SSS Member Col. Albert J. DeGroote (USAF Ret.) “Headed West” April 17, 2020
Col. Albert J. DeGroote (USAF Ret.), 87, originally of Philadelphia, PA, passed away, Friday, April 17, 2020, at the Willow Valley Communities in Lancaster, PA. He was the youngest of five children to the late Gilbert DeGroote and Marie Scherpereel DeGroote. His wife of nearly 67 years and the love of his life, Marion Cresson DeGroote, along with their three sons were at his bedside.
Albert served a distinguished career in the United States Air Force for 26 years in various capacities spanning the globe but always considered himself first and foremost a Fighter Pilot. After the Air Force, he continued a corporate aviation career working for both Chester County Aviation and Keystone Foods for another 22 years. As his career closed, he maintained close relationships with many of his fellow aviators and was active in the Super Sabre Society and the Order of the Daedalians, allowing him to relive his love of flying fighter jets.
He later authored his autobiography “A Flight through Life” and captured his life and love of aviation in his own words:
“It’s one man’s flight through life and it involved some turbulence and even a few lightning strikes. But occasional rough weather is part of the big flight plan and all-in-all it’s been a helluva ride!”
The cover of “A Flight Through Life” features a picture of one of his favorite rides: a North American F-100, part of his 90th Fighter Squadron, which was accessioned into the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy collection where his book was introduced.
In addition to his wife, Marion, Albert is survived by his three sons: Steve DeGroote, husband to Caren, and their children, Nicholas and Jennay of Lewis Center, OH, David DeGroote of Pittsburgh, PA and Douglas DeGroote, husband to Maggie of Issaquah, WA. He is also survived by his brother, Gilbert DeGroote Jr., husband to Catherine Richmond DeGroote of Philadelphia, PA.
Funeral services and interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.
“In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.”
Memorials, Floral Donations instructions and further details can be found at https://www.thegroffs.com/obituaries/Albert-Degroote/#!/Obituary