Honor Flight Rochester Co-Founder Col. Edwin E. Mench Passes

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Honor Flight Rochester Woody Mench Statement

See also Daily Messenger article from 11.13.13 at the link below:
Daily Messenger Article From 11.13.13

Honor Flight Rochester Co-Founder Col. Edwin E. Mench Passes Away
Organization and local veterans lose a friend

ROCHESTER, NY – United States Air Force Col. (Ret.) Edwin E. “Woody” Mench had a passion for the military and all veterans. He was especially concerned for veterans being remembered for their service and sacrifices. So when the opportunity arose to set up an Honor Flight hub in Rochester, Col. Mench volunteered. The co-founder of the Honor Flight Rochester (HFR) hub passed away Thursday, Nov. 7.

“We are saddened by the loss of our president and chairman, Edwin “Woody” Mench,” said HFR board member Peter J. Glennon, Esq. “We certainly are a much better community with Woody having been with us. The veterans who have taken an Honor Flight with us lost a buddy who they may not have known they had. But he knew about them.”

“Woody’s first concern for the organization was always about us making the veteran’s trip as special as we could,” said John Burns, vice president for operations, HFR.

In July 2008, Col. Mench co-founded HFR, which is a hub in the national Honor Flight Network.
Col. Mench served as its first treasurer, third president and chairman of the board of directors.

“What an honor to be selected as president of Honor Flight Rochester,” Col. Mench said in 2011 when he was named president. “I have a passion for what we do and the audience we serve. I really believe we (Rochester) are well at the top of the 100 hubs.”

HFR has now escorted 1,492 WWII, Korean and Vietnam War veterans from Western NY to visit their Memorials in Washington D.C. More than 400 veterans are waiting for an HFR trip. In 2012, Col. Mench helped Honor Flight Syracuse launch its program.

Col. Mench was born in Philadelphia, PA. He received his B.S. degree in Business Administration from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He also received a commission in the USAF through the Reserve Officers Training Corps. He served on active duty from 1956 through 1960. He earned his pilot wings in 1957. He joined the reserves and remained for 26 years flying a variety of aircraft. Col. Mench achieved the rank of colonel and was the Operations Group Commander in the 914th Air Reserve Wing based at the Niagara Falls Air Force Base. He retired from the USAF in 1986. He was a member of the Military Officer Association of America and served as its New York State president from 2005 to 2009. He worked for Xerox Corporation from 1965 to 1993.

He was predeceased by his first wife Margaret Nichols Mench. He is survived by their three children. He is also survived by his second wife Marion and her children. Col. Mench has 10 grandchildren.

Mission 83 (59 vets)
May 25-26
Mission 84 (57 vets)
June 15-16
Unfortunately veterans cannot choose what flight they will travel on due to medical and logistic issues associated with the flight process. We also encourage veterans from the Syracuse and Buffalo area's to visit and register with their local Honor Flight hubs before registering with Rochester Honor Flight.