Colorado Springs, CO
- Lt. Col. Richard A. Tokarz, born and raised in Eastport, died in Colorado Springs, CO, on September 9, 2016, from complications of interstitial lung disease.
A career Air Force officer, he piloted SAC refueling tankers from Dow A.F.B. in 1968-1969, then transitioned to RF-4C "Phantom" jets in which he flew 176 tactical reconnaissance missions from Udorn RTAFB, Thailand. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 8 OLCs, Meritorious Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and others.
While on active duty, Col. Tokarz earned a B.S. in history from the U. Nebraska-Omaha, an M.A. in human development from George Washington University, and an M.A. in public administration from Golden Gate University. After retiring from the Air Force in 1973, he held several civilian positions including as associate administrator of the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton Roads, VA. An enthusiastic bridge player, he also remained active in aviation and belonged to the Air Force Association, Military Officer's Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, and the Quiet Birdmen.
He was predeceased by his parents, Ruth and Joe Tokarz of Calais; his first wife, Mary (Wilson) and their son, William. He is survived by his second wife, Joan (Bement), stepdaughter Cary and husband Kevan Kelly, and grandson Max, all of Colorado Springs; two sons from his first marriage, Thomas and James and wife Jessica, of Yorktown, VA; sister Linda Tokarz of Greenbelt, MD; half-brothers John Severy of Auburn and Dick Severy of Poland; brother-in-law and wife, Kent and Mary Wilson of Lexington, VA; several nieces and nephews, and many friends.
Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery on February 2, 2017. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Military Officer's Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 320910, Alexandria, VA 22320.