The Daily Item
SEBASTIAN, Fla. — Joseph M. Lahout Sr., 80, passed away on Nov. 20, 2012.
He was born Nov. 12, 1932, a son of the late Joseph and Anna (Nicole) Lahout, of Danville, Pa.
“Pop” was scheduled to graduate from Danville High School in 1952, but he enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard on his 17th birthday and was sent to Korea six months later. Pop served in the Field Artillery and he drove an “M-7 Priest”, a self-propelled 105 Howitzer for the next two years while he was fighting for his country. After he was honorably discharged at the rank of corporal, Pop returned to Danville High school and graduated with the class of 1954. Due to his age, he was not allowed to return to the “Ironmen” football team, where he had earned varsity letters as a freshman and sophomore. That did not sit well with Pop!
He ran Lahout Air Services from the Lewisburg Airport from the early 1960s through the late 1970s. He owned a 1959 Piper Tri-Pacer and he purchased and restored a World War II Aeronca Defender Observation airplane. He used these two airplanes to begin his career as a flight instructor, and he continued to train young pilots well into his retirement. After he closed his shop, Pop was employed for several years by the Williamsport Area Community College where he taught Aeronautical Engineering. Pop then continued his aviation career with Piper Aircraft in Lock Haven, Lakeland, Fla., and Vero Beach, Fla. During his long and illustrious career with Piper Aircraft, Pop flew various aircraft to and throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. He also flew a Piper airplane to China, where he spent several months training the mechanics there. Pop had many co-pilots during his aviation career. These included former NFL Head Coach Sam Wyche and General Chuck Yeager. Pop was always the happiest when he was flying, but he also enjoyed boating, hunting, fishing and skiing.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Christine Egan; two sons, Thomas, and Joe Jr. and his wife, Terry; one daughter, Marcy and husband, Dale Shiffler; two wonderful grandsons, Brett and Jordan Shiffler; and his very special great-granddaughter, Jenalyn Hart-Shiffler.
Pop did not have a funeral, because he didn’t believe in them. He always stated, “I don’t go to funerals and I don’t chase fire trucks”.
He was a life member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, a member of the Knights of Columbus Third Degree, Loyal Order of Moose, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Lewisburg Jaycees, Union County Sportsman’s Club and the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Memorial contributions may be made in his honor to the 2013 National Kidney Foundation, Inc., 30 E. 33rd St., New York, NY 10016.