John Davis Mize
BELMOND, IOWA | John Davis Mize, 73, formerly of Rapid City, SD, and a native of Shreveport, LA, died, Friday, June 15, 2012, at the Belmond Medical Center following a battle with cancer.
John D. Mize, the son of John and Louila (Morgan) Mize, was born Jan. 2, 1939, in Shreveport. He graduated from Fair Park High School, Shreveport. He received his B.S. in Business from Lousiana State University-Natchitoches and Master's Degree in Public Administration from Golden State University, San Francisco, CA.
John was united in marriage on March 14, 1964 to Joan Lee Edwards in Fort Dodge. They were blessed with two children, a son, Arthur Thomas and a daughter, Laura Elizabeth.
John served in the United States Air Force for 22 years. His military career began during the Vietnam War era in New Orleans on Sept. 28, 1962 and continued until he was Honorably Discharged with the rank of Major on July 31, 1984, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, SD. John was a B-52 Bomber pilot during the war and successfully flew nearly 300 missions in the combat areas. John and his crew's amazing story was featured in Air Force Magazine in an article titled "The Seventh Man." Among his many decorations are the Air Force Cross (the first Strategic Air Command person so honored), the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 15 Clusters, and the Purple Heart.
Following his retirement from the military, John was an agent with Principal Life Insurance Co. in Rapid City, a B-52 flight simulator instructor at Wurtsmith AFB, Oscoda, MI, and also worked at Eaton Corp. in Belmond for 10 years prior to retiring.
John is survived by his wife of 48 years, Joan Mize, Belmond; son, Arthur Mize, Ferndale, MI; daughter, Laura Mize and granddaughter, Avery Mize, Rancho Cucamonga, CA; sister, Sandra (Don) Dunivan, Shreveport; and other extended family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 20, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 304 3rd Ave. NE, with Carolyn Pflibsen, AIM officiating. Burial with full military honors provided by the Offutt Air Force Base Military Honor Guard will be at Belmond Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Andrews Funeral Home, 516 1st St. SE, and continues one hour before services at the church.
Memorials are suggested in John's name to Trinity Lutheran Church, Belmond Medical Center, ELCA World Hunger, charity of choice , or to the family % Joan Mize,120 Sunset Drive, Belmond, IA 50421.
Andrews Funeral Home 641-444-4474.
Published in Rapid City Journal on June 19, 2012