John Alfred Almond Sr., 90 of Searcy passed away August 16, 2022. He was born on December 24, 1931, to Malcolm Sr. and Pansy Almond of Fort Stockton, Texas. He is preceded in death by his parents, eldest son John Alfred Almond Jr., his wife of 44 years Patsy Nell Almond, his brothers Malcolm Almond Jr. and Ralph Almond along with sisters Betty Almond and Anne Almond Clary and great grandson Caden Nelson Ingle.
John grew up on his family ranch in the rugged terrain of West Texas. He was introduced at 7 years old to the world of aviation by his Uncle Ray Baumgardner which led to his life’s passion. John spent his youth in Fort Stockton before his family moved to Booneville, Arkansas during his high school years. John and family later moved to Carlisle, Arkansas in 1968 as he joined Cook Flying Service in Carlisle for the crop-dusting seasons and Central Flying Service as a charter pilot and flight instructor during the fall/winter months. John was an exceptional pilot and the demand for his services in many aviation circles grew quickly. John served as Chief Flight Instructor during his 29 years with Central and was generally acknowledged as their most skilled and requested charter pilot. John had formed Almond Aviation in the late 70’s to offer local flight instruction and plane rental. He expanded the business in 1984 by providing aerial application services to Lonoke and Prairie County farmers with the help of John Jr. as the other pilot. John continued to provide air charter services over the following years through ACE Flying Service in North Little Rock as well as on his own with several Arkansas businesses, the Arkansas Highway Department and PGA golfer Glen Day. John briefly unretired from crop-dusting in 2010-11, flying for Farmer’s Aerial Seeders in Stuttgart. John continued with flight instruction until 2017, capping off a 60-year flying career. John was a Certified Flight Instructor, Airline Transport Pilot, a licensed Airframe and Powerplant mechanic and founding member of the Carlisle Airport Commission where he served as Airport Manager. He amassed over 36,000 flight hours during his career. John was a member of the Carlisle Lions Club, the Little Rock hanger of Quiet Birdmen, a member of First Baptist Church of Searcy and was a Mason.
Survivors include his wife Nona Cheatham Almond of the home, daughters Susan (Richard) Cunningham, Becky (Mitch Cheatham) Almond, Gina (Terry) Ingle all of Carlisle and son Chris (Kim) Almond of Jonesboro. Grandchildren include Amie Gaither, Adam Almond, Charlotte Riegel, Amanda Staples, Kimberly Anthony, Nelson Ingle, Derek Ingle, Kyle Ingle, Aidan Almond, Lindsay Brown and Kate Brown. John also had 15 great grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, August 20 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Westbrook Funeral Home, Hazen. Funeral service will be Sunday, August 21 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Carlisle. Interment will follow at Carlisle Cemetery. Arrangements by Westbrook Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to donate in his name may send them to the Carlisle Airport Commission, PO Box 49, Carlisle, AR 72024 or Experimental Aircraft Association Scholarship program which may be contacted at EEA.org/Scholarships.