Maybelle Montgomery Fletcher
Maybelle Montgomery Fletcher, 92, celebrated her new life in heaven on October 18, 2016. She was born in Speegleville, Texas on October 14, 1924 to Eben Montgomery and Edna Thomas Montgomery.
Maybelle was a pioneer in aviation who began her 70+ year career by soloing when she was 16 yrs old. In 1945 she met her co-pilot for life, James Lawrence (Larry) Fletcher at the airport in Waco, Texas. Her wedding ring was a Piper J-3 Cub!
On October 14, 2016 Larry and Maybelle celebrated 71 years of marriage, much of it at over 2,000 ft in about 175 different types of airplanes
Maybelle was a longtime active member of the Ninety Nines, an organization of women pilots. She was the founder of the Southwest Flying Club, the oldest flying club in Texas. She loved racing airplanes locally and internationally.
As an FAA Designated Examiner for over 30 years, she accumulated over 30,000 flight hours. She was a CFI, CFII, MEI Instructor and had a Seaplane rating. Many of her students became airline pilots, military pilots and even astronauts.
One of Maybelle’s most significant contributions to aviation was her development of the plan accepted by the FAA for Class B airspace for Houston’s Hobby Airport which is still in effect. In 2001 she was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame located in the Lone Star Flight Museum. In 2004 she was the first woman honored with The Wright Brother’s Master Pilot Award. Also in 2004 Maybelle was presented the Lloyd P. Nolen Lifetime Achievement in Aviation Award by Wings Over Houston.
Maybelle’s crowning achievement was making sure her children had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Houston’s First Baptist Church was their training ground, where she and Larry were members for 60 years. They enjoyed flying Brother John Bisagno to revivals and speaking engagements. She was Superintendent of the Second Grade Sunday School Department for 33 years.
Maybelle is survived by husband Larry Fletcher, children Sandra (Sandy) Fletcher Smith, David Lawrence Fletcher (Cindy) and Suzanne Wood (Ben). Grandchildren Lisa Irwin, Lorrie Lampson, Rebecca Garms, Sarah Slovarp, Reagan Fletcher. Great grandchildren Julia Batinga, Daniel Hayden, Emily Whisnant, Samuel Hayden, Elizabeth Hayden, Isabella MacKay, Blake Garms, Brooke Garms, Addison Henley, Maxwell Henley and Rylann Slovarp. Great-Great grandchildren include Madison, Mackenzie, Makayla, Jacob and Masyn Batinga.
Funeral Service for family and friends will be held at Oakcrest Funeral Home, Waco Texas Tuesday, October 25, 2016, with visitation Monday from 5-7 pm. Bro. John Durham officiating.
Houston Memorial Service will be held Saturday November 5, 2016 at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport with Bro. David Self officiating. Friends and family are invited to fly in for the celebration of Maybelle’s life.
For a full obituary with photos: Oakcrest Funeral Home, Waco, Texas.