Obituary Listings

Richard Wood Maffry

November 18, 1917 April 23, 2005
Richard Wood Maffry
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Obituary for Richard Wood Maffry
Richard Wood Maffry, age 87 of Altus, Oklahoma passed away Saturday, April 23, 2005, at his home in Altus, Oklahoma, with his loving wife and daughter by his side. He was born November 18, 1917, in Moberly, Missouri to Christian and Icyoda (Wood) Maffry of Macon, Missouri.
Richard graduated from high school in 1936 and enlisted in Battery D of the 128th Field Artillery unit, Harry Truman's WWI outfit. After a year at Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri and the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in July 1938. he graduated on May 29, 1942 ranking 156 out of 374 in his class. he chose Infantry, but took flight training, warning his wings in November 1942. during fight training he meet his future wife, Dorothy Dailey, and they were married in Fort Worth, Texas on December 10, 1942.
He was assigned to B-26s and flew them to Del Rio, Texas and MacDill and Lakeland, Florida, when they formed the 344th Bomb Group. They picked up new aircraft at Charleston, South Carolina and flew then to England and Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Georgetown, Recife, ascension Island, Dakar and Marrakech. he flew missions over Europe, including two trips to Omaha Beach on D Day, June 6, 1044. with the war in Europe ending shortly after he left, he received orders to the War Department General Staff, in Washington,, D.C.
When the Air Force separated from the Army in 1947, he was assigned to the newly formed Missile Division where he served until 1949. He later underwent an intensive course in Portuguese at the Army Language School in Monterey, California, and was assigned to Brazil as the USAF Liaison Officer to the Brazilian Air Force Academy.
he returned to the missile business at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, where he trained two squadrons to employ the Matador Missile, designated the B-61 pilotless bomber, a surface to surface missile with an atomic warhead capability. He took command of the 69th Pilotless Bomber Squadron and deployed it to Hahn Air Force Base, Germany in 1954. He transferred to the 60th troop Carrier Wing at Rhein-Main, Germany and later to Dreux Air Force Base, France, flying C-119 and C-123 aircraft.
Richard then was assigned as Professor of Air Science at the University of Rochester, New York and then to Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma to supervise the construction of twelve hardened silos for the Atlas F Intercontinental Missile. When these silos were completed, he became the Deputy Air Base Commander and retired in 1963.
In retirement he operated two motels, a travel agency, a car rental service and continued flying. Richard started a commuter airline service, Altus Airlines, to Dallas and Oklahoma City. On the evening of February 20, 1970, he was returning to Altus from Dallas with four passengers. His engine quit and he "dead Sticked" the aircraft into a wheat field near Nacona, Texas. During the crash, his head hit the instrument panel, injuring his left eye. The passengers were not hurt. He has been without sight in that eye ever since, ending his pilot days.
Richard later became an instructor at Altus Junior College, now Western Oklahoma State College. In addition to teaching income tax, Spanish and Real Estate, he started an Aviation Ground School. Later a pilot was hired and the Maffry's furnished the college with three aircraft so the aviation program was fully activated. In February of 1999, the college designated a portion of the college as the Maffry Aviation Center.
In 1991 the Maffry's spent six weeks at West Point installing a 432 nich Columbarium, a place where ashes of the deceased are interred, in the basement of the Old Cadet Chapel. it was dedicated at their 50th Class reunion in 1992. He also established the Columbarium in the Garden of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Altus where he was a faithful, dedicated member for many years.
Dick became active in real estate and had numerous rental units in Altus and a fleet of cars which he rented. He and his wife Dorothy saw a need and established the Maffry Safehouse for Children in 1987 which has grown and seved the community well. Dick was very involved in his community and served it in many ways. He was a Past President of the Altus Rotary Club from 1963 to 1964.
Dick is survived by his wife, Dorothy, of the home in Altus, OK; one daughter, Dorsay Maffry Monroe and husband David of Lawton, OK; one son, Douglas Kirk Maffry and wife Kathy of Oklahoma City, OK; four grandchildren, Matthew Monroe and wife Lori of Mangum, OK, Michelle Brennan and husband, Mike of Aviano, Italy, David Monroe, III of Lawton, OK, and Douglas Kirk Maffry, Jr. and Christopher Michael Maffry of Oklahoma City, OK; four great-grandchildren, Gabi and Allie Monroe and Mallory and Marissa Brennan; a sister-in-law, Jane Ann Smith of Nashville, Tn; a cousin, Don Maffry and wife Nancy of Maccon, MO; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents and one son, Christian Norman Maffry.
Burial Office and Inurnment Services for Richard Wood Maffry, long time Altus resident, have been scheduled for 10:00 am, Saturday, April 30, 2005, at the St. Paul's Episcopal Church with the Reverend Haynes Dugan officiating. Lowell-Tims Funeral Home is in charge of Arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family request that memorials be made to St. Paul's Episcopal Church Endowment Fund.
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