Lt. Col. Gerald Peter Foss took his last flight Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. He was born June 18, 1932, in Lake Forest, Ill. At just five months, Gerry moved to his parents’ old neighborhood in Oslo, Norway. He stayed there throughout the German occupation and returned to the U.S. in 1951. Fluent in English, German, Swedish and Norwegian, Gerry enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at the height of the Korean War. He graduated from pilot training and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant.
Gerry logged over 11,000 hours in the air during his military career. He flew numerous aircraft including B-26, SA-16, C-7, C-124, C-133 and helicopters. He flew worldwide airlifts, including North and South Poles. He also served as commander of a rescue unit in Tan Son Nhut and Bien Hoa during the Vietnam War. His final assignment was chief of current intelligence in Northern Europe, NATO. He retired from the Air Force with the rank of lieutenant colonel, having served his country for more than 26 years.
After his military service, Gerry worked for the State of Delaware as a senior planner for the Office of Information Systems. He later worked as computer consultant for DuPont. Gerry also served as a volunteer at the Air Mobility Command Museum and on the City of Dover Election Commission.
Gerry was preceded in death by his loving and adoring wife of 38 years, Bernyce Foss. At 71 years of age, he married again. In Las Vegas! Mary Frey-Foss preceded him in death as well.
Gerry is survived by his three daughters Lynne Foss, Kristin Foss and Lisa Foss. He is also survived by three sons-in-law, four grandchildren, one dog, six granddogs, three great-granddogs and a lizard who, through an odd demonstration of affection, became his namesake.
Gerry was well read, well-travelled and, for the most part, well behaved. He listened to Frank Sinatra. He strongly believed that trousers should have creases, shirts should have collars and men should carry handkerchiefs. He had a soft spot for good wine, corny jokes, smart women and badly behaved dogs. He also liked bacon. And ice cream. And bringing his wives fresh flowers. Gerry served his country, took care of his family, mowed his lawn and paid his taxes. He flew through dark nights, spectacular sunrises and enough blue yonder to take his breath away. He had one heck of a journey. He did it his way. He was loved. He will be missed.
Gerry will be buried in a private ceremony with full military honors. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, DE or the Bob Woodruff Foundation.