Col. Harry Wilds


Col. Harry Wilds, USAF, Ret., age 99, passed away on Dec. 26, 2015.

Harry was born on a farm outside Elizabethtown, Indiana, the third of four children of Frank and Ethel Wilds. He graduated from Scipio High School in 1933. Upon graduation, he worked at the Farmers Marketing Association in Columbus, Indiana. In 1941, Harry entered the United States Air Force. On March 18, 1942, after graduating flight school, Harry married Martha Bechman of Franklin, Indiana. Their son, Randy was born November 5, 1943.

Harry graduated from the University of Maryland in 1956 with a degree in Military Science. Among many assignments, Harry was stationed at March Air Force Base, California, The Joint U.S. Military Group, Madrid, Spain, Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, Goose Bay, Labrador, Joint Task Force 4, Fort Monroe, Virginia, and The Joint Staff, The Pentagon. Harry culminated his Air Force career as the Dean of the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, retiring in June of 1969. He and Martha settled in Eustis, Florida where they refurbished and rented homes. As a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Eustis, Florida, Harry taught the adult Sunday school for twenty-five years. He also maintained an orange grove until the freeze of 1972, at which time he converted into a subdivision. He moved to Michigan in August 2015.

Colonel Wilds is survived by his son, Randy (Lynda); three grandchildren; Kathleen McShane, Ian Wilds and Meaghan Maddox; and seven great-grandchildren, Isabelle and Shannon McShane, Isla, Ashleigh, and Kayleigh Wilds, and Michaela and Haley Maddox.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9th at Kirk in the Hills, 1340 W. Long Lake Rd., Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Inurnment to be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Arrangements were entrusted to A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home.

View obituary and share memories at