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July 21, 2015 • Obituaries

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July 21, 2015

Col. USAF (Ret.) Thomas Dale Alexander

Col. USAF (Ret.) Thomas Dale Alexander, 90, passed away on Monday, July 13, 2015 at the Hill Country Care Center in Junction, Texas, with his wife and children by his side. He was born on February 20, 1925 on a farm two miles north of Napoleon, to Monford and Louise Alexander.

Following his graduation from high school in 1943, Tom enlisted in the Army Air Force and was selected to join the pilot training program. He graduated as a single engine pilot with the rank of Second Lieutenant on March 11, 1945, flying the P-51 Mustang. At the end of WWII, Tom was sent to Japan as part of the Japanese Occupational Forces. On his return to the United States, he became an advanced pilot instructor. Tom was sent to Korea when the Korean War started and flew 102 combat missions in the F-80 Shooting Star. Following his service in Korea, Tom was assigned to Air Training Command at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas as an instructor pilot. In Big Spring he met Joyce Beene, an elementary school teacher, and they were married in 1953.

In 1959, he attended the Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, Alabama. Afterwards, he was sent to Laon AFB in France where he flew the RF-101 Voodoo. His next assignment was with the FAA in Washington, D.C. In 1967, Tom was sent to Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. An assignment in Viet Nam followed as commander of a forward air control squadron flying O2’s and OV10’s. Tom returned to the United States in 1969 and was assigned to Shaw AFB in South Carolina flying RF-101 Voodoo. Retirement came in 1975 at Langley AFB in Hampton, Virginia as a Colonel, ending a 32 year flying career. Among the 19 service ribbons and medals received during his years of service are the Legion of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, Meritorious Service Medal, and six Air Medals.

Following his retirement in 1975, Tom and Joyce moved to Junction where Tom held the job of Coordinator of Operations at Texas Tech University at Junction for 13 years, retiring in May, 1990. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Junction Golf Club, and Junction Rotary Club, serving as President and Secretary. He enjoyed participating in the Easter Pageant working as a reader and rock mason. He also enjoyed doing rock work at Texas Tech Junction and his home. At Texas Tech Junction, Tom was an instructor for several Elderhostel classes and participated as a student in numerous classes. He enjoyed interacting with all of the students, professors, and staff.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Monford and Louise K. Alexander, and his older brother, Paul. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Joyce Alexander; his children, Judy Alexander of Mission Viejo, California, Jeri Wise and son-in-law John of Plano, Tim Alexander of Junction, and Ann Hurtte of Junction; six grandsons, Jeffrey and Justin Headle of Mission Viejo, California, SPC Brandt Wise of San Antonio, Capt. Evan Wise of Los Angeles AFB, California, and Cole and Kyle Hurtte of Junction; and sister-in-law, Nell Alexander and family of Napoleon.

Memorial services were held 11 a.m., Saturday, July 18at the First Presbyterian Church in Junction with Rev. Jim and Rev. Laurie Barker officiating. The family invites you to leave a message or memory at by selecting Obituaries. Select “Sign Guestbook” at the top of the individual memorial. Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of the professionals at Kimble Funeral Home 325-446-3076.

James Melvin “Jake” Colen

James Melvin “Jake” Colen, 90, of Canaan, passed away Saturday, July 18, 2015. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 22 at 11 a.m. at the Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre, Madison, with burial in the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery, in Madison. Visitation will be Tuesday, July 21, from 4-8 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. The family requests memorials in memory of Jake to the American Cancer Society, contribution cards are available at the funeral home. Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre 325 Demaree Drive in Madison is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family via the funeral home’s website at

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