Brother John deLafosse Enters Chapter Eternal

Eta Iota founding brother John deLafosse passed away today, December 13th, after a battle with cancer.

John deLafosse

John was one of Eta Iota’s founding brothers, initiated on it’s founding date March 6, 1971 as rollbook number 2.
The final entry on John’s page reads:



Dearest Friends and Family,

John has taken his last flight west. He died Tuesday, December 13 at 1340 in Beaufort, SC, just
a mile or so from his storied Parris Island. We were all with him when he left: his daughters,
Malissa and Lindsey, and their husbands, Rob and Chris were at his bedside with me. He was
listening to Michael Buble’s “Home” when he left us.

John was given compassionate and gentle care in his final days and he will be cremated this
week. He had long insisted he wanted no memorial service and we are honoring that request. As
a family, we will gather at Kill Devil Hills, NC and scatter his ashes; a fitting tribute, we think,
to a man who simply loved to fly.

John was born on August 28, 1947 in Odessa, TX and grew up in the Texas Panhandle,
graduating from Tascosa High in Amarillo in 1965. That’s where he began washing and gassing
airplanes in exchange for flying lessons.

He spent his freshman year at Texas Tech, joining the U.S. Marine Corps as a Reservist and
graduating from boot camp at Parris Island Marine Corps Depot on November 4, 1966. He
always claimed that the Marines taught him lessons he used all of his life and he was “proud to
claim the title of U.S. Marine.” One of our simple pleasures, living here in Bluffton, was driving
over to Parris Island frequently to attend the graduations held on the parade deck. John loved
shaking hands with those newly minted Marines and thanking them for their service.

He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach where he was a
Founding Father of the Eta Iota chapter of Sigma Chi. He was also a campus Flight Instructor
and trained many students who would become lifelong friends as he moved into commercial

Flying for Zantop, Ozark, TWA, Piedmont, and US Airways, John flew everything from a DC-
6 to a Fairchild, a DC-9 (“if you’re going to hit the ground, you want to do it in a DC-9”), a
737, MD-80, F-100, and F-28. His favorite time in the industry was as an Instructor Pilot on the
Airbus 319/320 in Charlotte, NC for US Airways. He was a superb instructor.

After enduring endless furloughs, John’s flying career finished with stints at CitationAir and
NetJets, and finally, as a private pilot on a Citation-XL for D.E. Rice Construction Co. in Borger,
TX. He came full circle, back to the Texas Panhandle, still doing what he loved.

John had two wishes for his life: to live long enough to raise his daughters and to fly until he
died. Both were granted and he was a happy man. Professed to Christ, John was at peace with
himself. I was truly blessed to be married to him for 20 years. No one has ever made me laugh so

If anyone wishes to honor him, donations may be made to the Jasper Animal Rescue Mission
(JARM), P.O. Box 1179, Ridgeland, SC 29936, where we volunteered. He was a staunch
supporter of our 2nd Amendment rights and gifts can also be made to the NRA at 11250 Waples
Mill Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030.

Please forward this to those folks who knew him that I may not know. Thank you all so very
much for your love, your kind words and your prayers.

I will leave you with this: one of the things John used to say to our daughters as they were
leaving the house each day was, “Don’t forget to sing along and have a good time!” I think he
would say that to all of us now.


33 Catamaran Lane
Bluffton, SC 29909

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