Raymond Dean Falls died peacefully on Sunday, January 6, 2013 at his residence with his loving family around him.
He was born March 14, 1924 in Chattanooga, to J. Raymond and Julia Moore Falls. As a teenager, he loved cars, working in his uncle's Auto Repair, and flying gliders. He received his fixed wing pilot license at the age of 16. He graduated from Central High School in 1942 and after graduation was selected as a cadet in the Army Air Corps. He attended the University of Alabama and then flight school in Miami Beach FL. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and flew the P-51Mustang Fighter. After World War II, he joined the United States Air Force 445th Reserve Squadron at Dobbins AirForce Base in Marietta Georgia. As a reservist, he went from prop fighter planes to the first jet fighters. His Reserve unit later became a Military Air Cargo unit and he started flying C-123s and C-124s and later, the C-130 cargo jet. He was activated to fly equipment and military personnel during the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961 and again during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. During the height of the Vietnam War, his Military reserve unit was activated from 1967- 1971 again flying troops and cargo to Southeast Asia. He retired form the Air Force as a Major. When not on active duty, he worked for E.I. DuPont company in Chattanooga for over 30 years. At DuPont he worked on the development of mechanical wind up machines that are used in textile manufacturing. He traveled to DuPont facilities across the United States and Canada and instructed personnel on this equipment.
As for his personal life, he eloped in September, 1942, with his high school sweetheart, Alice Rivers Falls. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary before Alice's death in 2008.
He was a 32 degree Mason and a member of the Alhambra Shrine of Chattanooga and the V.F.W. Post 1289. He was a member and deacon at the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He was also an avid deep sea fisherman and won several tournaments in St. Augustine, Fl. He also loved living on Lake Chickamauga and fishing and boating with friends. He served a term a President of the Waconda Bay Residence Association. He and Alice traveled extensively across the United States, Europe and South America. He and Alice loved to go on cruises.
He was preceeded in death by his wife, Alice Rivers Falls, his father, J. Raymond Falls, his brother, Bill G. Falls, his sister, Phyllis Falls Kelly and infant son, Jerry Allen Falls.
He is survived by his loving mother, Julia Moore Falls of Chattanooga; daughters, Rae Geren of Cape Elizabeth, ME; V. Catherine Falls (David Ringgold Lardner) of Atlanta, GA; son, Robert L. Falls of Shawnee, OK; grandsons, Mark A. Geren of Yarmouth, ME; and Michael A. Geren (Julie) of Stratham, NH; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and good friends.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, at Heritage Funeral Home Chapel with the Military Chaplin officiating. The entombment will follow in Hamilton Memorial Gardens Mausoleum, with full military honors.
Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort to the family and view the memorial tribute.
The family will receive friends on Friday, Jan. 11, from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421.