Master Sergeant John A. Harvey
Retired Air Force Master Sergeant John Albert Harvey, 68, a 32-year resident of Alamogordo, passed away peacefully into the caring hands of our Lord Jesus Christ Feb. 16, 2008. John had been battling the effects of liver disease and was recently, until his death, under the care of hospice, when he ultimately succumbed to his ailments at 9:50 a.m. Saturday morning.
John was born July 17, 1939, to Willard and Rose Harvey in Waterloo, Iowa. Due to the untimely death of his parents, he was lovingly raised by his uncle and aunt, Buster and Pearl Keeton, also of Waterloo. After graduating high school, John enlisted in the Army and spent time in Germany, where he met his earthly love and married the former Miss Inge M. Schmitz of Sontra Hessen, Germany, on Aug. 17, 1959. While stationed in Germany, Inge gave birth to Tammy, the first of their three daughters, in June 1960. They later returned to the States and settled in North Carolina, were daughters Anita (September 1961) and Sherry (November 1962) were born. After having served eight years in the Army, John opted to separate from the Army and later joined the Air Force, until he retired in January 1980. The Harveys made several moves while serving with the Army and Air Force, including tours in West Germany, North Carolina, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Hawaii, until finally settling down in Alamogordo. John also did a tour in Vietnam with the 536th Tactical Airlift Squadron.
John is survived by his beloved wife of 48 years, Inge; and by his children, Tammy J. Benitez and husband Daniel, of San Diego, Anita M. Riegert and husband Arthur, of Las Vegas, N.M., and Sherry L. Blackard and husband Rob, of Lakeville, Minn. John is also survived by ten grandchildren, Milinda J. Benitez, Ava M. Curnow, Jeanne M. Viscount, Shane Hill, Elisa L. Benitez, Brian C. Harvey, Joshua Hill, Chasity Vigil, Gregory Vigil and Arthur Vigil. He was preceded in death by his parents, Millard and Rose Harvey; paternal uncle and aunt Buster and Pearl Keeton; and by his grandson Jonathan Cockerell.
John’s hobbies included fishing, small arms, and he was fascinated by model trains of all gauges. He was a former member of the First Assembly of God of Alamogordo and a former exalted ruler of the Elks. John was also a member of the V.F.W., Moose Lodge, The Eagles, Shriners, The Masons and a former commander in the Royal Rangers.
A memorial service celebrating John’s life, officiated by Pastor David Crispin, was held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 2008, at the First Assembly Worship Center in Alamogordo. For monetary donations, please forward your gifts to the Alamogordo Home Care and Hospice, P.O. Box 29, Alamogordo, NM 88310.
Cremation has taken place at PCS, entrusted to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home. To sign the online register book, please visit www.alamogordofuneralhome.org