Jack George Flukinger, Jr.
b: October 27, 1948
d: June 27, 2018
Jack began his journey in this world on October 27, 1948 and took his last flight home to join his parents on June 27, 2018. Born to Jack, Sr. and Shirley Ann Flukinger in Andrews, Texas. Jack Jr. remembered living in oil field camps as a young boy as his dad was a master electrician in the oilfield. He loved to tell many stories of his early life in Andrews and of hunting, fishing, and hiking. He was an avid Boy Scout, reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. In his youth Jack also served as an altar boy in the local catholic church. He excelled in many sports in school, his favorite being baseball. Jack graduated from Andrews High School in 1966 and enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin on a sports scholarship.
After his first year of college, Jack enlisted in the US Army and reported for Basic Training at Fort Polk Louisiana. He was sent to flight school at Fort Wolters, received training for helicopters, and fixed wing planes. Thus began a long love with flying. While in the military, Jack served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a combat helicopter pilot and commander ultimately receiving the rank of Warrant Officer 4. Though not one to discuss his military career, military records show an impressive array of medals: Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Army Aviator Badge, Vietnam Service Medal with Four Bronze Service Stars, Air Medal with Numerals/37, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Jack also served as instructor pilot at Fort Wolters until his discharge in 1973.
After leaving the military, Jack began a lifelong career of flying. His flight career included employment with the Forestry service in New Mexico relocating to south Louisiana to fly helicopters offshore, often rescuing oil crews during hurricane evacuations. He continued to fly the southern Louisiana area as a seaplane salesman of oilfield equipment. When the oil industry slumped, Jack returned to west Texas in the 1980s when his mother became ill. After a brief time of working in sales, Jack returned to the air as a pipeline and production fields pilot, covering Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Jack absolutely loved flying and confessed he felt closer to God while in the air and spoke of his conversations with God while in the air. Due to failing health and his first experience with cancer, Jack was forced into early retirement from Brentco Aerial Patrols.
Jack asked a short blond gal to watch fire works with him on July 4, 1986 that began a 31 year romance with the love of his life and soul mate, Sharon. He was an avid fly fisherman, often fishing off the pontoons of his seaplane. He and Sharon made several trips to Colorado to fly fish and enjoy the majestic mountain scenery.
Jack and Sharon relocated from Odessa to Bryan in 2007 after the birth of his granddaughter, Emma. She was his other “favorite girl” and they created quite a tight bond over the years. Her Papaw will be greatly missed.
Jack’s additional loves were working puzzles and brainteasers such as Sudoku, and visiting relatives in Olney, Texas, and Cajun food from his love of south Louisiana. During good health, he loved working in his yard and took pride in his landscaping. From his youth, Jack loved dogs and enjoyed the company and unconditional love they offered. They returned his love in obvious ways.
Jack’s health deteriorated after retirement, facing numerous problems with cancer. He fought valiantly when it resurfaced this year.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include his wife Sharon; son, Jack III and wife Marion; son, Kelly and wife Felicia; and two granddaughters. He has two sisters, Susan Bond and husband Mike; and Sandra Edge. He has numerous nieces and nephews, and an extended family that loved him very much. He will also be missed immensely by his fur babies Rhueler, Missi, Sam, and Sofie.
To honor Jack’s life, his family has planned a visitation from noon to 2 pm on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at Hillier Funeral Home in Bryan. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation in Jack’s name can be made to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) or the Disabled American Veterans (www.dav.org).