On April 16, 2020 Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Fred Harold Ciarlo died peacefully at home after waging a long fight with cancer, in which he showed great courage, strength and dignity. He was born on December 17th, 1942, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. An Army Brat, Fred led a nomadic childhood life that came with being a member of a military family. Living in places as far flung as Seoul (from where he, his mother and his sister were evacuated at the commencement of the Korean War), Alaska and Panama, he enjoyed learning about different peoples and culture. This curiosity served him well in his endeavor to become an Eagle Scout, which he achieved as a thirteen-year old. It was in Korea, as a six-year-old, that he first expressed his desire to become an Army officer. In 1964, while working as a surveyor for the City of Dayton, he was drafted into the Army. It was also at this time, on his daily bus ride to(or from?) work that he met and wooed Charlotte Holsinger, who was the love of his life and whom he would soon marry. He entered Active Duty in Cincinnati, Ohio. During basic training at Ft. Knox, when allowed to speak for the first time, he publicly asked his drill instructor what he needed to do to get to Officer Candidate School (OCS). Asking this question gained the attention and affection of all of his basic training cadre. Graduating with honors from OCS, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Field Artillery. After commanding a training company he was accepted to flight school, during which he learned how to fly the OV-1 “Mohawk.” He flew Mohawks with the First Aviation Brigade in Vietnam, mostly in the Mekong Delta. Returning from that tour, he transitioned into rotary winged aircraft. Throughout the rest of his career he alternated between command assignments, in both artillery and aviation, and staff positions. His favorite command was when, as a major, he led the 242nd Aviation Company in Alaska, an over six hundred soldier unit. Part of their mission was to rescue climbers stranded on Mt. McKinley/Denali. He was very proud of his soldiers when their unit was named the best Aviation Company in the Army. His last duty station was the Presidio of San Francisco. He left the army in 1992, having served just under twenty-eight years on Active Duty. His favorite geographical postings were Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and both Ankara and Izmir, Turkey. Returning to his favorite state, he managed a “Bush” Airline in Fairbanks, Alaska from 1992 through 2003. Since then he lived in Clearwater, Florida, where he served as an Overlook board member. He held a bachelor of science in meteorology from the University of Washington and was a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College. He was predeceased by his father (Major (retired) John Ciarlo), his mother (Betty Ciarlo) and his brother (Vance Ciarlo). He is survived by his wife (Charlotte Ciarlo), and sons (John and Fred Ciarlo, Jr.), his daughter-in-law (Lori Orr), two grandchildren (Kate and Brendan Ciarlo) and his sister (Judy Hines Ciarlo). He was a very capable man. In addition to being a “Master Aviator (Chief Master Aviator, right?)”, he could build or fix anything; skills he frequently put to use to help his friends and neighbors. He was also an excellent woodworker. He fiercely loved his family, his country, the Army, flying and a winter’s first snow fall. He was always up for a road trip or camping. His time on Earth was memorable, and he left it a better place. Graveside services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 21, in Arlington Cemetery, Brookville, Ohio In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the TD Foundation ( tdfoundation.org ). Its mission is to help American Veterans’ families in crisis.
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