Obituary of George Stratford Gennin
George Stratford Gennin was born on May 15, 1944 in Tylertown, Mississippi to Ned and Linda Gennin. Through his young adult life in Mississippi, he worked on his family cotton gin business, general store, and farm. During the summers in college, he traveled to Montana and Idaho where he worked as a firefighter.
He was a highly decorated United States Air Force Officer who began his military quest at Ole Miss (University of Mississippi) in United States Air Force (USAF) ROTC, where he also earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1966. He was commissioned to second Lieutenant United States Air Force in 1966. He was a graduate of United States Air Force Fighter Weapons School, earned a Master of Science degree in Personnel Management from Troy State University while attending and graduating from United States Air War College in 1985.
In a quest for his career as an aviator, he began private flying lessons in college. This helped prepare him for acceptance to pilot training and a twenty-three-year United States Air Force career as a fighter pilot and commander, rising to the rank of Colonel (1966-1973).
During his military career he flew three tours in the F-4 over Vietnam, logging more than four hundred and fifty combat missions, of which more than one hundred had been over North Vietnam. He was one of the elite who flew pure air-to-air in the F-4E with the 4th TFW at Seymour Johnson. In 1973 he attended F-4 Fighter Weapons School; a fighter weapons instructor and then began his work in 1976 as Manager of F-16 and F-17 advanced avionics programs at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. (1973-77); Operations Staff Officer at Ramstein Air Base, Germany (1977-78); Commander, project pilot F-16 Multi-Organizational Test & Evaluation (MOT&E) at Hill Air force base, Utah. In 1984 he was selected to be commander of a United States Air Force top secret squadron who flew Russian MiG’s in Nevada. He boarded a small jet at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, Neveda with the fellow pilots he commanded who then flew to places unknown by Laureen until confirmed when the squadron was declassified several years later. His tour at The Pentagon saw him serving of Director of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) as Chief of Asia Division, Directoriate of International Programs supporting the F-16 programs of air forces in Thailand, China, Pakistan, Taiwan, India, New Zeland and Australia; and then back into the F-4 cockpit as Vice Wing Commander at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas where he retired in 1990. He joined SRS International 1990-1991 as Director of International Operations and soon followed with a colleague to start SDS International as CEO/President in 1991 until he retired in 2017. Fall of 2017 found him and Laureen traveling to downsize into retirement in Colorado Springs, Colorado where they reside today.
He served as a member of American Legion, Order of Daedalians, Air Force Association, Veterans of Foreign, Texas Longhorn Breeders Association, co-founder of Texas Longhorn Marketing Association, and Madison Boys & Girls Club. As Waylon and Willi sang “Mama Don’t Let your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” the purchase of a farm estate in 1999 allowed George at the start a new career-hobby as a breeder of registered Texas Longhorn cattle on his Virginia ranch “Chimneys” with his wife, Laureen. Their farm in the Virginia countryside enabled them to enjoy a busy lifestyle developing their estate raising livestock (Texas Longhorns, Heritage Tennessee Fainting Goats, Bulgarian Karakachan dogs, - another international program!) Over the years they attended and hosted many auctions, sales and gatherings with a fabulous cast of fellow longhorn breeders across America. The Gennin’s were members and active in the TLBA, ITLA, co-founders of the Texas Longhorn Marketing Association (TLMA). Laureen wrote a feature in the Texas Longhorn magazine for eight years, served on Longhorn boards, and making it a family affair; they introduced their grandchildren, (Sierra, Caylie, G3 and Raquel); to the cattle management breeding programs with their own stock, which allowed them to travel with their grandparents to many Longhorn events.
George was a beloved, loving husband to his wife, Laureen as they shared a lifetime of romance for forty-four plus years. He was a loving father to Ashley and Chris, and a devoted grandfather, uncle, brother-in-law, and friend. In addition to his grandchildren, Sierra, Caylie, G3, and Raquel; whom he mentored throughout his life, and longtime young adult friends who came to Chimneys to share with his family and work Texas Longhorns (Brady, Casey, Kim, Kelly, Troy and Ryan, Bruna and Tiago); leaving an imprint on another generation of great men and women.
He will be eternally missed. He will be laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery. Date of services to be determined.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of George Gennin, please visit Tribute Store