Obituaries » Lt. Col. John "Jack" P. Garbe

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Lt. Col. John "Jack" P. Garbe

May 1, 1934 - August 23, 2020

U.S. Veteran
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Garbe, John (Jack) P., Lt. Col. USAF, (Retired)

Age 86 of Lakeville, took off piloting his angel flight on 23 August 2020. Born May 1, 1934, St. Paul, MN to John (Jack) and Mildred Garbe. Graduated St. Paul Central High School 1952. Enlisted in USAF 1953, Aviation Cadet Program receiving his wings and Second Lt. Commission 1955, Vance AFB, OK. Married high school sweetheart, Donna Barber, in May of 1956. Received first Air Force assignment as pilot, Otis AFB, MA (Air Defense Command) where daughters Tracy and Valerie were born, and the family began their Air Force adventure. John’s AF career took him to Loring AFB, ME (SAC); Kadena AFB, Okinawa, Japan and U-Tapao Royal Thai AFB, Thailand (est. Command Posts supporting KC135 and B52 Bomber Viet Nam missions); Norton AFB, CA (Pentagon Office of Inspector General); Minot AFB, ND (Sr. Officer Controller Command Post). During his AF career he completed Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College. As Command Pilot he logged over 7,000 hours flying time and was awarded the Bronze Star, the Air Force Commendation Medal – 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. John retired from the USAF in 1973 after proudly serving his country for 20 years. He then began a 2nd career in the Optometric field working for Dr. Norman Monroe for 20 years, retiring in 1994 to enjoy many years of national and international travel with Donna. John was a quiet, unassuming man who enjoyed country western music, watching football and baseball games, playing golf with his pals Dale and Denny, including the occasional 19th hole margarita – and a brownie or a Baily’s at bedtime. With his AF assignments requiring so many absences, his greatest pleasure was simply spending time with his family and friends. Member of Military Officers Association of America, Local MN MOA Chapter, Bloomington Lions Club. Preceded in death by parents, John (Jack) and Mildred; brother, Michael; sisters-in-law, Mary Garbe and Cindy Garbe. Survived by devoted wife of 64 years, Donna; daughters, Tracy Garbe, Valerie (Steven) Kramer; grandson, Brock Kramer; brothers, Phillip Garbe, Ralph (Peggy) Garbe, Joseph (Sharon) Parron; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Private family service will be held at Henry W. Anderson Mortuary, 14850 Garrett Ave., Apple Valley. COVID NOTICE: Masks must be worn by all who attend the service and interment. Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

Farewell John

MAY YOU ALWAYS HAVE BLUE SKYS STRONG TAIL WINDS AND LONG RUNWAYS