Civil Air Patrol

Wisconsin Wing Mourns the Loss of Former Commander and Great Lakes Region Vice-Commander

Photo taken by Capt. Jeri Gonwa, Wisconsin Wing - Colonel Clair Jowett during the 2010 Wisconsin Wing Conference.

Madison, Wis. – Wisconsin Wing Civil Air Patrol (CAP) lost an outstanding volunteer when former wing commander, Colonel Clair D. Jowett, 79 of Wausau, died Monday, November 21, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital following a brief battle with brain cancer.

Known as a “gentle giant” to many in the wing due to his height, his quiet demeanor and devotion to CAP was evident to many.

“Always thinking outside of the box, never allowing the ‘this is the way we have always done it’ attitude to win” was what Major Dave Dieler, commander of Rock County Composite Squadron remembers about Jowett.  “He had never stopped being a big dreamer.  The Colonel was a gentle, quiet giant of a man, a real leader that people felt comfortable following.”

Born in Wausau on April 21, 1932 to the late Harold and Irene (Wanderer) Jowett, he graduated from Minocqua High School in 1951 and served two years in the Army.  He married Colleen McCormick on June 26, 1957 at the First Presbyterian Church, Wausau.

Jowett graduated from college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with goals to become a good coach and teacher.  He taught and coached in Cranton, Wis. then later earned his MS degree in School Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

During his tenure in the Wausau School District as a teacher and administrator, he also served as the assistant principal of Wausau East High School.  He worked at the Wausau Paper Mill as an account executive for 10 years and later became the owner of a retail store from which he retired.

Jowett’s interests included hunting, curling, golf, skiing and bridge.  However his most passionate interest upon retirement was CAP.  He rose through the ranks serving as Wisconsin’s wing commander from April 2002 – April – 2006, then moving to the position of Great Lakes Region director of operations.  He was serving as the Great Lakes Region vice commander until his death.

A devoted Badgers football fan he also enjoyed the Green Bay Packers and attended his grandkids sporting events.  He and his wife Colleen enjoyed many wonderful vacations and the summers spent with family and friends at their cottage in Mid Lake.

Before he passed away, Jowett was asked about the many honors or rewards he had received.  “I received several awards over the years; each one seemed special at the time” he replied.  “The first one that I can think of was when Miss Bessy made me captain of the Safety Patrol.  Next I received the Outstanding Curler of the Year Award.  Later I received the Wausau Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year Award.  The latest one was the Distinguished Service medal from Civil Air Patrol.”

Colonel Jowett will be missed by many.  Rest in peace sir!

 

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