Santiago ‘Sandy’ Gonzalez, Colonel, U.S. Air Force (retired) a resident of Village on the Green, Longwood, Fl passed away on November 17, 2020. He was predeceased by his mother Daria Ferrer and step-father Gregory Ferrer, his father Mr. Santiago Gonzalez and his loving wife Georgina T. Gonzalez.
Born on May 1, 1925, in Humacao, Puerto Rico Sandy was raised in New York City where he graduated from Manhattan School of Aviation with an emphasis on aeronautical engineering in 1942. He applied for pilot training through The Aviation Cadet Training Program and in May 1943 he was sent to Basic Training in Atlantic City, NJ. In November 1944 he was assigned to the Eighth Air Force, 303rd Bomb Group in Molesworth, England. At 19 years of age, he flew approximately 30 missions over Germany in six months.
In 1950 while stationed in Massachusetts, Sandy met the love of his life Georgina Tyler. They were married on June 2, 1951, before he was assigned to Korea for 6 months where he transitioned to the SA-16 (twin engine amphibious plane). In 1969 Sandy was assigned to Bien Hoa, Vietnam for one year with the 1st Air Calvary Division, 834th Air Division as Tactical Air Liaison Officer. Sandy retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1970 after proudly serving his country.
After retiring from the military Sandy attended the University of Florida and studied computer science before moving to Fern Park, Fl. where he worked for CNA Financial for 17 years and became a very active member of the Air Rescue Association, serving as president and executive director for many years. Sandy was a member of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church.
Sandy is survived by his daughters Lynda Hale (Mike) of Watkinsville, GA, Sandra Huskey, Roswell, GA, granddaughters Alyson Rabinowitz of New York City, Morgan Hale of Athens, GA, and grandsons Michael Hale, North Miami Beach, FL and Justin Rabinowitz (Hannah) of St. Louis, MO and great-grandson Hudson Rabinowitz of St. Louis, MO.
A service will be held at Highland Funeral Home, Highland Memory Gardens, Friday, November 27, 2020 10AM – 12PM Visitation / 12PM Funeral Service with Burial to follow. Due to restrictions in place from the Coronavirus pandemic, all family, friends, & guests will be required to wear a face mask, or facial covering to attend funeral services. You can view the livestream of the funeral services by following along at (https://iframe.dacast.com/b/156512/c/532595). A recording of the service will also be available after the services for friends to view.
The family would like to extend our gratitude to his caregivers, specifically Lottie and Maria for their attentiveness and loving care.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Sandy’s name to the Central Florida Foundation, c/o Brede-Wilkins Scholarship Fund, 800 N Magnolia Ave # 1200, Orlando, FL 32803.
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