Lt. Col. John H. Stein, 39, Valdosta, Ga., died Sunday, March 23, 2003, in Afghanistan, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He and five others died when their helicopter crashed while attempting a humanitarian mission to rescue two injured children. Lt. Col. Stein had volunteered for this rescue mission. He and his unit were just weeks away from completing their mission in the Gulf Region and returning to Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.
He was born July 8, 1963, in Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Jay and Hazel (Fick) Stein. He married Barbara Nelson July 9, 1983, in Macomb. She survives.
Also surviving are two sons, Doug and Tim; one daughter, Erin, all of Valdosta, Ga.; his father, Jay W. Stein, Columbus, Ohio; his mother, Hazel Henry, Macomb; one brother, Andrew (Susan) Stein, St. Charles; three sisters, Holly Stein, Denver, Colo., Nevida (James McLaughlin) Stein, New York, N.Y., April (Bryan Brittain) Stein, Alexandria, Va.; six nieces; two nephews.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents.
He grew up in the Macomb area and moved away from here in 1983. He was a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1985 and received his master’s degree from the University of Maryland. He was commissioned into the U.S. Army May 18, 1985, as a 2nd Lieutenant, entered flight school and obtained the rank of Lt. Colonel in early 2002 in the U.S. Air Force. He had flown 3,980 hours during his military career.
Funeral services were held Thursday, April 3, 2003, at the First Baptist Church in Colchester with Rev. Wayne Dorsett officiating. Burial was in the Forest Lawn Memory Gardens, Macomb. Full military honors were conducted by Scott Air Force Base Honor Guard.
Memorials may be made to the Focus on the Family Ministry in Memory of Lt. Colonel John Stein