Cheney Free Press -

Lt. Col. Howard DeLos Ringley


Last updated 3/14/2019 at 10:24pm

Lt. Col. Howard DeLos Ringley, USAF retired, passed away on March 8, 2019. Howard was born on May 28, 1919 to Roy and Virginia (Rice) Ringley in Pactola Valley in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

In 1926, the family moved to Arizona where Howard grew up. Howard was educated in the Phoenix public schools at Emerson School, Phoenix Union High School and Phoenix Junior College. Later he attended classes at the University of Maryland and the Air Force School of Applied Tactics where he graduated from the Senior Communication Staff Officers Source.

Howard had a brief start on a career in journalism with a daily newspaper at the United Press, but the winds of war blew strong in September 1940. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and was commissioned in 1943 and sent overseas. During World War II, he served with the 5th Air Force in Australia, New Guinea and the Philippine Islands.

After the war, Howard married Josephine Garriffa on June 14, 1947 in Sheridan, Wyo. He continued his Air Force career at Ft. Logan, Colo.; Great Falls, Mont.; Goose Bay, Labridor, New York City, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.; the Pentagon, Washington D.C.; Taiwan, Spokane, Wash. (as senior Air Force advisor to a Mobile Communications Group Of the WA ANG), then Scott AFB, Ill. His final assignment was as a plans and electrical system officer on the staff of the Commander in Chief of Alaskan Command at Anchorage, Alaska.

He retired in August 1971. His awards include the Legion of Merit, the National Defense Service Medal, the U.S. Army Good Conduct Medal, the Joint Services Command Commendation Medal, several Air Force commendation medals and campaign awards from World War II. He also received Communicator Wings from the Republic of China Air Force.

The first year after Air Force retirement, Howard built two houses with a partner in Eagle River, Alaska, then moved with family to Cheney and the nearby lakes. When not out fishing, he was selling real estate, building or golfing.

He was a member of the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, a Grand Knight on the St. Rose Council 9145 of the KofC, a Faithful Navigator Spokane Assembly go Fourth Degree KoC, a member of the Honor Guard, the Charter Commander of the VFW Post 11326 when it formed in Cheney and of Beta Phi Gamma. After a second retirement in 1981, he took a volunteer post as a maintenance person at St. Rose along with his best friend Lt. Colonel Emilio B. Zamora, U.S. Army (Retired) and a golfer.

Howard is survived by one son, Donald (wife Mary), of Clinton, N.C., three daughters Jeanmarie (Robert) Wilkinson of Bend, Oregon, Donna (James) Lauffer of Corona, California, Joyce (Craig) Colby of Cheney, 12 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Howard is preceded in death by his wife Josephine in 2003, his parents, one son Howard Jr., two brothers Roy and Roger, and his sister Rhonda.

A Rosary will be held on Friday, March 15 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Cheney, followed by a Memorial Mass on Saturday, March 16 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.

Cheney Funeral Chapel, Cheney, WA. Online guest book at


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