EJ Slemmons, 81, of Greenville passed away at home Feb. 21, 2013.
EJ was born June 27, 1931, to EJ and Wilma Ross Slemmons in Lone Oak.
EJ was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years Catherine Bremner Slemmons of Port McNicoll, Ontario, his father in 1936, his mother in 2000 and stepfather Retus Martin and one brother Robert Slemmons.
EJ is survived byhis sister Jean Ann Turner of McKinney, four children son Ted (Becky) of Lufkin, daughter Bonnie Dooley (Timothy) and son David of Greenville and son Scott (Cheryl) of Richardson, six grandchildren; Dawn and Colleen Dooley,Jeremy Slemmons (Betsy), Stephanie Slemmons Cole (Kyle) and two great-grandchildren Castin and Major Slemmons and numerous nieces and nephews.
He attended East Texas State Teachers college from 1948-1951, graduating with a masters degree in Agriculture Sciences after his career in the Air Force.
He proudly served our country as an officer in the United States Air Forcejoining in 1952.
Beginning with pilot training in Alabama, he served in the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Kindley AFB, Bermuda flying WB-50D Superfortresses as a Hurricane Hunter making 42 penetrations into tropicalstorms and hurricanes over the Atlantic Ocean.
He was assigned to Ladd AFB in Fairbanks Alaska flying to the North Pole 119 times. Assignments
followed at air force bases in Tacoma Wash., Sacramento, Calif., and Altus, Okla. where he worked on the development of the Atlas ICBM missle system.
Further assignments in Minot, N.D. and Barksdale AFB in Bossier City, LA where he was base operations officer. He served two tours during the Viet Nam war in Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahon, Thailand providing combat support for bombing missions for operations and flying recon missions in south east Asia.
He retired at the rank of Major in 1972 to return home and raise his family in Greenville.
During his time in Greenville he became an expert on antiques, and he was an insurance agent for Bankers Life, a heavy equipment salesman for John Deere and Plains equipment and a rancher on a small ranch north of Greenville.
He was a devoted father providing unwavering support for his family no matter the challenge including caring for an infant in Fairbanks, Alaska while his wife attended another child who was gravely ill in Anchorage Alaska. In his senior years he helped care for an adult child with a severe disability.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be sent to Hunt County Shared Ministries or Central Christian Church.
Graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Hall Cememtery in Hunt County. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Lynch Funeral Service in Greenville, which is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be made at www. lynchfuneralservice.com or www.heraldbanner.com.