Eugene John Ockuly
January 19, 1929 – October 21, 2018
Eugene “Gene” J. Ockuly Clermont, Florida
Gene Ockuly of Clermont, Florida passed away October 21, 2018. Born January 19, 1929 to Aloyusis and Magdalena Ockuly. One of four children, James the oldest Naples, Florida (Deceased) Tom Ockuly, Cleveland, Ohio (deceased) and sister Mariam Ockuly Celesnek, Cleveland, Ohio (deceased). Gene is survived by his wife of 64 years Nora Felici Ockuly of Clermont, Florida; daughter Linda S. Ockuly Horton and husband Kenneth Horton of Chesapeake, Virginia, son Jeffrey Ockuly of Jacksonville, North Carolina and Anthony “Tony” Ockuly (deceased), two granddaughters Stephanie Horton and Melissa Horton both residing in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Gene had a long military career in which he was proud to be a U.S. Naval Aviator in the United States Marine Corps, totaling 23 years with three years in the Navy where he qualified for flight training in 1949. He entered flight training in 1952 and was commissioned a 2nd LT in 1954. His mother pinned his coveted U.S. Naval Aviator Wings on March 31, 1954. During his career he flew 17 different airplanes and helicopters. Gene served a tour in Marine Helicopter Squadron “One” based at Marine Base Quantico, Virginia during this tour he was privileged to serve as pilot for Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy.
In 1960 he moved with his family to Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. While there in 1962 he was chosen to be co-pilot for Astronaut Recovery Program in Cape Canaveral, Florida it was a 6 month long training program to recover Astronaut Wally Schirra from his capsule. From Kaneohe Bay Hawaii Gene was sent to Vietnam and served two terms 1965-66 and again from MCAS New River, NC 1968-1969. He retired on December 1, 1970 after 23 years of Military Service. Then another 27 years as a Real Estate Broker and owner, along with his wife Nora, where he retired the second time from Real Estate in year 2000. They finally had the time to take their motor home on a three month tour of beautiful America.
They settled in Clermont, Florida where they made friends and enjoyed the warm weather and where Nora currently resides.