Joseph Valentine Wildinger, Jr. (Lt Col USAF Retired) was born February 15, 1943 in Salinas, California to his proud parents, Beatrice Ann Smith and Major (USAF) Joseph Valentine Wildinger, Sr. Upon graduation at Peru State College, Nebraska, Joe immediately joined the Air Force to proudly serve his country and to fly airplanes. During his 23 years in the Air Force he flew KC-135 tankers and UH-1N helicopters. After retiring, he continued flying with Eastern Metro Express before beginning his dream of inspiring in others his love of aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He spent 20 years as an Adjunct Professor and later a full time Associate Professor and Director of Academics at Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field AFB.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Jeanne Ables Wildinger; his daughter, Erica Wildinger; son, Evan Joseph Wildnger (Jolie); grandchildren, Jackson Joseph, Macy, Mallory and Ellis; his sister, Pamela Wildinger Brooks (Thomas); nephews Craig Brooks (Jennifer), Tyler and William, and Douglas Brooks (Wendy), Sylvia and Sebastian. He is also survived by his adoring dogs, Airey, Dino, Destiny and Court.
A celebration of life will be held on Monday, October 22 at 1:00 pm at Emerald Coast Funeral Home with full military honors in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you support ASHA: Alabama Sighthound Adoptions, a non-profit organization for rescued greyhounds and salukis.