John Douglas Schlager
John Douglas Schlager
John Schlager of Winchester, Kentucky, passed away April 16, 2014, in Waukegan, Illinois, at age 50 due to complications from liver cancer.
John was born February 28, 1964, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Claude and Jacquette Schlager. He grew up in Garden City, Kansas, and graduated from Garden City High School. He later attended flight mechanics school in Denver, Colorado. He started his own business, Flightworks, in Georgetown, Kentucky, in 2003 and operated it until his death. He loved the airline business and worked extensively for a charter service. During major local events such as the Kentucky Derby, he was able to see many celebrities and take care of their aircraft, including the helicopter of President George W. Bush. It was not uncommon for him to work long stretches without any days off, just to get one plane ready to fly. He enjoyed cooking and frequently fixed lunch for the guys he worked with.
John was an independent spirit from childhood on. He loved to hunt and fish. Some of his favorite hunting included turkey, deer, pheasant and dove. He enjoyed cooking and eating the game that he caught. Guns were also a favorite hobby. In addition to collecting them, he liked to refurbish them. Taking things apart was a skill he honed as a young child, much to the consternation of his parents. He loved many different sports, including golf, football and car racing.
John had two children. His beloved son, Joe, passed away at age 19 in 2009. His daughter Nicole, aged 13, of Mount Sterling, Kentucky, remained the light of his life.
In addition to Nicole, John is survived by his mother, Jackie, of Garden City; his father, Claude, of Pattaya, Thailand; his sister, Lori Bensing, of Dallas; his brother, Neil, of Dallas; his nephew, E. J. Bensing, of New York City; and his niece, Leigh Jacquette Bensing, of Oxford, Mississippi. John also leaves behind many other family and friends in Kansas, Kentucky, and elsewhere.
A celebration of his life will be held at the Elks Lodge in Garden City on Tuesday, April 22, at 11 a.m. A subsequent memorial service will be held in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. Cremation has already taken place. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Nicole Schlager Educational Fund at Garnand Funeral Home, 412 N. Seventh St., Garden City, KS 67846.