COL ROGER BRIAN NASH, U.S. AIR FORCE, (RET.)
March 31, 1950 January 21, 2021
Colonel Roger Brian Nash, USAF, (Ret.) of Monument, Colorado flew west with the angels on January 21, 2021 at the age of 70. After decades of worldwide military assignments and travel, he died near his hometown, completing the circle of his life.
Roger was born on March 31, 1950 in Beaver, Oklahoma to Reola Nash and the late William Nash. He was the second son, being eleven months younger than his brother, Kenny, with whom he always enjoyed competing.
Growing up in Beaver, he was a star basketball and football player (with the preserved film footage to prove it) and graduated as Valedictorian of Beaver High School in 1968. He earned Congressional appointments to both the Naval Academy and the United States Air Force Academy and wisely chose to pursue his future at the latter. Due to the rigorous discipline, high standards of integrity, and the exceptional caliber of his fellow cadets, his time at the Academy had a profound impact on the rest of his life. He graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
He was selected for pilot training in the T-38 at Columbus AFB, Mississippi. His first tactical assignment, after earning his wings, was as a FAC in the OV-10 Bronco at Nakon Phanom AB, Thailand. Returning stateside, he checked out in the A-7 and was assigned to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In 1976, he married up, when Patricia Schnell agreed to be his lifelong wingman. In 1977, he was chosen as part of the first cadre of F-15's assigned to Europe. He became part of the legendary 53rd NATO Tiger squadron at Bitburg AB, Germany. He was fortunate to fly this remarkable aircraft for most of the remainder of his twenty-four year career. He was the Fighter Weapons Officer in the 71st TFS, and later a Standardization and Evaluation flight examiner at Langley AFB, Virginia. He attended Air Command and Staff College, Army Command and General Staff College, National Security management, and Air War College. He also earned his master's degree in International Relations. The highlight of his military career was being appointed as the F-15 Division Commander of the Fighter Weapon School at Nellis AFB. He spent two years as the Deputy Director of the Office of Military Cooperation at the American Embassy in Kuwait immediately following the first Gulf War and was then the Chief of Safety at Ramstein AB. He retired from this assignment in 1996, and moved to Monument, Colorado to begin the next phase of his life.
In the course of his Air Force career he earned many awards and decorations for his exemplary service. They include but are not limited to: the Legion of Merit, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the South-West Asia Service Medal, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.
Roger continued flying as a pilot for Delta Airlines. During his seventeen year career he trained and qualified as a Federal Flight Deck Officer, continuing to provide safety and security for his fellow citizens and passengers, post 9-11. For this service, he received a letter of commendation from President Barack Obama.
After his second retirement, Roger spent his time with his family and many friends. He loved fishing and playing golf (three certified and soberly witnessed Holes in One). He worked to preserve and expand the quail population in the Panhandle of Oklahoma and hunted there frequently. He traveled extensively with his wife and children, experiencing the wonder of seeing life and the world through the eyes of his adoring grandchildren.
Roger is preceded in death by his father, William E. Nash; and his father-in-law, Louis Schnell.
He is survived by his wife of forty-five years, Patricia; his daughter, Anna and husband, Richard Friedberg of Charleston, South Carolina; his son, Peter and wife, Mary of Monument, Colorado; the two most perfect grandchildren ever created, Micah and Ara Friedberg; his mother, Reola Nash of Phoenix, Arizona; his brother, Ken Nash and wife, Rhonda of Valley Mills, Texas; and his beloved hunting dogs, Mo and Guy, all of whom are inconsolable in their grief for the loss of The Colonel.
Roger was blessed throughout his life to be associated with the finest people in the world, the men and women who serve to guard and defend this great country he loved so much. He will be laid to rest among these heroes in the sacred ground of the United States Air Force Academy on January 29, 2021. The Graveside Service will be officiated by the Reverend Bob Kaylor of TriLakes United Methodist Church of Monument.
Graveside Service, 1:00PM, Friday, January 29, 2021, United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, 2168 Field House Drive, Air Force Academy, Colorado 80840
Published by The Gazette from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, 2021.