Henry (Hank) Rodahaver (November 17, 1921 - February 11, 2022)

In loving memory of
Henry (Hank) Rodahaver
  • November 17, 1921
  • -
  • February 11, 2022

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Obituary

 

HENRY (HANK) RODAHAVER, 100, flew his “final takeoff to that great Hangar in the Sky” on February 11, 2022 at his home in Summerfield, Florida (Del Webb Spruce Creek Golf and Country Club).  He was born in Somerfield, Pennsylvania on November 17, 1921 to WILLIAM RODAHAVER AND BESSE RODAHAVER.

Henry is survived by ELIZABETH (“BETH”) RODAHAVER, his wife of 33 ½ years,   his daughter, JUDY KEMP of Summerland Key, Florida, his step-daughter, Malia Waldheim and her husband Scott of Georgia and grandsons.  Henry and Beth Rodahaver lived at Love’s Landing Aviation Community before moving to Del Webb Spruce Creek Golf and County Club.

HENRY (HANK) RODAHAVER was an ardent aviation enthusiast.  His life was impassioned by aviation.  At age 4 (four) he looked into the cockpit of a Curtiss Jenny.  At age 5, he heard Lindbergh made it.   In 1933, HENRY took his first airplane ride in a Ford Tri-Motor.  Henry had to be a pilot, so in 1940, at age 18, he started lessons and soloed in his first love, “a little yellow J-3 Cub.”

His first aviation job was with Fairchild Aircraft Factory in Hagerstown, Maryland building PT 19 airplanes.  Shortly afterwards he joined Dick Henson War Training Service.   Henry was accepted in the Civilian Pilot Training Program and got his private pilot’s certificate.  Henry joined the US ARMY AIR CORPS and was a World War II Veteran.

HENRY RODAHAVER was a building block when commercial aviation was in its infancy.  He worked for TWA and later DuPont and others started All American Airways.  This airline was his lifelong career commitment.  He started there in 1949 and then it became Allegheny Airlines, USAIR AND USAIRWAYS and retired after almost 40 years.

During his career Henry worked as a Mechanic, Lead Mechanic and Inspector. That was just some of his career, but then there was retirement.  AVIATION AND LOVE OF AVIATION WAS HIS LIFE.  Throughout retirement he flew, instructed student pilots and restored airplanes.  He had a private pilots’ license, a commercial pilot’s license, an instructor’s license and a Power and Airframe license.    His notable restorations were a Fairchild PT 26, a Piper Stinson 108-3 and a Piper J-3 Clip Wing Experimental Cub.

HENRY RODAHAVER Received numerous awards:  (1.) EAA Alexandria, Virginia Chapter for his J-3 Cub, which was licensed as an Experimental Airplane (2.) was recipient of the FAA “Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award” (3.) recipient of the FAA “Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award” (4.) is honored in the UdvarHazy CenterSmithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the “Wall of Honor” (5.) Sen. Baxley issued a Proclamation on November 17, 2021 marking Hank’s 100th Birthday at a huge celebration organized by the Del Webb Spruce Creek Golf and Country Club Veterans Association.

HENRY (“HANK”) RODAHAVER’S life has now gone full circle and is completed.  The Del Webb Spruce Creek Golf and Country Club Veteran’s Association arranged for HENRY RODAHAVER to once again pilot “a little yellow J-3 Cub” at age 100.  It was three (3) “touch and go’s and now HENRY RODAHAVER has flown higher still, beyond the bonds of Earth.

 

“HIGH FLIGHT”

“OH, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds- and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of- wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence.  Hovering there,

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air….

UP, UP the long, delirious burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, or ever eagle flew-

And, while with silent, lifting mind, I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand AND TOUCHED THE FACE OF GOD.-

                          (John Gillespie Magee, Jr.)

 

A Memorial Service will be held at Florida National Cemetery, at a later date.

 


Tribute Wall

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  1. Robert Jex says:
    03 Mar 2022
    Judy,
    Your Dad, in receiving his Master Pilot and Master Mechanic Awards, joined an extraordinarily exclusive assembly of aviation professionals. I was honored to publicly introduce your father at his Master Pilot Award ceremony at Sun-n-Fun, and in so doing, made a life-long friend in you! Deepest sympathies for your loss.

  2. Paul Prue says:
    02 Mar 2022
    Judy,
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. This world would be a much better place if there were more men like him. I know you have soooo many fond memories and stories. Share them as often as you can.
    Thank you for your service Sir and may you Rest in Peace.

  3. Lee Blankenship posted an image:
    01 Mar 2022
    Bob doing Hanks Avionics introduction to Miss Lee.
    Bob doing Hanks Avionics introduction to Miss Lee.

  4. Lee Blankenship posted an image:
    01 Mar 2022
    I'm putting on Hanks LBA Cap
    I'm putting on Hanks LBA Cap

  5. Lee Blankenship posted an image:
    01 Mar 2022
    Group Picture
    Group Picture

  6. Lee Blankenship posted an image:
    01 Mar 2022
    Hank receiving an LBA cap.
    Hank receiving an LBA cap.

  7. Lee Blankenship says:
    01 Mar 2022
    Beth,
    It was an Honor to have known Hank. He had such a great smile. I have that image if him flying my Cub and he will be forever in my thoughts. It was one of the Greatest Highlights of Bob's Career as a Pilot to take Hank up flying. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and you both are so loved by this community. God's blessings to you both!!

  8. Dara Oliver says:
    21 Feb 2022
    Beth - we are so sad to hear of Hank’s passing. Kevin, me and all of Love’s Landing are here for you! He was a blessing to us and a great friend & a pilot that truly enjoyed life. We were honored to be at his 100th birthday party. He will be missed terribly by all who knew him.

  9. Dara Oliver posted an image:
    21 Feb 2022
    The Love’s Landing Cheering Squad for Hank’s 100th Birthday Flight
    The Love’s Landing Cheering Squad for Hank’s 100th Birthday Flight

  10. Dara Oliver posted an image:
    21 Feb 2022
    Hank shaking hands with Bobby Blankenship (owner & Pilot) who took Hank for his 100th Birthday flight and 3 landings at Love’s Landing Aviation Community
    Hank shaking hands with Bobby Blankenship (owner & Pilot) who took Hank for his 100th Birthday flight and 3 landings at Love’s Landing Aviation Community

  11. Dara Oliver posted an image:
    21 Feb 2022
    Hank getting ready to fly on his 100th Birthday in this beautiful Piper Cub
    Hank getting ready to fly on his 100th Birthday in this beautiful Piper Cub

  12. Dara Oliver posted an image:
    21 Feb 2022
    Pilots & Friends: Bob Blankenship, Kevin Oliver & Hank at his 100th Birthday Celebration
    Pilots & Friends: Bob Blankenship, Kevin Oliver & Hank at his 100th Birthday Celebration

  13. Dara Oliver posted an image:
    21 Feb 2022
    Kevin & Dara Oliver with Hank & Beth Rodahaver at the Love’s Landing Fly-In
    Kevin & Dara Oliver with Hank & Beth Rodahaver at the Love’s Landing Fly-In

  14. Dara Oliver posted an image:
    21 Feb 2022
    Hank (almost 100 years old) sitting on Kevin Oliver’s almost 100 year old Indian PowerPlus with Sidecar
    Hank (almost 100 years old) sitting on Kevin Oliver’s almost 100 year old Indian PowerPlus with Sidecar

  15. RICHARD MAINS says:
    20 Feb 2022
    I have so many wonderful memories of your Dad, you and I when we were young. The adventures and fun we had!
    Sorry for your loss Judy. He will be missed. Richard Mains

  16. Paul & Kathy Belosh says:
    19 Feb 2022
    Dear Judy,
    What a life on this earth that your father experienced. He certainly was one person who showed many how to live and soar above the crowds. May he Rest In Peace and please know that we send our condolences and our love. Please stay in touch and know we appreciate your friendship. Paul & Kathy Belosh

  17. JUDY KEMP posted an image:
    18 Feb 2022
    HENRY RODAHAVER J-4 CUB
    HENRY RODAHAVER J-4 CUB

  18. JUDY KEMP posted an image:
    18 Feb 2022
    HENRY RODAHAVER CESSNA 172C
    HENRY RODAHAVER CESSNA 172C

  19. JUDY KEMP posted an image:
    18 Feb 2022
    HENRY RODAHAVER SHOPPING
    HENRY RODAHAVER SHOPPING

  20. JUDY KEMP posted an image:
    18 Feb 2022
    HENRY RODAHAVER FLYING
    HENRY RODAHAVER FLYING

  21. JUDY KEMP posted an image:
    18 Feb 2022
    HENRY RODAHAVER EATING STONE CRAB CLAWS
    HENRY RODAHAVER EATING STONE CRAB CLAWS

  22. JUDY KEMP posted an image:
    18 Feb 2022
    HENRY RODAHAVER FLYING CESSNA 150
    HENRY RODAHAVER FLYING CESSNA 150

  23. Ken and Kristi Ayers says:
    18 Feb 2022
    Our prayers and love are with you Judy.
    Ken & Kristi

  24. Robert Toth says:
    18 Feb 2022
    Judy, you have my condolences on the loss of your father. He was a great guy, we spent many years together at Allegheny , USAIRWAYS, and out just playing with the little ones. My friend Hank will be greatly missed. He is probably checking out God on how to do dope and fabric. Bob

  25. Craig Burkhard says:
    18 Feb 2022
    Very sad news to hear about the passing of your father, our sincere condolences to you and his family.
    Craig and Tony

  26. Chi Chi Metz says:
    17 Feb 2022
    Judy, I am so saddened to hear about the loss of your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I want to offer my sincere condolences. Wish I could give you a hug.

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