John Francis Legg was born on June 16, 1936, in Miami, Fla., as Francis John Kilcoyne to Francis John Kilcoyne Sr. and Irene Elizabeth (Hawke) Kilcoyne, both of whom were from Pennsylvania. John’s maternal grandmother, Anna Lavelle Hawke, was born in 1874 on an ocean liner while en route from Ireland to America. John’s parents divorced and when John was 7, Irene married John D. Legg and on March 5, 1948, by legal decree, John was adopted by Mr. Legg, and took the name John Francis Legg.
John’s father, a Naval commander, allowed John to grow up in various locations. His early years were primarily in Texas and Florida. He had many wonderful stories of being a young boy in Key West. His early teenage years were in Concord, Calif., where he rode his bicycle all over the rural, farm area of northern Contra Costa County. In high school, his father’s career took John to Norfolk, Va., where he entered the Naval Air Reserve and obtained his private pilot’s license before graduating from Granby High School. After high school, John entered the Air Force aviation cadet training program and in 1958, John was commissioned as a second lieutenant and graduated from jet fighter training at Webb Air Force Base in Big Springs, Texas.
Obtaining the rank of lieutenant colonel, John retired from the United States Air Force on Jan. 1, 1984. Including his naval reserve time, John proudly served his country for more than 30 years. During that time, he flew B-47s, F-100s, B-52s, and T-33s. During the Vietnam campaign from 1966 to 1968 he completed more than 300 combat missions in the F-100 Supersabre. And in 1970, he returned to the war zone in Southeast Asia, commanding 52 more combat missions in the B-52 Stratofortress Bomber.
After retirement from the Air Force, John continued to serve the United States Air Force by taking employment with the KC-10 aircraft crew training group first at March AFB near Moreno Valley, Calif., and then at Travis AFB in Fairfield, Calif. For almost another 30 years, John trained active and reserved duty aircrews in the KC-10 simulator.
John enjoyed coin collecting, gold panning, growing tomatoes, photography, fishing, and playing the lottery. He was fascinated with astronomy and any story of UFOs and aliens. But what John loved more than anything was time spent with his family and friends.
John is survived by his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Betsy) Legg of Fairfield, Calif.; and their daughter, Jamie Nichole Legg, 25, of Los Angeles; son, David John (Dege) Legg, 46, of Lafayette, La.; daughter, Stacey Ann Legg, 45, of Seattle, Wash.; and grandson, Myecah Joaquin Carrier, 11, of Toledo Bend, La. John is also survived by dear family friends, Linda Joyce Coleman of St. Clair, Mich., and Renee Kathleen DiFronzo of Carson City, Nev. John is also blessed to have first cousins, Eileen (Cookie), Tom, Tim, Susan, Elizabeth, Mary, and John (and their families), all of San Antonio, Texas.
Visitation and a loving gathering will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home in Fairfield. Calif. Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at Bryan-Braker followed by interment at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road Dixon, Calif., 95620.
Arrangements are under the direction of Bryan-Braker Funeral Home, 1850 W. Texas Street, Fairfield, Calif., 94533.