Michael G. Major

5 entries
  • "I was privileged to have worked with Mike for many years at..."
    - Tebbin Salvesen
  • "When I was a child, my parent's were close friends of..."
    - Douglas Driver
  • "Gone too soon !!"
    - Scott Driver
  • "Mike was kind to ALL. He was highly intelligent and..."
    - Kathy Drissel
  • "I was stationed at Hahn Air Base in Germany from 1963-1965...."
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Michael G. Major
April 16th, 1940 - September 3rd, 2017
Michael G. Major, of Reno, NV passed away peacefully on September 3rd, after a year-long fight with cancer. Mike was born in Ellensburg, WA on April 16, 1940 to the late Mickey and Ken Major. He attended Ellensburg HS and was a standout student/athlete, remaining very close with his classmates in the EHS Class of 1958. He was an honor graduate from the US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO in June 1962, and commissioned in the Regular AF and competitively selected to become a fighter pilot. In his 23+ years of service, he flew 3600 hours in the F-100, F-104, F-4, and F-16. He served 2 combat tours in Vietnam and amassed 200+ combat missions earning a Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor, and 14 Air Medals. Additionally, he served 2 tours in South Korea and Europe respectively among numerous other stateside billets. He commanded at the squadron and wing levels, and was loved and respected by all he served with. He retired in 1985 as a full Colonel and hired as a Program Manager at Northrop-Grumman Aerospace Company in Los Angeles, CA, where he led numerous large scale international military aircraft refurbishment and development programs. Upon his second retirement in 2000, he moved to Reno, NV where he enjoyed golf, snow skiing, fishing and a large group of friends. As a volunteer with the Reno Air Races for 15 years, he rose through the ranks becoming the Air Race President and also CEO for two years until he retired in 2015.
Mike's joyous spirit and love of life will be remembered forever by his beloved wife Patti of Reno, NV; daughter Dana Hyland and her husband Kevin of Fort Collins, CO; son Mike Major and his wife Renee of Louisville, KY; step-daughter Kim Sweazy of Tampa, FL; step-son Scott Riedenauer of Los Angeles, CA; 9 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Additionally, he leaves behind countless friends from his youth in Ellensburg, USAFA classmates, all his assignments and his beloved Reno. His infectious smile, his quick wit and the twinkle in his eye will be missed by all he knew. Mike never met a stranger and lived his life with a heart of service, sacrifice and dedication to all he knew.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the US Air Force Academy on October 8th at 2pm. He will be laid to rest in the US Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, CO on Tuesday, October 10th at 10am. All friends of Mike and Patti are welcome, to celebrate Mike's life like he would want-lots of laughs, lots of love and living life to the fullest!

Published in The Gazette on Oct. 1, 2017