John L. Oldham

John L. Oldham, 67, formerly of Peculiar, MO, born on February 20, 1949, passed away peacefully at his home on October 8, 2016, surrounded by his family. John served in the US Army and completed multiple tours in VietNam as a Rotary Wing Pilot with the 2/17 Cavalry. His combat commendations were outweighed only by the humbleness of his own achievements. To say he was a hero simply doesn’t do justice to the impact he had on so many lives. After service, he flew aero medical transport in Omaha, Kansas City, and Des Moines until retiring in 2011. One of the many memorable moments during this time of his career was in January 1988. The task at hand was to move the aircraft from the helipad to allow another one to land in its place. Unfortunately, there was a malfunction in the gears and he was forced to steer away from the hospital, landing upside down a few feet away from the helipad. Aside from some bumps and bruises, he and the flight nurse who had been in the seat next to him escaped without injury. The 4-year old aircraft was not so lucky and had to be replaced. When asked if he had any emotional reaction to the accident, he said he had not. He replied only that he was “suffering from a lack of flying’. John was a self-proclaimed bachelor who was quick to share the fact the he didn’t care all that much for kids or cats. When he fell in love with Anita at their 20-year class reunion, he realized she had two of both. Not one to avoid a challenge, he proposed anyway and they were married January 31, 1988. John and Anita had known each other since elementary school so it was no surprise that it was meant to be. The rest, as he would say, is history. He survived the trials and tribulations of parenting teenagers – Lisa and Sean. (To his dismay, the cats lived well into their teens, too.) He spent most of those years turning almost every situation into a teaching moment. Some took the first time, others needing repeating. The one lesson the kids have learned to be the most valuable is that he always faced a problem head-on. That, in turn, is being passed on to his five grandchildren who absolutely adored him and seemed to hang on his every word. Some legacies are built by people who want to be remembered. Others occur naturally as an everlasting tribute to someone who simply cannot be forgotten. We will miss you! John is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Trudy Oldham; and sister, Wanda Oldham. He is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Anita; daughter, Lisa (Chad); son, Sean (Dixie); five grandchildren: Chase, Damen, Samantha, Damitri, and Chris; sister, Viola (Tom); and two nieces, Michelle (Kevin) and Stephanie; and numerous close friends. A MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held Saturday, October 22nd at 1:00pm at Bellevue Memorial Chapel, 2202 Hancock St, Bellevue, NE. The family suggests memorials be directed to the Wounded Warrior Project or the National Rifle Association.

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