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Celebrate the life of Ron Alexander

Members of the community and beyond are invited to celebrate the life of Ron Alexander, founder of Candler Field Museum on Saturday, March 25 at Peach State Airport in Williamson on Jonathan’s Roost Road. Lunch will be served starting at 11 a.m. and the ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. and will include several aircraft fly bys, special speakers, a rifle volley, taps and flag fold and special music by The Freedom Belles and Oak Hill Baptist Church. Speakers at the event will include Bill Taylor, Jack McCormick, Cayla McLeod, Dave Moffett and Steve Fulton.   Alexander died in a plane crash Nov. 17 as he was flying his 1917 Curtiss Jenny biplane, a WWI aircraft of which there are only five others in the world. After taking his first airplane ride at 14 as a member of the Civil Air Patrol – one of the aviation groups that meets at Candler Field Museum – he earned his private pilot’s license at age 17. Alexander logged more than 24,000 hours flying in his lifetime. He served in the U.S. Air Force. He flew for a year in Vietnam where he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Air Medals. He later worked for Delta Airlines and retired in 2002 after 34 years. He founded Alexander Aeroplane Company in 1979 and restored many antique aircraft over the years. In 2004, he founded Candler Field Museum and in 2008, the first building was completed. His vision was to recreate Candler Field (now Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport) as it was during the early days of aviation in the 1930s. The American Airways hangar was finished in 2008, the Doug Davis hangar, honoring a local aviation icon, was finished in 2016 and work is underway on the Beeler Blevins hangar. Ron was inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame in 2013. He was known to many as the ‘˜quiet giant’ of aviation. In 2013, he founded Candler Field’s Youth Aviation Program where youth learn to work on airplanes and earn flight training hours. Several members have already earned their private pilot’s licenses.

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