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Lt. Colonel John Boeman was a pilot, author & philosopher

10608 Lake Shore Boulevard
Lt. Colonel John Boeman
Lt. Colonel John Boeman

John S. Boeman saw action in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He served in World War II in the U.S. Army Air Corps flying over twenty missions as a B-24 pilot in the Pacific. His plane crashed on his 23rd flight, and he lost many of his crew. “I was just 21 when the war ended. I’d lived a lot of life in 20 months. Before I enlisted in the war, my greatest ambition was to go to college, play football, go back to my hometown and coach football and teach mathematics.

“The war made me a lot more serious for the rest of my life. I guess you’d call it loss of innocence.” Between World War II and Korea, he attended the University of Illinois. “The idea of playing football in college after what I’d gone through seemed plain silly, childish. I ended up majoring in philosophy.” He earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and philosophy and hoped to find a way to solve world problems without war.

John went on to become a co-pilot on a C-54 in Korea from 1950 to 1952 and a transport pilot from 1952 to 1954. He served in Vietnam as inspector general of the Military Assistance Command and during the Cold War flew B-47 and B-52 nuclear bombers for the Strategic Air Command. His final assignment was as commander of the Northeast Ohio recruiting detachment at the Federal Office building in Cleveland.

The Boemans met Mayor William Klein at a party at Gwinn. When Klein heard that they were house-hunting, he wasted no time introducing them to a real estate agent in the community. They looked at five homes before choosing 10608 Lake Shoe Boulevard.

In 1962, he earned a master’s degree from George Washington University in public administration.

Upon retiring from the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1972, Mr. stayed in Bratenahl and began writing his first book about his experiences and his views on war, peace, and life.

He was the author of “Moratai, A Memoir of War” and “Peace from War to War.” He also wrote articles for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “So far, what I’ve figured out is we learned a lot from the war, but we came up short on learning all we need to learn.”

John S. Boeman was born December 4, 1923, in Kempton, Illinois, the son of George and Winifred Boeman. He was educated at Kempton High School and was a graduate of Air Command and Staff College in 1963.

He married Lucille Weller who was born in 1922. They had nine children: Vicki (Jones), George, Mary (Casstevens), Norman, Suzanne (Koporc) Raymond, Melanie, Thomas, and Christopher.

John was president of the Cleveland and Ohio chapters of the Air Force Association and the Retired Officers Association. He belonged to Boy Scout Leaders and the Cleveland Minority Engineering Foundation.

John died on August 16, 1998, at his Bratenahl home, while working on his third book. Lucille died in May 2014. Both are buried in Lake View Cemetery.