillo passed away June 25, 2021.
Military honors will be at 11:00 a.m., Friday, July 2, 2021 at Schooler Funeral Home, 4100 S. Georgia St. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home.
Jack was born on April 16, 1924 to William and Tresa Smith Rude in Herrin, IL. Jack joined the United States Air Force at 18 years of age where he was a B-17 Flying Fortress Tail Gunner and a World War II Veteran of 32 combat bombing missions. He exemplified why we call his crowd, “The Greatest Generation.” Jack was a dedicated supported of his fellow veteran group, the 493rd BG Historical Association where he was Unit Contact for several years. Until just recently, he travelled to England every year to participate in the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Wall of the Missing in the Cambridge American Cemetery. He was transferred to the Air Force base in Amarillo, TX and met his wife, Vivian Walker. They then transferred to Savannah, GA. After serving his time in Savannah, Jack moved back to Amarillo to join Vivian who owned and operated, Vivian’s Nursing Home and remained in the business for many years after her death.
After retirement, he assisted in the start of the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, GA and volunteered at the Texas Air and Space Museum in Amarillo, TX for many years which has several of his model airplanes on display. One of his proudest accomplishments was writing the book, “Miss Greenbay” in his nineties. Miss Greenbay was the name of one of the planes Jack flew in on his many missions. Besides the museum in Amarillo, TX, Blue Sky Airfield was one of his favorite places where he made many good friends.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Vivian Walker Rude; parents, William and Tresa Smith Rude; one brother; one daughter; two sisters; and one grandson.
Jack is survived by daughter, Yphon LaRoche and husband, L.R. “Bob”; two granddaughters, Ponda LaRoche and Ylanda McCawley; five great-grandchildren; five great great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
“Wishing you blue skies and happy landings.”- Jack D. Rude
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Texas Air and Space Museum, 10001 American Dr., Amarillo, TX 79111 or National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, 175 Bourne Avenue, Pooler, GA 31322.