Commander John Allen Gash, 86, passed away peacefully on November 26, 2020, in Pensacola, FL. He was born January 26, 1934 in Fox Creek, KY to the late Wilbur “Jake” Gash and Lois Catlett Gash. His mother died young, he and his late brother Bruce Cole Gash were lovingly raised by their late Aunt Stella Mae Gash Cole and her husband J.W. Cole in Fox Creek, Ky.
John graduated from Anderson High School, Lawrenceburg, KY in 1951 and received his degree in Economics/History four years later from Western Kentucky University. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1957 as an Aviation Officer Candidate, proudly serving our nation for over 24 years. Following his designation as a Naval Flight Officer in 1958, he was assigned to Air Early Warning Squadron VW-4 in Argentia, Newfoundland as an Airborne Combat Information Officer; and in 1962 he was assigned to Hurricane Hunter Squadron VW-4, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. Following a teaching assignment at Glynco NAS in Brunswick, GA he drove his family cross-country to Alameda,CA where he served aboard the USS Enterprise as Assistant Combat Information Officer. He then served two tours on the USS Saratoga, home port in Norfolk, VA., as head of Administration and Operations for VAW-123. In 1971 , he was stationed in Pensacola, FL as part of the Chief of Naval Education and Training Command (CNET) and was responsible for undergraduate Naval Flight Training at which time he and his family made Pensacola home. His family remained in Pensacola while he was assigned to Carrier Group 7 as Staff Airborne Early Warning Officer aboard the USS Enterprise and USS Midway. He retired from the Navy on October 30,1980 at Whiting Field in Milton, FL. After retirement, he worked with Smith-Kline Laboratory for many years.
During his career, John received numerous awards including two Navy Unit Commendations, a Meritorious Service Commendation, and several campaign medals. John cherished his time spent with family and friends when visiting his beloved Kentucky as much as possible. He also loved spending time with his family and friends in Pensacola, FL where he lived for nearly 50 years.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 63 years, Virginia Francis Miller Gash, and his brother Bruce Cole Gash.
He is survived by four children John Gregory Gash, Tallahassee, FL., Laura Kristin Gash Pieper (Ray), Prattville, AL, Bruce Barron Gash (Jacqueline), Jacksonville, FL, Holly Kathryn Gash Bryan (Tim), Yardley, Pennsylvania, grandson Evan Cole Gash, son of Barron and Jackie; a half-brother Dr. Denny Lynn Gash (Denise); a very special cousin, Jane Ellen Catlett Tugwell Presley (Don), Pensacola, FL. Honorary Pallbearers are Billy Blackwelder and Tom House.
The family wished to express their deep gratitude to the care team members at The Haven of Our Lady Peace over the past few years, Tricia Kouns and Kathleen Lousteau, and special thanks to the VITAS Hospice team for being there during his final days.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, a graveside service will be held at Fox Creek Cemetery, Fox Creek Kentucky at 1:00 PM, Thursday, December 3, 2020. A Celebration of Life Ceremony will be held at a future date in Pensacola, FL. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to VITAS Hospice, 1230 Creighton Road, Pensacola for their kind and loving assistance or your favorite charity.
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