Jon R. Staples, Capt USAF, “Headed West” on May 13, 2022.
Jon Robert Staples was born June 11, 1940, in Washington D.C., and grew up in Franklin Park near McLean, Virginia. Jon’s childhood was not one of privilege, and he embraced the values of hard work, perseverance, and integrity to build his future. These values shaped Jon’s entire life and would grow him into an independent, self-reliant, and successful man.
Jon graduated from McLean High School in 1958, having served as class president for three successive years, as well as lettering all three years in football, basketball, and baseball. Jon’s academic and athletic performance earned him entry into the United States Air Force Academy in June, 1958. Jon maintained his level of academic and athletic performance throughout his AFA years and graduated in 1962 as part of the “Red Tags”. From there, Jon entered into the pilot training program at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma where he met the love of his life, Miss Carolyn Hood. After his pilot training, Jon was stationed in Altus, Oklahoma where he served as a B-52 commander pilot for three years.
Jon and Carolyn were married July 31, 1965 while Jon was stationed in Altus. In 1969, Jon completed F-100 fighter pilot training in Phoenix, Arizona and served as a fighter pilot in Vietnam 1969-1970, logging 95 combat missions. While in Vietnam, Jon also volunteered at the Saigon orphanage, and was instrumental in bringing a Vietnamese orphan to the United States to adoptive parents.
Jon’s service awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, five air medals, and three Air Force Commendation medals.
In 1970, after returning from Vietnam, Jon was assigned to the United States Air Force Academy as an Air Officer Commanding (AOC), in charge of the military training of the 6th Squadron. In May of 1973, Jon decided to separate from the Air Force and pursue his own business and personal goals. To this end, Jon established his own real estate company and continued his career until retirement in 1999. His business career included sales of property, land development, commercial development, and home construction. During this time, he also served on the state Division of Wildlife and Operation Game Thief, was chairman of his local Ducks Unlimited Chapter, and various committees as a realtor/broker. During these years, Jon was an avid handball player, hunter, fisherman, and youth soccer coach.
After retirement, Jon and Carolyn lived several years in Montrose, Colorado before returning to the Colorado Front Range. In 2015, due to health considerations, Jon and Carolyn moved to Sun City, Hilton Head, South Carolina. Jon was a devout follower of Christ, and passed into eternal life May 13, 2022.
Survivors include his loving wife, Carolyn, two sons, Steven and Andrew Staples (wife Teresa Staples), sister Nancy Kubasik (husband Steve Kubasik), six grandchildren, six nieces and nephews.
Please join us the for the memorial service and celebration of life for Jon Robert Staples on July 7, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at the memorial pavilion of the US Air Force Academy. Following the service, a reception will be held at the Eisenhower Golf Club on the AFA.
Jon’s family held a celebration of life on July 7, 2022 at the US Air Force Academy with burial after in the USAFA Cemetery.