More detail on this person: Major Dwight Clifton Cheek, 72, died peacefully May 13 in his home surrounded by family after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. Dwight was born on September 23, 1946 in Orlando, Florida to Leon B. and Martha Fenn Cheek. He attended Florida State University but left school to enlist in the Army in 1966. He later graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Dwight attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and after graduation attended flight schools in Fort Wolters, Texas and Fort Rucker, Alabama, graduating in 1969. He was deployed to Vietnam soon after to fly Armed Light Observation helicopters. While in Vietnam, Dwight served with the 1st Squadron 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism in aerial flight as well as two Bronze Stars and 18 Air Medals. As a combat veteran of the 1st Infantry Division, he would proudly say: "If you're going to be one, be a Big Red One." Dwight later served as Army Liaison, Amphibious Force, Sixth Fleet, US Naval Forces Europe at the time of the Embassy bombing in Lebanon where he transported photographers and journalists whose work was featured on national media. He also served as an Instructor Pilot at Fort Rucker, Alabama several times. Prior to retiring in 1986, Dwight served as the Army advisor to the 45th Aviation Battalion, Oklahoma National Guard. He was credited with proposing their moniker the "Lords of Darkness" and coming up with the idea of the owl as their mascot. He was reported as saying upon leaving this assignment: "Sir, you don't need an Active Duty Advisor any more, this unit can do the job." Dwight retired to Mount Dora and worked as a land surveyor for a number of years. He was an avid musician and guitar and ukulele player, performing at open mic venues throughout Mount Dora. He loved sports cars, especially his 1971 Jaguar XKE convertible. Dwight is survived by his son, Philip Todd Cheek (Scarlett), Dothan, Alabama; granddaughters Harlie Cheek, Lady Lake, Florida and Ryleigh Cheek, Dothan, Alabama; brothers, Leon B. Cheek (Barbara) Winter Park, Florida; John D. Cheek, Orlando, Florida; Gary H. Cheek (Leslie), Nashville, Tennessee, and sister Virginia Cheek Berger (Wayne), Sunset, South Carolina; two nieces, three nephews, a loving extended family and many friends. Visitation will take place at Allen J. Harden Funeral Home, 1800 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, Florida on Monday, May 20 from 5pm to 7pm. A memorial Service will be held at Allen J. Harden Funeral Home on Tuesday, May 21 at 10am, with burial immediately following at Pine Forest Cemetery, 1801 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora. The service will be officiated by Pastor Walter Laseter. Dwight will be remembered as a patriot, and officer and a gentleman, and a loving father, grandfather, brother, and friend. Every Veterans Day he proudly wore his Army Dress Blues and Cavalry Stetson; he truly was a "Solder for Life." God Bless America!
Burial information: Pine Forest Cemetery, Mount Dora
This information was last updated 11/15/2019
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Date posted on this site: 04/14/2021
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