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Former secretary of the Air Force dies

WASHINGTON (AFRNS) -- Former Secretary of the Air Force John C. Stetson died Aug. 2 at his home in Lake Forest, Ill.

Mr. Stetson was the 12th secretary of the Air Force, serving June 1978 to May 1979.

He was born in Chicago in 1920. He received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1943, and in the late 1940s he attended Northwestern University Business School in Chicago.

Mr. Stetson had many years of experience in the engineering, management and publishing fields. During World War II, he was a structural engineer with Douglas Aircraft Company and later was commissioned in the U.S. Navy, serving as a communications officer until the end of the war.

Following World War II, Mr. Stetson was employed in the Chicago area in various engineering capacities. From 1949 to 1951, he was a project manager for Foote Brothers Gear and Machine Company. He joined the management consulting firm of Booz Allen Hamilton in 1951 and several years later became a partner. In that capacity, Mr. Stetson was responsible for conducting a number of assignments with large aircraft companies concerning programs for new military and commercial aircraft. He also was responsible for the firm's consulting work for major oil companies in Iran and the Kuwait area, and during that time, he and his family lived in the Middle East.

From 1963 to 1970, Mr. Stetson was president of the publishing division of the Houston Post Company, publishers of newspapers in Houston, Galveston and Texas City.

Before his appointment as secretary of the Air Force, he was a president and director of A.B. Dick Company, the international manufacturer and distributor of office business machines. He was also a director of the Houston Post Company, Kemper Corporation, Belden Corporation and Powers Regulator Company.

"Former Secretary of the Air Force John Stetson was a leader and a professional committed to the United States Air Force and our nation during a crucial time in the late 1970s. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as they mourn the loss of their loved one," said current Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne.

Mr. Stetson is survived by his wife, Dorothy; son, Robert Stetson; daughter Susan Stetson Vertrees, and grandchildren: Curt Harms, Chess Stetson, Kathleen Stetson, Greta Stetson, Alexander Vertrees and Peter Vertrees. He also is survived by his sister, Dorothy di Bonaventura. (Courtesy of Air Force Print News)