FRESNO, CA —On February 25, 1933, John E. (Jack) Cruikshank was born to Paul and Beula (Guthrie) Cruikshank (the youngest of 4 children), in Elkton, Maryland. After high school, Jack joined the United States Air Force. He proudly served our country as a boom operator on the KC135 for over 22 years. When called, he protected our nation in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In 1957, Jack was stationed at Castle Air Force Base; his family joined him and quickly settled into the Merced Area. Jack trained many future boom operators and was a senior master sergeant when he retired in 1974. After retirement, Jack remained close to the friends he made in the Air Force by driving back and forth across the county to attend many boom operator reunions.
Jack is preceded in death by his parents and sisters Janice, Mary Ann Davis and Paula Korman. He was also preceded by his son-in-law, Lex Freitas; daughter-in-law, Leanne Cruikshank; son, Chris Cruikshank; and the mother of his children, Patricia Richards Cruikshank.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Cruikshank; daughters, Connie Freitas, Cande Cruikshank and Carol Wunder; grandchildren, Kory Billings (Amie), Alexis Freitas, Nicki Sanchez (Carlos), CJ Cruikshank, Gregory Ezell (Kayla) and Eric Wunder (Rebekah); and 14 great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the Winton VFW Hall (7093 W. Walnut Ave., Winton, CA) on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 1:00 P.M. His final cremains will be laid to rest in the San Joaquin National Cemetery (Santa Nella, CA) on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 1:00 P.M.