Captain Joel Buck Stratton flew his final flight West on April 19th. He died of complications from COPD, diabetes, heart disease and pneumonia.
His entire life was devoted to Aviation. He had a successful accid ent-free career while accumulating over 35,000 hours as a commercial airline pilot and over 5,500 hours as a private pilot. At the age of 16 he got his private pilot’s license followed soon after with his in strument rating and then his commercial rating. He joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1944, flying search & rescue, and in 1953 was hired by Capital Airlines. He became a Captain at the age of 27 and was the youngest pilot at Capital to achieve Captain rank. While flying for Capital he flew the Douglas DC-3, DC-4, Lockheed Constellation and Viscount 745. Capital Airlines then merged with United Airlines and he spent the rest of his ca reer as a Captain with United Airlines flying the Douglas DC-6, DC-7, DC-8, and Boeing 747. His last 4 years prior to retirement in 1988 were spent flying a Boeing 747 as Captain from San Francisco to Japan, China, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.
He is sur vived by Judy, his wife and partner of 28 years; son Charles (Julie) and grandson Will of Michigan; daughter Carrie (John) and grandchildren Emily and Jacob of Indiana; half-sister Marion of Wisconsin; many nieces and nephews; and cousin Dick Nourse of Burns Lake. He also leaves his devoted dog Gin and cat Sam.
There is to be no fu ner al serv ice per his re quest but a Cel e bra tion of Life and scat ter ing of his ash es will be held in the sum mer at his be loved home at Fran cois Lake.