John (JT) Wolter passed away unexpectedly on Dec 19th, 2008, from complications of a staph infection. He was 55 years old.
John was born in Houston, Texas, though his father’s Air Force career led his family to a number of different states, eventually bringing him to Honolulu where he met Meg Paty, his future bride, at Punahou. After graduating, John chose to attend the Air Force Academy, where he would forge close friendships with his classmates in the Class of 75 and the years surrounding while learning the necessary skills to serve his country.
He and Meg were married in the Air Force Chapel shortly after he graduated from pilot training in 1976. Through various assignments they spent time living in Arizona, the Philippines, Alabama, Virginia, Washington (where their two children were born) and North Dakota, where John served the country as a leader and pilot. He eventually returned to the Academy as a squadron commander in 1985. It was as AOC of the Squadron 16 Chickenhawks that he won the O’Malley Award, given annually to the most outstanding squadron commander.
While serving his country for 14 and a half years, John flew the B-52, C-9, the C-141 and the T-41. When told his flying days were over, John left the service to work for United Airlines, where he flew the 747, 737, and the Airbus 320. He was that rare man who truly loved his job, and his passion for flying was unparalleled. He thrived on travel, being with people, and he relished the breathtaking view of the world afforded by the cockpit (although it was privately suspected that his love for international cuisine was also a major motivating factor in his choice of career).
Perhaps the most defining characteristic of John was his effervescent personality, highlighted by an uncanny ability to become fast friends with complete strangers. He loved good food, funny jokes, and loud music. Among his many passions were books, sushi, exercising, neckties, and the Beatles. His favorite vacation destination was without question the islands of Hawaii, where numerous extended family and copious amounts of local foods awaited him every summer.
Perhaps his greatest passion was twofold: The God he served and the family that had been entrusted him. He became a Christian through an Academy chaplain in his college days, and would come to view spending time with God as his most treasured pursuit. This was apparent in all facets of his life: no sacrifice was too great for those he loved, and his time on earth, at its core, was characterized by an attitude of service. One way this was apparent was in his tireless efforts to bring the Family Life Marriage Conference to Colorado Springs. He and Meg spearheaded this ministry for five years.
He is survived by his wife, Meg, of 32 years, an occupational therapist and family counselor in Colorado Springs; son David, currently studying animation in Los Angeles; and daughter Lindsey, who lives with husband, Tom Elliot, in Seattle. Lindsey and Toms welcomed John’s first grandchild, Greyson Thomas Elliot, into the world this past March. In addition, John is survived by his parents, Col. (Ret) John and Doris Wolter of Lincoln, Neb., and brother Tim Wolter and family of North Carolina.
A memorial was held January 2nd at Village Seven Presbyterian Church, the day after John was buried at USAFA cemetery. Visit his memorial website: jtwolter.lifememorial.com
David Wolter, John’s son | January 2009
John Wolter, 55, passed away Friday, December 19th from complications of a staph infection.
John was born in Houston, Texas, though his father's Air Force career eventually brought him to Honolulu where he met Meg Paty, his future bride. Upon graduation from the Air Force Academy in 1975 and completion of pilot training, he married Meg and they embarked on a 14-year career during which John served his country as a leader and a pilot before eventually returning to the Academy as an Air Officer In Command.
When told his flying days were over, John left the service to work for United Airlines where he flew the 747, 727, and the A320. He was that rare man who truly loved his job. He thrived on travel, being with people, and he relished the breathtaking view of the world afforded by the cockpit. His effervescent personality was highlighted by an uncanny ability to become fast friends with complete strangers.
He loved good food (especially sushi), loud music (especially the Beatles), loud neckties (over 100), and funny jokes (he boasted a treasury rumored inexhaustible). He lived with almost blinding intensity, yet somehow always found time to connect with others. His greatest passion was twofold: The God he served and the family that had been entrusted to him. No sacrifice was too great for those he loved, and his life at its core was characterized by an attitude of service.
He is survived by: Parents, John and Doris, brother Tim and family, wife Meg, son David, and daughter Lindsey and husband Tom Elliott, who await the arrival of John's first grandchild this March. His memorial service will be held 1:00 pm, January 2nd at Village Seven Presbyterian Church.
Colorado Springs Gazette | December 28, 2008
JT had been in the hospital for a couple of days fighting a serious illness and it was just too much for him. He is survived by his wonderful wife, Meg, and their two great kids, David Wolter and Lindsey Wolter Elliot.
– Bentley R.
Mark Wells, Mark Volcheff, and I were able to attend JT’s graveside service at the USAFA cemetery. It was a very small gathering, since the memorial will be Friday at the church. Since the winds have been howling, most of the service was held in the new, glass-enclosed facility erected for just such occasions when the weather makes being outside miserable. Mark Wells presented the flag to Meg after the color-guard folded it with great care. I gave our Class’ condolences to Meg and told her about the toast tonight at 8:15 pm (1975 hrs). She seemed touched and pleased that we plan to remember JT that way. For those who did not know JT well, he was a Christian man of great faith.
– Larry B.
At 8:15 PM tonight CST at the AOG Fund Raiser for the Armed Forces Bowl tomorrow, Terry Young, Jack Shine and I raised our glasses in memory of JT........He was a good man who had a good attitude and lived a memorable life. We will pray for Meg.
– Bill M.
Here’s a toast to our classmate JT Wolter, Gone But Not Forgotten. He is sorely missed.
– David C.
It is 1975 hrs in Falls Church, Va. To JT and every other member of the Class, who has left us too soon.
– John Q.
JT had been elected 9 months ago as the United Pilots Aero Medical Chairman. He expressed his willingness to serve with great passion. He had been grounded for a few years after undergoing open heart surgery. His experience with ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) medical was so positive, that he wanted to volunteer to give something back. He wanted to show his appreciation. JT and his smile will be missed.
– Rick P.
As doolies, JT would buy vinyl LP's from the Cadet Store, listen to them for awhile, then sell them at a discount. Always looking for a deal, I bought several from him. I still have them, with the initials "JT" in electrical tape slivers on the LP.
– Paul K.