Virgil Greyson Mudd

 

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Virgil Greyson Mudd

Chief Master Sergeant Virgil Greyson Mudd died peacefully in his home at the age of 100.

Virgil is survived by his children, Gary and David, and David’s wife, Maitri Sojourner; his grandchildren, Austin and Andrea, and their spouses, Tami Mudd and Colin Winnette; his great-grandchildren, Evan Mae and Charlotte Grayson; and numerous relatives in Oklahoma, Arizona, Montana, and Texas. He is preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Sylvia Turner Mudd, as well as his parents, his brother Walton, and his twin sister Verna.

Virgil was born 100 years ago in South Texas. He met his wife on a visit to a friend. He was greeted at the door by the friend’s sister, Sylvia, and the rest, as they say, is history. The two were married in 1942. Virgil attended UCLA Extension in Business Administration, Industrial Relations, and advanced technical courses at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren remember him for his keen—often salty—sense of humor, his colorful stories about his long life and many travels, his love for family both near and far, and his light-up bow tie, a regular fixture at holiday gatherings.

Chief Master Sergeant Virgil Greyson Mudd

Virgil was a World War II veteran with the Army Air Corps. He led a mobile repair crew that patched bullet and flak holes in the fuselage and wings of planes that had made it back on a “wing and a prayer” to bases in England, France, Belgium, and Germany. He and his crew dismantled the first German jet fighter (an Me 262) after its capture by the Allies so that it could be shipped to England to study its design. On April 14, 1945, Virgil witnessed the atrocities at Buchenwald Prison Camp three days after it was liberated by General Patton’s Sixth Armored Division.  After the war, and a brief stint in the Reserves, Virgil re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, working as a missile technician at the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base in California. He retired as a Chief Master Sergeant in the 1960s.

Following his retirement from the Air Force, Virgil went to work at Boeing on the SRAM cruise missile in Renton, and the 747 (National Command Post planes) in Everett. He was a Shriner for more than 50 years, serving as the Director of Shrine clubs, Chairman of the $100 Million Club, Commander of the Legion of Honor, and President of the Renton Shrine Club.

Virgil and Sylvia were avid travelers, roaming the globe from Europe to Mexico. They para-glided in Puerto Vallarta with “the pelicans flying below.” In the 1980s they embarked on an 11-day, 40-mile hike in the Wind River Area of Wyoming; Virgil recalled that Sylvia was so happy to get out she led the pack out, singing a song. Virgil and Gary hiked the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska and Canada “to find out how difficult it was for the gold-seekers to get to the gold fields in 1898.”  Virgil and David went on many successful hunting and fishing trips together, sometimes joined by Gary and Austin and other family members and friends.

Virgil’s great-grand children loved story time with their great grandpa, and getting chocolate from him at the end of visits. Four generations of Mudds, many friends and neighbors, and more than 20 Shriners gathered at Virgil’s home in 2017 to celebrate his 100th birthday. When asked the secret to reaching the age of 100, Virgil replied, “Just keep breathing.”

A memorial service is scheduled  for  11:00 a.m., July 9 at Tahoma National Cemetery. All are welcome to attend.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org or Ducks Unlimited at www.ducks.org.

3 Responses to “Virgil Greyson Mudd”

  • Carolyn Mayes says:

    We surely enjoyed the times we spent with Uncle Virgil the past few summers. He lived a remarkable life. I am so proud to have been his niece and I wish my mom had had more years with him. May we all follow his example of charity and love to others. May God’s blessings be upon you Gary, David, Maitre, and the grandkids and great-grandchildren.

  • Judy (Daniels) Bakken says:

    To Virgil’s family. I worked with Virgil at Boeing back in the 60’s-70’s and remember his witty sense of humor and friendly attitude to everyone. He was a true gentlemen. I’m sorry for your loss and glad you had him in your life for so many years.

  • Moira Campbell says:

    I am sorry to hear of the passing of Virgil. My Dad, John Campbell, was part of a hunting-fishing group of friends from Boeing which included, Virgil, Norton, Vaughn to name a few. I was just a kid when I met Virgil and Sylvia. They were a good looking couple, very compatible and always on the go! Virgil provided the Southern hospitality with a pinch of humor to the group. He was the oldest in the group but, always had energy to spare. In later years, my husband, Dave, had the pleasure of meeting Virgil on some of the group outings and found him a very interesting man! I hope your family finds peace in his life well lived. With sympathy, Moira & Dave

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