David R. Eby, Colonel U.S.A.F. Retired, passed away on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 in Wichita Falls.
Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Friday, November 6, 2015 at the Hampton Vaughan Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow at Crestview Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Thursday evening at Hampton Vaughan Funeral Home.
Eby was born in Lancaster, PA on August 22, 1930 to Ralph W. Eby, Sr. and Caroline S. Eby. He lived on a farm in Paradise, PA until he enlisted in the Air Force in 1951. He graduated from Paradise High School and attended Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. He was an Air Force Aviation Cadet, completed pilot training and was commissioned in March 1953. He married Patricia Jane Smith from Lancaster in Big Spring, TX on March 21, 1953. During his career, he was stationed in Wisconsin, Alaska, South Carolina, England, Thailand, Okinawa and Texas. Eby flew the EB-66 in the South Asia conflict in 1968 and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters. At the time of his Air Force retirement in 1977, he was the Deputy Base Commander at Sheppard A.F.B. Subsequently, he was employed as an agriculture pilot for 20 years by Midwest Aero Service and Flying "V" Air Service. Eby was a part-time employee at Air Tractor working as a test demonstration and instructor pilot from 1979-1997. He was a lifetime member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and an EAA volunteer FAA Designation Airworthiness Representative. He issued 113 airworthiness certificates for experimental aircraft. In 2005, he received the Federal Aviation Administration Wright Brothers "Master Pilot" Award for his contributions to aviation safety. His hobby was building home built airplanes and restoring factory built airplanes, and he assisted other owners in the restoration of their airplanes. A member of the Wichita Fall Radio Control Club, he built and flew radio controlled aircraft from 1958 to 2008, winning a first place trophy for aerobatics at the 1965 National Model Aircraft Contest. Survivors include his wife Patricia of 62 years, a daughter, Jane of Wichita, Kansas, a son Richard of Dallas, Texas and six grandchildren. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Grace Church or Hospice of Wichita Falls. Online condolences can be made at www.hamptonvaughancrestview.com