Lt. Col (Ret.) David's Story
Celebration of Life Service for Lt. Col (Ret) David Chael, 61, will be Saturday, November 11, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. at Central Christian Church with Rev. Don Bryant officiating.
Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Anderson-Burris Funeral Home and Crematory.
David was born May 22, 1956, in Kansas City, Kansas, to Frederick and Martha Pool Chael, and passed away on November 4, 2017, in Alva, Oklahoma.
Lt. Col (Ret) Chael graduated from Kansas State University in 1980, with a Bachelor of Architecture (Magna Cum Laude), and worked initially as a professional photographer in Kansas City.
A lifelong love of flying began in 1981, when his employer introduced him to commercial aerial photography. After earning his private pilot certificate, David entered military service in 1983, at the USAF Officer Training School, Lackland AFB, Texas, where he was commissioned with honors as a distinguished graduate.
He attended pilot training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, and earned his Air Force Wings in 1984.
David was selected to fly the T-38A "Talon" as a First Assignment instructor Pilot at Vance, where he met and married Sue Huckleberry, an Enid native, in 1987.
Lt. Col. (Ret) Chael flew at Vance until 1989, when he was assigned to fly the Lockheed C-141B "Starlifter" at McChord AFB, Washington.
Flying missions around the globe, he proudly served in the European and Middle Eastern theaters during Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM prior to temporarily separating from the Air Force in 1991.
Lt. Col. (Ret) Chael then worked as a Contract Simulator instructor at Vance AFB in the T-37B "Tweet," and was recruited in 1995 to transition to a challenging civilian position serving as the Vance AFB Community Planner, orchestrating long-range strategic planning initiatives that helped transition the base into the thriving Undergraduate Pilot Training facility it is today.
In 1999, Lt. Col. (Ret) Chael returned to Air Force flying, joining the elite 5th Flying Training Squadron "Spitten Kittens." He first flew the T-37B "Tweet" and later transitioned to the T-6A "Texan II" in 2006.
Formerly the squadron's Director of Training and a T-6 Flight Commander, he served as the 5 FTS Assistant Director of Operations.
David amassed over 10,700 total hours in command of a wide variety of civilian aircraft and was qualified as a second-in-command pilot in the Cessna Citation.
David continued to work on a part-time basis as a photographer and contract pilot, flying corporate jets under his newly-founded company, ChaelAir, LLC.
David was an active member of the Central Christian Church, where he had served as an elder, deacon, and property chair.
David was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Jack Huckleberry.
He is survived by his wife, Sue Chael of the home; son, Zach Chael and fiancée Ashley Harris of Oklahoma City; daughter, Dr. Lauren Chael-Hendrickson and husband, Stephen, and granddaughters, Emily and Bridget, all of Fishers, Indiana; his parents, Fred and Martha Chael of Kansas City, MO; three brothers and their wives, Rick and Kathy Chael of Grandview, MO, Ted and Brenda Chael of Overland Park, KS, and Mike and Lori Chael of Lenexa, KS; mother-in-law, Della Huckleberry of Enid; brother-in-law, J. Curtis Huckleberry of Enid; other relatives and many friends.
Memorials may be made to Central Christian Church or the Woodring New Terminal Building, through the funeral home.
Guestbook is available at www.AndersonBurris.com.
Published on November 9, 2017