CW4 Gordon "Gordy" D. Colis was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 07/07/2016 at the age of 78.5
Lawton, OK
Flight Class 64-8W
Date of Birth 01/06/1938
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with 229 AVN 1 CAV in 65-66, C/159 AVN 101 ABN in 69
Call sign in Vietnam PLAYTEX
This information was provided by Don Williams

More detail on this person: Collapsed and died in the shower at the Peppermill Resort Hotel while attending the 33rd annual reunion of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association.

Graveside service for retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Gordon D. "Gordy" Colis, 78, Lawton, will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 14, 2016, in Fort Sill National Cemetery, Elgin, with the Rev. John Cramer, retired Methodist Minister, Lawton, officiating.

Burial with full military honors will be in Fort Sill National Cemetery, Elgin, under direction of Becker-Rabon Funeral Home.

Mr. Colis passed away Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Reno, Nev.

He was born Jan. 6, 1938, in Valley City, N.D., to Pete and Edith Myrtle (Tvedt) Colis. He graduated from Valley City College High in 1956. He was a great athlete and to this day still holds the record at Valley High for the most points scored in a basketball game. He joined the U.S. Army and retired as a Chief Warrrant Officer 4, Master Aviator, after 29 years of service. He flew fixed-wing aircraft, rotary wing and was an instrument examiner. He was an observation helicopter pilot, a cargo helicopter pilot and a heavy lift helicopter pilot. One of his greatest achievements in the Army was being with the Executive Presidential Flight Detachment as a pilot who flew Army 1 for President Gerald Ford.

Chief Colis honorably served during Vietnam and earned the following awards for his service; Meritorious Unit Commendation, Master Army Aviator Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Air Medal with 32 Oak Leaf Clusters, Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Service Medal with 7 Service Stars, Humanitarian Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Presidential Service Badge.

He married Zella Sue Thompson on June 19, 1997, in Las Vegas. He earned his Bachelor's of Business from Cameron University, and at the time of his death he was the CEO and co-owner of A-OK Office Systems for the last 32 years. Gordy was a member of the Vietnam Veterans, the VFW and was a 32nd degree Mason.

Survivors include his wife, Sue of the home; children: Sheryl Sims and husband Tommy of Lawton; Debora Horsch and husband John of Moore; Steven Colis of Fort Worth, Texas; and Lana Moore and husband Mike of Cache; siblings: Eleanor Ritter and husband Don of Eugene, Ore.; Beverly Ertelt of Buckley, Wash.; Donald Colis and wife Viki of Mandan, N.D.; and Caroline Kulek and husband Raymond of Palm Springs; three granddaughters: Justine Horsch, Kaylee Horsch, and Kelby Sims Timoney; four grandsons: Steven Colis, Scott Colis, Grady Moore and Logan Moore; and great-granddaughter, Adaline Timoney. He was also survived by very close nephews and niece: Lary Benzinger of Oregon, Dan Colis of Seattle; and Vivian Lang of Bismarck, N.D.; and numerous other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Merriam Colis of Seattle; sister, Eileen Benzinger and her husband Johnny of Bismarck, N.D.; and a nephew, Gary Benzinger.

In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to the Vietnam Veterans of America, 1004 SW B Ave., Lawton 73501, or to a local food pantry of your choice.

The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2016, at the funeral home.

An online guest book and sympathy cards are available at

This information was last updated 07/15/2016

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Date posted on this site: 03/10/2024

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