David Lawrence Fleming

Col. (Ret) David L. “Dave” Fleming, age 69, of Ocala, Fla., slipped the surly bonds of Earth one last time and passed peacefully into the presence of his Lord on May 1, 2021. Dave was born in Cambridge, England, on April 20, 1952. He was the first born of three children to Maj. Gen. Lawrence Fleming and Margaret (Peg) Fleming. Dave was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Margaret (Missy) McClelland. He is survived by his loving wife, Wanda; brother Patrick Fleming (wife Merlita); daughters Katie (husband Scott), Beth (husband Cory); and 7 grandchildren.

Following graduation from the Academy, Dave served as a weapon systems officer in the RF-4C aircraft in both the U.S. and Pacific before receiving his pilot wings in 1979. After pilot training, he flew the F-111D and F-111E aircraft in the U.S. and European theaters of operation. He was a command pilot with almost 3,000 hours of flying time.

Following an Air Staff tour in the Tactical Division of the Directorate of Current Operations and a command tour flying the T-37B aircraft at the Euro- NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program (ENJJPT) in Texas, he was reassigned to the Pentagon as the NATO liaison officer to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1999, Col. Fleming was then assigned to the U.S. Military Delegation at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In this capacity, he was one of four senior service officers responsible for policy and operational matters requiring close inter-agency coordination in Washington for the NATO Alliance.

In 2002, Col. Fleming completed his Air Force career serving as the director of Operations for the U.S. Air Force ROTC program. In this capacity, he was responsible for the development and execution of all training and education programs for 144 AFROTC detachments across the United States.

Dave retired in 2004 after more than 30 years of active-duty military service. He began a second career in the oil and gas industry with FMC Technologies in Houston, Texas, as the project services manager and operations manager for subsea oil production and exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. Dave continued his immense drive to succeed and always encouraged others to achieve their potential. He finally retired in October 2011 and moved to Scottsdale, Ariz. In Arizona, he began a small business selling and promoting light sport aircraft
in general aviation. Dave became active with the Arizona Pilot’s Association and promoted a scholarship program for youth interested in aviation. He loved flying throughout the southwest with his wife and friends. Later he moved to Florida to be closer to family.

Dave was a devoted loving husband, father, Poppy, brother and friend. Each of us who knew him will remember his thoughtfulness, sense of humor, his loyalty and friendship. He never complained or dwelled on living with stage 4 cancer. He always had a positive outlook and continued through his illness to mentor others through the Survivor2Survivor Program with Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN). His core belief was "service to others before self." He once told me, “cancer allows you to heal your life.” He lived each day as a gift. Though his humor, laughter and knowledge of single malts will be missed, his memories will continue with those who knew him. Dave left his footprints on many hearts through his life’s journey.

Wanda, his wife  |  September 2021

 


 

David L. “Dave” Fleming, Col. USAF (Ret), age 69, of Ocala, FL, slipped the surly bonds and passed into the presence of his Lord on May 1, 2021 in Ocala, Florida after a 3-year battle with cancer.    

Dave was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. He is survived by his loving wife, Wanda of 17 years, daughters Katie (husband Scott), Beth (husband Cory) and 6 grandchildren.    

He was a graduate (1975) of the United States Air Force Academy and served in the United States Air Force more than 30 years. He became a successful businessman in the subsea oil and gas business in Houston, Texas. Dave retired in October 2011 and moved to Scottsdale, AZ. He began a small business selling and promoting light sport aircraft in general aviation. He loved flying throughout the southwest with his wife and friends. Later he moved to Florida to be closer to family. After his diagnosis with bladder cancer, he became active with Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN). He participated in the Survivor2Survivor program with the BCAN to the end of his struggle with cancer. He lived by “service to others before self”.   

Each of us that knew him well will remember his sense of humor, his loyalty and friendship; he will be sorely missed.    

Memorial services will be held at Meadowbrook Church and will be announced on this site.     Dave will be interred at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.   
His wishes were no flowers please and any contributions be directed to HospiceofMarion.com or BCAN.org (Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network).    

Arrangements by Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services Timberridge Chapel, (352) 873-4114.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David L. Fleming please visit our Tribute Store.

Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, Ocala, Florida  |  May 2021

 


 

Rick Layman: Wanda Fleming called this morning (1 May 2021) and told me that Dave “climbed into his jet and flew to touch the face of his God” earlier this morning. Dave had been diagnosed with bladder cancer and had pulled through a very invasive surgical procedure. But as Dave told me, “Cancer is a word – not a sentence.” He maintained a positive outlook throughout his ordeal, buoyed up by the love and support of his darling wife, Wanda, and his abiding faith in God. Dave turned 69 just 10 days ago. It was an honor to be counted among his friends.

 


 

A funeral service will be held on 16 Aug 2021 at 1300 hours at the USAFA Community Center Chapel.  Burial will immediately follow in the USAFA Cemetery. His family has suggested that memorial donations be made to the following charities:

Hospice of Marion County; PO Box 4860; Ocala, FL 34478-4860; (352) 291-5143; donate online here.

Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network; donate online here.

Condolences may be left online at the funeral home website above or they may be sent to his family in care of his wife, Wanda: Mrs. Wanda V. Fleming; 5043 NW 35th Lane Rd; Ocala, FL 34482-4817

Photos

s
   
Remembrances

Dave...set the standard for the rest of us to follow in preparing to serve. He had a wry sense of humor that belied his immense drive to succeed. He is missed by all of us in Cadet Squadron 24. May Dave be enjoying the company of angels and saints.

– Jim Hartney


Dave was an amazing man, husband, father, and Poppy. Each of us that knew him will remember his thoughtfulness, sense of humor, his loyalty and friendship. He never complained or dwelled on living with stage 4 cancer. He always had a positive outlook and continued through his illness to mentor others through the Survivor2Survivor Program with Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network. His core belief was ‘service to others before self’. He once told me; “cancer allows you to heal your life.” He lived each day as a gift. Though his humor, laughter and knowledge of single malts will be missed, his memories will continue with all those who knew him. Dave left his footprints on many hearts through his life’s journey.

– Rick Layman


 


USAFA