Earl OUTLAND, 53, of 501 Cessna Lane, manager of the Mt. Vernon
Airport, died suddenly last night from a heart attack. He was stricken
at a new home the family was building in Field township, in northeastern
Jefferson county and was pronounced dead at 11:35 p.m. Mr. Outland was one
of Jefferson county's best known men and, although it was known that he
had a serious heart condition for some time, his death came as a shock
to the community and his many friends.
Guided Airport Growth
Mr. OUTLAND, who had a distinguished career in aviation was one of the
leaders whose hard work and vision has resulted in the great growth of
the Mt. Vernon Municipal Airport until it is today one of the finest
small city airports in the United States. Head of Mt. Vernon's best
known "flying family," he had served as airport manager here on two
occasions, for a total of 17 years. After ten years as head of the
local airport he resigned in 1953 to become operator of the airport
at Abilene, Texas. On October 1, 1959 he returned to Mt. Vernon and
took over operation of the airport upon his appointment as manager of
the local Airport Authority. His son, Jack, then 19 but an experienced
pilot with a commercial license, became associated with his father in
operation of the airport and has assisted in the operation ever since.
World War Flyer
Mr. OUTLAND operated the Mt. Vernon Airport for two years before entering
the Air Force in 1941, during World War II. After five years of service as
an Air Force captain, he received his discharge in 1946 and again assumed
the managership of the local airport. A crack pilot with an outstanding
record of war service, Mr. Outland mapped out and flew the first continuous
around-the- world flight under the Air Transport Command during the war.
The U.S. government at that time was mapping a shuttle flying route around
the world. Each member of Mr. OUTLAND's family is an experienced airplane
pilot. Mrs. Outland made her first solo flight prior to World War II
and both of their sons, Bill and Jack, soloed on their 16th birthdays. On
February 26, 1951 Bill soloed on his 16th birthday while Mr. and Mrs.
OUTLAND and ten-year-old Jack watched. Even then, young Jack had had many
hours at the controls of a plane, but because of his age his father, or
another instructor, always went along. Six years later when he was 16,
the youngest age possible, Jack went on his solo flight. Bill was a
teacher at Bluford high school last term. Only this week he and his wife
moved to Houston, Texas. Jack has been assistant manager of the Mt. Vernon
Airport since the family returned here from Texas seven years ago.
Mr. Outland was president of the Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce in 1963,
and performed an outstanding job of community service during a busy year
of accomplishments. Besides serving as airport manager, he was the owner
of Outland Aviation Company, which is based at the airport. He was a
member of the Elks Lodge, the Lions Club and the Amvets.
Funeral services will be held Monday at 2:00 p.m. at the First
Presbyterian church. The Rev. Robert Freytag will officiate and
burial will be in Oakwood cemetery. His many friends may call at
Myers Chapel after 4:00 p.m. Sunday. At noon Monday the body will
be taken to the church to lie in state until the funeral hour. Mr.
Outland was born November 18, 1912 in Jefferson county, the son of
Elmer and Cora (RAINES) OUTLAND. On August 2, 1931 he was married
at Fairfield to Kathryn HENRY, who survives. Besides his wife, he
is survived by two sons, Bill and Jack; his father, Elmer OUTLAND
of Bluford; two brothers, Mickey Outland of Mt. Vernon and Hubert
OUTLAND of Bluford; and six sisters, Eula FOSHEE and Eleanor FRITZ
of Rockford, Omal WHALEN of Galesburg, Clara DONOHO of Bluford,
Pauline WILLIAMS of Wilmore, Ky and Evelyn SHIELDS of Belleville.
Mt. Vernon Register News June 1966
Submitted by: Janet Johnson
May 24, 1998