Capt. Johnnie R. Flowers Jr.
Captain Johnnie R Flowers Jr. flew West early Wednesday on March 9, 2016. Johnnie is survived by his wonderful wife of over 58 years, Shirley Ann Hadden Flowers; son, Neal Gaston Flowers and his wife, Kate Jung of San Francisco; daughter, Karen Flowers Maddry and husband Lawrence of Richmond, VA; and sisters, Ernestine Holland of Virginia and Elva Whitley of Kenly.
Dad’s love for flying began at the age of 15, in 1945, following an airplane ride at the local county fair. Captain Johnnie Flowers Jr was the son of a tobacco farmer from a small rural town, Kenly, North Carolina. After that initial county fair ride, Dad began taking flying lessons then joined the United States Air Force in 1952 where he manned the controls of the B-29. Dad flew B-29s refueling F84's. Then in 1957, Dad left the Air Force for Piedmont Airlines. Piedmont Airlines was the only civilian company Dad ever work for (or wanted to work for) and he retired after 32 years of service in 1989, six months early ahead of the pending USAIR merger. He started his Piedmont flying career on DC3’s, then Martin 404s, Fairchild F27, YS11, Boeing 737, and he finally retired on the Boeing 727. The only thing my Father loved more than his Family was Piedmont Airlines. Tom Davis, founder of Piedmont Airlines, set a standard and we all tried to live our lives to uphold that standard. Piedmont Airlines provided amazing opportunities for our family and we will be always grateful. My Sister, Karen Flowers, continues to carry forward the Pilot legacy as she is a co-pilot on the A320 Airbus with USAIRWAYS, now American Airlines. On behalf of my Mother, Shirley, and Sister Karen, we are eternally grateful for the wonderful people we have met ,the opportunities and experiences we have had through Dad’s career with Piedmont Airlines.
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