Publisher’s Father Passes, Introduced Son to Aviation
Samuel Joseph Stevens, father of State Aviation Journal
publisher Kim Stevens, passed away last week in Palm Springs, California at the age of 84. The elder Stevens is credited for introducing aviation to his son and inspiring him to pursue a career in the aviation industry. “My father earned his private pilot’s license in Tulsa and worked on his commercial rating in North Platte Nebraska,” said Stevens. “I have a photo of myself in a makeshift cockpit made out of a cardboard box!”
Stevens remembers that his father would take him up for rides and is sure that experience helped cement his future in aviation. “I got to return the favor and took my Dad up, later in life after I had earned my ratings,” said Stevens, who has both a commercial license and instrument ticket, which he earned in 1981 in Omaha, Nebraska.
“I love to tell the story of how my dad got interested in aviation. As a kid in Cozad, Nebraska, he would ride his bike out to the alfalfa fields when a barnstormer flew over town and landed. I think he was particularly taken one day when Nebraska’s first female pilot, Evelyn Sharpe landed and stepped down out of the cockpit. I think he was awestruck as the beautiful young pilot (Sharpie) took her helmet off and shook out her hair. That’s all it took!” Although the elder Stevens enjoyed flying, he eventually opted for a career in music as a band-leader, drummer and singer. Other members of the Stevens family have been pilots as well. “My son also has a passion for aviation and assists with the State Aviation Journal,” said Stevens.
NASAO Mourns Passing of President & CEO
Henry M. Ogrodzinski
The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) announced last week the passing of Henry M. Ogrodzinski, the Association’s long time President and CEO. For 18 years, Henry O, as he was known to friends and associates, was a strong and consistent advocate for state aviation and was respected throughout the industry. Henry’s two year battle with cancer came to an end at his home on Capitol Hill. He was 65.
NASAO’s Chairman Christopher Willenborg, Massachusetts state aviation director, told the NASAO membership that it was with deep sadness that he had to inform them that their dear friend Henry passed away the night before. “Over the past 18 years, Henry led our organization with tremendous passion towards aviation and sincere concern for all NASAO Members and aviation industry stakeholders,” said Willenborg.
Read more: State Aviation Journal