FORT WORTH, Texas -- Hilmere John "HJ" Deines, 72, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, died Friday, Jan. 9, 2004, in Fort Worth, Texas.
HJ was born Dec. 27, 1931, in Culbertson to John and Henrietta Deines, who preceded him in death. He retired from the Air Force after 22 years.
HJ graduated from Culbertson High School and entered the Air Force in August 1954 as a second lieutenant, after receiving his commission through ROTC at the University of Nebraska. He served most of his career in the Strategic Air Command as a crew member in both bomber aircraft and missiles. He also saw duty as an instructor navigator in the Air Training Command and served three Southeast Asia tours in Thailand and Vietnam.
HJ received many awards, including the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross. During his final tour of duty at Carswell AFB, he served as a B-52 radar navigator and chief of the Alert Management Section.
After retirement HJ was a Century 21 real estate agent. He was a member of Christ Lutheran Church and Aerospace Optimist Club.
Survivors include his wife, Elaine; son, Dr. John Deines and wife, Karen of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; daughters, Mary Jane Morris (Gerry) of Greenville, Susan Deines and Elizabeth Salisbury of Lincoln, Ruth Heitman (Lee) of Omaha, Laura Deines of Lincoln; step-children, Dwaine Crowe of Fort Worth, Holle Litz of Magalia, Calif., sisters, Marguerite King (Dan) of LaGrange, Ill., Sharon Sabala (Tony) of Scottsbluff, June Brown (Calvin) of Eugene, Ore., Florence Fisher (Jerry) of Rushville; 10 grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and extended family members.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Lutheran Church Building Fund or a charity of your choice.