Major Henry Evans Grogan, USAF Retired, shuffled off his mortal coil on Monday, September 23, 2019. “Hank” died peacefully, of natural causes, at his home at The Barrington senior living facility in Seminole. He was 87. Hank was born in Wilmington, North Carolina to Captain Harley E. Grogan, USCG, and Elsie Grogan on November 30, 1931. Born into a typically-strict military family, after graduating Salisbury High School in Salisbury, North Carolina, Hank was invited to attend the highly esteemed military school, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. In 1951 Hank left behind his formal studies to serve his country by enlisting in the United States Air Force. Finding his life’s natural cadence, Hank was commissioned as an officer soon thereafter, opting for pilot school. Hank captained the vaunted B-47 during the Korean War. In 1966, Hank became a lead pilot for the B-52 “Stratofortress,” still considered the most formidable bomber ever built. Hank joined a select group of pilots to fly over 200 lifetime combat missions. For his leadership, discipline, and precision, Hank was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the Air Force’s highest commendations, along with the US Air Force Air Medal with two silver oak leaf clusters, an 11-time recipient. Hank retired in 1972, but never lost his love of flying. Often piloting for pleasure, Hank was later initiated as a brother into the Quiet Birdmen, a group of retired aviators who share their love, and secrets of flying. Hank was a lifetime member, enjoying his brothers’ camaraderie until his last days. A father and husband, Hank is survived by his son Mike, 60 of Clermont, Florida, and his son Dale, 56, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Also surviving Hank is his Sister Jane Steinberg; her children Catherine, Robert, and Jeanine; nieces Katherine, Patricia, and nephew Joseph. Hank was lionized by his six grandchildren, and even well-liked by his ex-wife Jane Schafer. On a personal note, Hank was like an oyster: kind of hard and crusty on the outside – as a natural defense mechanism, but soft on the inside, capable of creating wonderful pearls. Describing his personality as “unique,” or “bawdy”, Hank’s friends and family knew he could find humor in almost any situation, occasionally including himself. Hank was one of those men that people just liked, or not. Hank will be missed by all who knew him as the kind of person that could bring a smile to your face and a deep laugh that hurt your sides. And that is as good as it gets for this earth. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests hugging your loved ones tightly and tell them you love them.
A gathering of family and friends will be held Friday September 27, 2019 at 12:00pm at the Reese Funeral Home 6767 Seminole Blvd Seminole, Florida 33772. A memorial service for Henry Grogan will soon follow at 12:30pm.