|Major Max Leroy Allison
Leroy Allison, age 85, passed away peacefully in Appleton on Monday, June 8th,
2015, surrounded by family. Max was born on June 24th, 1929, in
Nashua, Iowa to the late Russell and Elna (Peterson) Allison. Max was third
of five children: Delbert Allison (deceased), Jean Benson, Fern Juel and
Sharon Bartlett. Max met and married Shirley Jean Fischer in 1955. They
enjoyed 59 wonderful years together. During that time Max and Shirley had
four children: Joseph, Michael, Keena and Lenai.
Max joined the US Air Force and trained as a radio operator. After his
enlistment, Max returned to Iowa in 1951 where he worked at the Oliver
Tractor factory for a time. He then took an aviation cadet entrance exam for
a selective training program for which he was selected. The program took Max
through pilot training and eventual commissioning as a second lieutenant in
the Air Force. After receiving his pilot’s wings, he was assigned to the
KC-97 Statotanker based at Lockbourne Air Force Base near Columbus, Ohio.
Max’s Air Force career spanned 20 years and took him and his family to many
destinations including: Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota, Hickam AFB in Hawaii
and a couple of bases in Vietnam [537th]. Max was fortunate to
fly the KC-135, a Boeing 707 refueling jet, and finally the C-7A “Caribou,”
a twin engine cargo aircraft used to resupply remote bases during the war.
Max enjoyed most the low-level, challenging terrain flying to places where
planes wouldn’t ordinarily land. Max excelled at this type of flying such
that he was assigned to train other new pilots to fly the C-7A in “theater.”
Max retired from the Air Force in 1971 after 20 years of service retiring
with a rank of Major. In 1972, Max applied to and was selected by the
Wisconsin State Patrol. Max was a trooper in District 3 for 13 years. Max
was fortunate to continue flying a Cessna as a “bear in the air.” Max
retired from his second career in 1986, the same year his son Michael
started his career with the Wisconsin State Patrol.
After retirement, Max put his efforts into gardening, rummaging and spending
time with grandchildren. Max spent a lot of time on large garden plots
providing fresh and canned vegetables. Max’s love of gardening was passed on
to all of his children. He always said there is nothing better than a
home-grown tomato! In addition, Max became active with VFW Post #8642, Grand
Max is survived by his wife, Shirley Jean (Fischer) Allison, sons Joseph R.
(Julianne) Allison, Callaway, MD; Michael J. (Cathy) Allison, Onalaska, WI;
and daughters Keena Allison, Appleton, WI; Lenai (Allison) Hellweg (Randall
Funk). He is also survived by eight grandchildren and a great-grandson.
A memorial service for Max was held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 27th,
2015, at the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2600 E. Phillip
Lane, Appleton, with Lay Minister Mary Gerlach officiating. Visitation was
at the church on Saturday June 27th beginning at 10:00 AM until
the hour of the service. Full military honors followed the service.