Gordon Wayne “Gus” Lightfoot, Lt. Col. USAF, retired, age 83, passed away April 26, 2020 at Accura Healthcare, Knoxville. Gus’ wishes were to be cremated. Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Winfield Funeral Home in Knoxville, with family present to greet friends and relatives. A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 4, 2020 at 10:00 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Knoxville. Burial, with military honors will follow at Graceland Cemetery. A luncheon will be held at the Church, following burial. Due to COVID 19, face masks are recommended, but not required.
Gordon Wayne Lightfoot was born July 21, 1936 in Fort Peck, Montana, the son of John Gordon and Gertrude (Wilkin) Lightfoot. He grew up in Fort Peck where his father was chief engineer of the Corp of Engineers during the Fort Peck Dam project. Gus graduated the 8th grade in Fort Peck and then attended Glasgow High School where he met the love of his life, Jennie Larsen. He graduated in 1954. Gus continued his education at Montana State College, obtaining a Master of Science in Geography in 1962 and was part of the ROTC for the USAF.
Gus was united in marriage to Mary Bergren in 1958 and they were blessed with four children. They divorced in 1975. Gus was active in Boy Scouts of America earning his Eagle Scout in 1952. He remained in service as a scout leader for many years, assisting many boys with their Eagle Scout badges. Gus’ military service spanned 30 years as a navigator and bombardier on the B-52, flying nearly 400 combat missions during Vietnam. He served in Germany with NATO forces for four years returning to Grand Forks AFB where he served as the Chief of Intelligence of the 319th bomb wing until he retired in 1988. He spent some time as a potato inspector and later as a school bus driver until 1997 when he retired to build his home after the Red River flood.
Gus married Dorothy (Eatinger) Norman in 1978 in Grand Forks. She passed away September 3, 2012. Gus reunited with his high school sweetheart, Jennie (Just), and they married on December 12, 2012. Gus was an active member of the Northern Lights Model Railroad Club in East Grand Forks, MN. He joined his wife in Knoxville and was active at Trinity Lutheran Church serving on the building committee, altar Guild, and choir. Gus was a member of NARF, American Legion, VFW, and Air Force Association.
Gus is survived by his wife, Jennie Just-Lightfoot; four children, Gerald (Donna) Lightfoot of Bremerton, WA, John (Lora) Lightfoot of Merced, CA, Gwen (David) Cherf of Merced, CA, and Cathy (Darin) Smith of Bellevue, NE; stepsons, John Norman of East Grand Forks, MN, Dan Just of Knoxville, IA, and Mark (Shari) Just of Brentwood, TN; stepdaughter, Terri (Mark) Freeman of Bismarck, ND; sister, Mary Miller of Lovettsville, VA; 20 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
Gus is preceded in death by his parents, John and Gertrude Lightfoot; one grandson, Matthew Gordon Lightfoot; and stepson, Ronnie Norman.
Memorials may be given in Gus' memory to Trinity Lutheran Church, Disabled American Veterans, Wounded Warriors, or PEO Chapter M for Scholarships.