Madelyn Marie Eggleston, 96 of Vernon, died on Friday, May 20, 2016, in Vernon, Texas. Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 10 a.m. at the Central Christian Church with Rev. Jim Antwine officiating. Interment will follow at Eastview Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Sullivan Funeral Home.
Madelyn was born Saturday, June 7, 1919 in Red Oak, Iowa. She was the daughter of the late Lawrence B. (Cap) Taylor and Blanche Beeson Taylor. When she was nine, her father took her to a local airport to watch an air show. She persuaded him to let her go for a ride. From that day forward she never lost her desire to fly. She graduated from Red Oak Junior College but reenrolled the next year in one class so she would be eligible to take the Civilian Pilot Training course, which would only accept one girl in each class of 10. She was that girl and earned her pilot license. When she learned about a program in Sweetwater, Texas, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) or “Flygirls” as the media called them, she applied. During WWII 25,000 women applied to the WASP program but due to the rigorous training and strict qualification requirements only 1,102 graduated. After seven months of flight training she graduated and was assigned to Las Vegas Army Air Field. She completed instrument school and was then assigned as an instrument instructor for male officer pilots. While stationed in Las Vegas, she met and married a B-17 bomber pilot, G.B. “Gil” Eggleston on Nov 3, 1944. They eventually moved back to Texas and settled in Vernon in 1952. In 2010, the WASPs received the congressional gold medal for their service. She was a homemaker and served as den mother in Cub Scouts and group leader for Camp Fire girls. After her children were grown, she went back to school and graduated from the Vernon College LVN program. She worked at Center North for 18 plus years. Madelyn was a member of the Eastern Star and a past Worthy Matron. She was a longtime member and very active in the Central Christian Church, was in CWF and the choir. She was active in charity work, loved gardening, art, watercolor painting and china painting.
Surviving are two sons, Edward B. Eggleston and wife Toya of Vernon, and Jon T. Eggleston of Vernon; one daughter, Evelyn Wilson and husband Jim of Stamford, TX.; eight grandchildren,
Robert Eggleston, Allison Harding, Cody Shores, Amy Cervantes, David Shores, Tracy Wygal, Robert Wilson and Ashly Eggleston, and 13 great-grand children.
She was preceded in death by brothers, Bill Taylor and Eldon Taylor.
Visitation will be held on Monday, May 23, 2016 from 7-8 pm at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the Central Christian Church.
The family would like to thank the Hospice workers and the home health care workers for all of their special care.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.sullivanfuneralhomevernon.com.