Michael G. Major



Preferred Name: 
Mike

Nickname/Call Sign:

Date of Birth: April 16, 1940 (September 3, 2017)

Highest Military Grade Held: Colonel

Hometown: Ellensberg, WA

Biography

Units Assigned

  • 81st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Hahn AB, Germany
  • 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron/3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100, 200 missions)

Awards & Decorations

 Distinguished Flying Cross (with Valor Device)
Air Medals (14)

Flight Info

F-100
F-104
F-4
F-16
Flight Hours: 3600 hours

Military Education

Civilian Education

Colonel Michael G. Major (USAF Ret.) – Headed West, September 3, 2017
Michael G. Major Obituary
Michael G. Major, of Reno NV, passed away peacefully on September 3rd, after a yearlong fight with cancer. Mike was born in Ellensburg, WA on April 16, 1940 to the late Mickey and Ken Major. He attended Ellensburg HS and was a standout student and athlete, and remained very close with all his classmates in the EHS Class of 1958. He was an honor graduate from the US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO on Jun 1962, and was commissioned in the Regular AF and was competitively selected to become a fighter pilot.
In his 23+ years of service, he flew over 3600 hours in the F-100, F-104, F-4, and F-16. He served 2 combat tours in Vietnam and amassed 200+ combat missions and earned a Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor and 14 Air Medals. Additionally, he served 2 tours in South Korea and 2 tours in Europe among numerous other stateside billets. He commanded at the squadron and wing levels, and was loved and respected by all he served with. He retired in 1985 as a full Colonel and hired as a Program Manager at Northrop-Grumman Aerospace Company in Los Angeles, CA, where he led numerous large-scale international military aircraft refurbishment and development programs. Upon his second retirement in 2000, he moved to Reno, NV where he enjoyed golf, snow skiing, fishing and a large, very close group of special friends. As a volunteer with the Reno Air Races for 15 years, he rose through the ranks becoming the Air Race President and also CEO for two years until he retired in 2015.
Mike’s joyous spirit and love of life will be remembered forever by his beloved wife Patti of Reno NV, daughter Dana Hyland and her husband Kevin of Fort Collins, CO; son Mike Major and his wife Renee of Louisville, KY; step-daughter Kim Sweazy of Tampa FL; step-son Scott Riedenauer of Los Angeles, CA; 9 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Additionally, he leaves behind countless friends from his youth in Ellensburg, USAFA classmates, all his assignments and his beloved Reno. His infectious smile, his quick wit and the twinkle in his eye will be missed by all he knew. Mike never met a stranger and lived his life with a heart of service, sacrifice, and dedication to all he knew.
A Celebration of Life was held at the US Air Force Academy on October 8th.  He [was] laid to rest in the US Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, CO.  Friends of Mike and Patti [were] welcome to attend any of these events and celebrate Mike’s life like he would want—lots of laughs, lots of love and living life to the fullest!
 

Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Sept. 21, 2017

Biography

Biography

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 81st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Hahn AB, Germany
  • 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron/3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100, 200 missions)

Awards & Decorations

 Distinguished Flying Cross (with Valor Device)
Air Medals (14)

Flight Info

F-100
F-104
F-4
F-16
Flight Hours: 3600 hours

Military Education

Civilian Education

Photos
Headed West
Colonel Michael G. Major (USAF Ret.) – Headed West, September 3, 2017
Michael G. Major Obituary
Michael G. Major, of Reno NV, passed away peacefully on September 3rd, after a yearlong fight with cancer. Mike was born in Ellensburg, WA on April 16, 1940 to the late Mickey and Ken Major. He attended Ellensburg HS and was a standout student and athlete, and remained very close with all his classmates in the EHS Class of 1958. He was an honor graduate from the US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO on Jun 1962, and was commissioned in the Regular AF and was competitively selected to become a fighter pilot.
In his 23+ years of service, he flew over 3600 hours in the F-100, F-104, F-4, and F-16. He served 2 combat tours in Vietnam and amassed 200+ combat missions and earned a Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor and 14 Air Medals. Additionally, he served 2 tours in South Korea and 2 tours in Europe among numerous other stateside billets. He commanded at the squadron and wing levels, and was loved and respected by all he served with. He retired in 1985 as a full Colonel and hired as a Program Manager at Northrop-Grumman Aerospace Company in Los Angeles, CA, where he led numerous large-scale international military aircraft refurbishment and development programs. Upon his second retirement in 2000, he moved to Reno, NV where he enjoyed golf, snow skiing, fishing and a large, very close group of special friends. As a volunteer with the Reno Air Races for 15 years, he rose through the ranks becoming the Air Race President and also CEO for two years until he retired in 2015.
Mike’s joyous spirit and love of life will be remembered forever by his beloved wife Patti of Reno NV, daughter Dana Hyland and her husband Kevin of Fort Collins, CO; son Mike Major and his wife Renee of Louisville, KY; step-daughter Kim Sweazy of Tampa FL; step-son Scott Riedenauer of Los Angeles, CA; 9 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Additionally, he leaves behind countless friends from his youth in Ellensburg, USAFA classmates, all his assignments and his beloved Reno. His infectious smile, his quick wit and the twinkle in his eye will be missed by all he knew. Mike never met a stranger and lived his life with a heart of service, sacrifice, and dedication to all he knew.
A Celebration of Life was held at the US Air Force Academy on October 8th.  He [was] laid to rest in the US Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, CO.  Friends of Mike and Patti [were] welcome to attend any of these events and celebrate Mike’s life like he would want—lots of laughs, lots of love and living life to the fullest!
 

Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Sept. 21, 2017

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