Maj. Gary W. Claunch, USAF, Ret., 66, passed away on Saturday, August 6, 2016. He was born on August 30, 1949 to Maurice and Nell (Loftis) Claunch of Warner, OK. His military career began with the US Marine Corps in May 1971 upon graduation from the University of Oklahoma Naval ROTC. Then he made an interservice transfer to the US Air Force in October 1980. He retired from the USAF in May 1991. Maj. Claunch was a navigator who flew RF-4 jets with the Marines and F-111E jets with the Air Force. He proudly earned many medals and badges including the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Readiness Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star, Air Force overseas short tour ribbon, Air Force overseas long tour ribbon,small arms expert markmanship ribbon, Air Force training ribbon, pistol expert shooters badge, rifle sharpshooters badge, Naval Flight Officer badge, and Basic parachutist wings. He served in North Carolina, California, Florida, Idaho, Oklahoma, Virginia, The Pacific Command, European Commmand, Turkey, Saudia Arabia and England. He also served on the USS Midway in the Pacific Command.
After a long, rewarding military career, he recently retired from a successful twenty-five years with Northrop-Grumman as an International Trade Compliance Analyst. He was a highly valued employee.
Maj. Claunch's list of accomplishments is great and will leave a lasting legacy for his family, friends and those who served with him. He will be remembered for his love of flying jets, hunting and fishing. He felt his greatest accomplishment in life was his family.
His family, who loves him very much will miss him immensely. May God bless you, Gary, and you will remain forever in our hearts. Until we meet again.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Nell Claunch, and his in-laws, Emma and James Fields. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Carol (Fields) Claunch, of Albuquerque, NM; daughters, Julia Snarr of Bakersfield, CA, Erin Pettyjohn of Albuquerque, NM, and Courtney Claunch of Northampton, England; grandchildren, Wayne Oliver, James Oliver and Caelyn Pettyjohn; father, Maurice Claunch of Edmond, OK; uncle, Max Claunch; and many other family members and friends who mourn his passing. Viewing and Visitation will be held at 11:00 AM with the service to begin at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at Strong-Thorne Chapel, 1100 Coal Ave SE, Albuquerque.
Maj. Claunch will be laid to rest with full military honors at Santa Fe National Cemetery at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. To view information or leave a condolence, please visit www.danielsfuneral.com.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a wonderful dog rescue organization:
Mostly Cockers & Poms
7950 N. Soledad Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85741
All donations are tax deductible. ( 501(c)3)
1100 Coal Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106