Col. Richard "Dick" Sutton Hosman, USAF Ret., age 93, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, September 28, 2012.
Dick was born May 8, 1919 in Spencer, Nebraska to Everett M. Hosman and Mabel M. (Sutton) Hosman. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1941, commissioned by the ROTC as a second lieutenant in the Army. While attending the University he was active in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Pershing Rifles, but most importantly, he met the love of his life, Margaret Josephine "Jo" Stalnaker. They married on September 27, 1941 and had more than 65 years together. He transferred to Army Air Corps Flight Training and was assigned to the 398th Bomb Group in England, where he captained B-17 bombers over Germany on no fewer than 35 missions, qualifying him for the Lucky Bastard Club. He received his Master's Degree in Educational Tests and Measurements at the University of Minnesota in 1948.
As a career officer in the Air Force, he was stationed at bases around the country and in Japan where he was assigned to the 315th Air Division (Combat Cargo) as Assistant Division Operations Officer then Division Plan Officer during the Korean Conflict. He then commanded the 43rd Troop Carrier Squadron at Brady Air Base in Japan. After returning to the states in 1954 his assignment was that of Director of Inspection Fourth Air Force at Hamilton AFB where he was responsible for inspections of Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units in eight western states.
After tours of duty in California and Washington, D.C. at the Pentagon, he was transferred to Madison in 1962 where he assumed the position of commandant of the Air Force ROTC program and professor of Aerospace Studies at the University of Wisconsin. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1962. He had more than 4,200 flying hours in 21 aircraft types to his credit, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while serving as pilot of a B-17 airplane on bombing missions over enemy territory (1943, 1944 and 1945) with "courage, coolness and skill," and the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, three Bronze Service Stars and the Korean Service Medal, and both the Army and Air Force Commendation Ribbons.
Dick and Jo loved Madison with its beautiful lakes, which reminded Dick of summers spent at his family's cabins in Nisswa, Minnesota. After 26 years in the Air Force, Dick retired . . . the first time, and assumed the duties of Assistant to the Dean, initially and Assistant Dean, eventually in the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After a rewarding career with the Engineering Department, he retired . . . pretty much, but continued to assist his former employer with event planning. During this time, he and Jo purchased their own little slice of paradise - a cabin on Found Lake in St. Germain, Wisconsin, and the call of the loons and promise of trophy muskies became so powerful that he decided to retire . . . for good, and spend summers at the lake.
Dick and Jo shared special adventures and experiences together including trips to China and Alaska, fly in fishing excursions in the Canadian wilderness and trips to various parts of the lower 48 to see their siblings, children and grandchildren. Dick felt blessed by the many friendships he and Jo formed through their travels. They were avid Badger sports fans. Their love of New Orleans and Dixieland jazz lead them to their involvement in the Madison Jazz Society, and they gave generously of their time and resources to several local charities.
Dick was a loving son, brother, father, and grandfather who is sadly missed by his sister Lucille Duffin, daughters M. Lee Nordstrom (George), Nancy Ann Partin (Stan) and Deborah Jo Hosman (Mike Ploetz), granddaughters Janelle Ruth Dimattia (Jeff), Jenny Lee Partin-Olson (Eric), Corey Lynne Partin and Meredith Claire Blankenheim, great granddaughters Lily and Éowyn Dimattia, many nieces and nephews, and last but certainly not least, his devoted little dog Penny. He was preceded in death by his wife, his infant son Richard S. Hosman, Jr., his parents and his brother Robert Hosman.
The family wishes to thank all of their friends and families for their unfailing support, with a special thank you to Dr. Thomas Ansfield and to Holly and Dennis Tourdot.
To honor Dick and his generous loving spirit, a memorial service in celebration of his remarkable life will be held at GLENWOOD MORAVIAN COMMUNITY CHURCH, 725 Gilmore St. (across the street from Dudgeon School), Madison on Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM. Visitation and fellowship will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be donated to the Alzheimer's and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, 517 N. Segoe Rd. Suite 301, Madison, WI 53705-3172; the Northwoods Wildlife Center, 8683 S. Blumenstein Road, Minocqua, WI 54548-9026; American Family Children's Hospital c/o U.W. Hospital and Clinics, ATTN: Colleen Fraser, 600 Highland Ave. H4/819, Madison, WI 53792-8350 or a charity of choice.