In Memory of Lt. Col. John Pace
By Public Affairs Office, 111th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 12, 2012
WILLOW GROVE AIR RESERVE STATION, Pa. -- Lt. Col. John Pace, 47, of Watsontown, passed away suddenly of a heart attack on his way home from drill weekend Jun. 5, 2011 at the Grand View Hospital in Sellersville.
A 1981 graduate of Montoursville Area High School and Bachelor of Science from Bloomsburg University, he enjoyed his career in environmental sciences. He was employed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement in Wilkes-Barre. Additionally, he owned and operated a small dairy farm with his sons.
He was an Air Force reservist and served with the 913th Air Reserve Wing. Later, he joined the Pa. Air National Guard as a traditional guardsman and served as an operations flight commander with the 201st RED HORSE Squadron, Detachment 1, and Inspector General with the 111th Fighter Wing, Headquarters Staff. He served in OPERATION DESERT SHIELD and was deployed to Iraq in support of the OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. In January of 2009, he led an 80 person team responsible for providing communications and support for the inauguration ceremony of President Barrack Obama. His entire military career spans over 23 years.
Colonel Pace was also a committed father, involved as a football and baseball coach, 4-H Dairy Leader and Scout Leader. He loved watching his sons participate in sports and took pride in their achievements.
"John was a big part of the initial standup of the RED HORSE Squadron, and a great help to the Wing Staff the past few years as the Inspector General," said Lt. Col. Anthony Carrelli, 111th Fighter Wing commander. "His dedication and friendship to us all will certainly be missed."