Ralph David "Dave" Bleacher, age 89, died peacefully at home with his family present on 29 May 2021. He chose to end his 4 year dialysis treatment on May 24th so he could go home to be with the love of his life, Jean, his wife who preceded him in 2005.
Dave Bleacher went to Fresno State University on a football scholarship and participated in the ROTC program there. He then entered the US Air Force where he was a pilot. While in the Air Force, he met Air Force Nurse Jean Parker and married her. They adopted their first child, Michael while at Holloman Air Force Base, NM. While Jean was pregnant with their second child, Mary, Dave was sent to Vietnam where he served as a Forward Air Controller attached to the First Cavalry. Dave returned a highly decorated officer and transitioned to flying C-141 Starlifters for Military Airlift Command at McGuire AFB, NJ. The family then spent nearly 3 years in Okinawa, Japan before retiring from the Air Force to Albuquerque, NM where Dave worked as a college professor at Central New Mexico Community College (Then T-VI) where he retired again. In 2008, Dave moved to Florida, where he enjoyed his final years with his children and grandchildren. After 60 years of attending the Catholic Church because of a promise to his wife Jean, he was granted special dispensation by the Bishop of St. Augustine to become a member of the Parish of St. Joseph. He then embraced his faith and became a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a lifetime member of the Elks Club, National Rifle Association and the Military Officer's Association.
Dave is survived by his children, Michael Bleacher and Mary Trask, their spouses, Kristin and Dale, his Grandchildren, Nicholas Streif and his wife Anna, Pablo Bleacher, and Benjamin Trask. He has two nephews, David and Michael Griesemer, and a niece, Donna Canada. His brother-in-law, John Parker, his wife Dee also survive him with their children, Shawn and Alan.
He was greeted in Heaven by his father, Ralph, mother, Betty, and sister Alice Mary, along with his loving wife, Jean who preceded him in death.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 am on Monday, June 7, 2021 in St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Main Sanctuary, 11757 Old St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville, FL 32258 with Fr. Sebastian George, as Celebrant. Interment will be at a later date in Santa Fe National Cemetery.
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