Rodney W. Maker

MakerBorn in Hunter, ND, raised on my Dad’s farm. Attended grades 1-12 at Hunter Public School, graduating from Hunter High School.

Joined the ND Air National Guard while I was still in High School. After basic training, I became an aircraft mechanic and then started attending North Dakota State University. After four quarters of college, I dropped out to work and went to work for the State Highway Department Police as a Patrolman, working in various cities in North Dakota. Meanwhile, in the ANG, I rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was able to get a class assignment to OCS, 63C.

I quickly went to resign from the State Highway Department Police, but my boss would not let me resign, and put me on a military leave of absence, so I could come back to the job….and two weeks later “Mr. Hollywood” arrived in San Antonio, at Lackland AFB.

The day I reported to OCS, I had the misfortune of parking my brand new Impala Sport Coupe Chevrolet in “First Class Parking.” I also had made a blunder in that I had slightly longer hair and dark sunglasses. (Thus the name “Mr. Hollywood” was given to me by First Class.) Third mistake was to have packed too many civilian clothes, which I was required to carry blocks and blocks and blocks while a First Classman and I searched for the barbershop so I could get an “OC haircut!”

Life at OCS was a “trip,” it was grueling, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. My opinion was, that they were going to have to kill me, to get me out of there!

It is a good thing that I had that attitude, cuz they tried!! But when we turned First Class, I was fortunate enough to be one of the Flight Leaders and I LOVED to train Second Class! I enjoyed it so much, that I flunked “Comm Skills” and had to turn my group over to my assistant, part of the time, to be able to study during the “Flush Club” sessions. Luckily I had a great assistant, Gary Fagerberg. He took over without a blink and did a fantastic job with the heinous mob! I am only sad that the heinous mob is not going to be at the reunion.

My first assignment out of OCS was to Webb AFB, TX (Big Spring, TX) for Pilot Training, 3561st PTS, Class 64 G. I loved it! God could not have been any better to me.

From there I went to CCTS at Perrin AFB, TX (Sherman-Dennison) where Dave Sanderson and I used to fly up to see where “Puff-The Magic Dragon” lived! We both graduated, anyway!

From there I went to the 178th FIS, and the 152nd FIS, and from there to Tyndall AFB, FL to attend IWIS (Interceptor Weapons Instructor School)…another fantastic school, where we learned to kill the enemy, one way or the other. I went back to the 178th FIS, and served as a flight instructor, and became the unit Flying Safety Officer. We went to Elmendorf AFB in Alaska and had alert detachments in King Salmon, Galena, and a few other places. The fishing was great, and we indulged a whole lot!

I then became the “Chief of Safety ” for the 119th Ftr. Group, and they sent me to the University of Southern California to the USAF Safety Management and Accident Investigation School, and thus began a quite long career in safety.

I then moved on to the 106th Ftr. Wing as the Chief of Safety. The wing converted from fighters to many motors, and for almost four years, I flew the only “large-non-fighter” aircraft in my career (Air Force Rescue and Recovery in the HC-130).

From there, I went to Luke AFB, AZ and went through the F-4 training there. Then I went to Seymour Johnson AFB, as the commander of an Alert unit there. I then transferred to another unit there at Seymour Johnson AFB, and retired on 1 Oct 90 as a LtCol, with 25 years of active duty, plus about 6 years of inactive duty with the ANG.

Since retirement, I have done several things. I picked up my real estate brokers license about a year before I retired, and worked with Sprint, buying and selling and leasing property for them for about six years. I went to real estate appraisers school, I was the Worthy Grand Patron of the North Carolina Eastern Star, I went to auctioneer school in one of the best schools in the nation, but could never get the chant down to my satisfaction, so I didn’t pursue that, and then four years ago, I became a Park Ranger for the National Park Service, and I am presently at Zion National Park in southern Utah.

The best thing that ever happened to me is, in 1979, I married Anne. She is from Long Island, New York, and is presently a Major in the Air Force Reserve. As a civilian, she is the “Senior Medical Administrator” with the 514th AES at McGuire AFB, NJ and is the Deputy Commander of the 514th, militarily. Her military record may be even more impressive than mine!

We have one son, Travis, 21, who is presently in New York working for the summer, and hopes to attend Princeton in the fall!

We are in the process of relocating from Kanab, Utah to a new home in New Jersey.


Rodney “Rod” William Maker, LtCol USAF (Ret) of Presidential Lakes, Brown Mills, NJ, age 64 years, died February 29, 2004, at home. A native of Hunter, ND and graduate of North Dakota State University, Rod joined the North Dakota Air National Guard and then transferred to the regular USAF, graduating from Officer Candidate School in 1967. He was a fighter pilot and served during the Vietnam War. During his military career, he traveled the United States and retired after 33 years as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Rod was a member and Past Grand Patron (1994-1995) of the North Carolina Eastern Star and was also a member of the Fellowship Masonic Lodge #84. He was a former resident of Smithfield, NC and Kanab, UT. Rod was a member of the Hope Bible Church, Kanab, UT and also a member of the American Legion and Shriners. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and the outdoors. For the past four years, he was a Park Ranger for the National Park Service serving in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.

Beloved husband of Anne L. (Schmid) Major USAF; dear father of Travis O. Maker of Long Island, NY; dear son of Earl E. Maker Sr of Hunter, NC; brother of Robert Maker of Oregon, Earl Maker of Hunter, ND, Reggie Maker of Bismarck, ND and Roger Maker of Wyoming and the late Suzanne Maker.

Buried with full military honors in Long Island National Cemetery.