HILL AIR FORCE BASE Lt. Col. Raymond Roessler was remembered Wednesday inside Hangar 37 for his three passions in life: family, the Air Force and flying his own private plane.
The last of those passions brought an end to Roessler's life last Friday, when his single-engine plane crashed on the grassy I-15 median on a hilly pass in San Bernardino County, California.
Brig. Gen. Arthur Cameron said after Wednesday's memorial service that the cause of the crash is still under investigation. At the time of the accident Roessler was in California on Air Force business with Boeing and Goodrich in support of the C-17 and A-10 aircraft, Cameron added. Roessler was on his way to Henderson, Nev., when the plane he owned and was traveling in alone went down.
Roessler, 43, was deputy director for Hill's 309th Commodities Maintenance Group of the 309th Maintenance Wing at the Air Force base.
"He got it," Patrick Doumit said about Roessler's ability to balance his life's passions.
Doumit, who worked with Roessler at the Ogden Air Logistics Center, said the husband and father bought the Piper aircraft to share his love of flying with his family. Roessler is survived by his wife, Annette, and their children, Benjamin and Abigail.
Lt. Col. Lynne Hall credited Roessler with getting her to try new things, to challenge herself and push herself to the limit of her comfort zone in activities that included skydiving and snow skiing. Lt. Col. David Belz remembered his friend as an engaging man who was defined by his perseverance in all things.
Other friends joked about Roessler's "bad hair" and inability to play golf while at the same time remembering him as an outstanding officer and sincere mentor.
"He jumped into every task totally, body and mind, body and soul," said Col. Michelle Smith.
Roessler was deployed during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm with his F-16C squadron. He deployed to Turkey and Iraq in support of an Army Blackhawk helicopter combat operation. He was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1987.
In front of about 250 people inside the jet hangar at Hill each member of Roessler's family was presented with carefully folded American flags. His father, Marvin Roessler, was given a posthumous fourth oak leaf cluster medal for Roessler's meritorious service.Roessler had lived in several places during his military career. More recently he and his family made their home in Clinton. He'll be buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Westphalia, Texas.