Brighten the corner where you are.
Milton Ignatius Aalen passed peacefully from this life early on the morning of August 26, 2013 at the age of 91 years. He was born April 13, 1922 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX to Frederick Albert Aalen and Frances Elizabeth Aalen. An Army family, Milton lived his earliest years in the Philippines and Maryland before returning to San Antonio where he attended parochial schools and graduated from Central Catholic High. At Central Catholic he was a member of the Drum and Bugle Corp, Drama Club and won a divisional title in boxing while enjoying the study of physics and Latin.
After High School Graduation in 1939 he held several jobs before entering World War II in the Aviation Cadet program. As a gunner on the B-24 Aircraft and transfer to England, he flew 35 combat missions and 15 other missions. For courage in combat he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the highest combat honors in the military.
Taking advantage of the GI Bill, he entered Texas A & M. There he studied accounting and relished being part of a community with renowned school spirit. As a member of the military corps he earned a commission in the Air Force upon graduation in 1949. He lived his life as a proud Texas Aggie.
During College he met and fell deeply in love with Bernadine Wright. Married in 1948, the matrimonial union lasted sixty years. Three children were born to the couple: Jimmy, Diane and Gary.
After several years with accounting duties in Houston, Milton took on his 32-year career role as Hospital Administrator at the new Hearne General Hospital in Hearne, Texas in the mid-1950s. He was a powerhouse civic participant in the small town—Rotary Club, Chairman of the City Charter Committee, member of the School Board, City Council, Chamber of Commerce, District Committee of Boy Scouts, Air Force Reserve, and, of course, Robertson County A & M Club.
Livelong and devout Catholics, Milton and Bernadine were active members of the St Mary’s Faith Community, and served as communion ministers and lectors. For twenty years they counted collections. Milton helped plan and oversee the construction of the beautiful new St. Mary’s Church building in the 1960s.
Milton enjoyed hunting and fishing. But perhaps his greatest midlife passion was running. Only cancer in his legs when he was 83 stopped 30 years of running and races.
He moved from Hearne to San Marcos in 2011 to be near Son, Gary, and Daughter, Diane.
In trying to describe him in a single word one of his children suggested “dutiful.” Another suggested “faithful. To his family and many in the civic and church community he served in Hearne, Texas, he was one of the very best of The Greatest Generation. May he take an earned rest in eternal peace.
Milton Aalen is survived by his children: Jim (Lyn), Diane (Bob), and Gary (Gini). Grandchildren: Seth Wallis (Sarah), Jaime Aalen and Joshua Wallis. Great Grandchildren: Benjamin Wallis and Zachary Wallis. He was preceded by Wife, Bernadine Wright Aalen; Grandson, Damon Aalen; and Sister, Margaret Earl.
Visitation will be held Sunday evening, September 8, 2013 from 5:30-6:30pm followed by a Rosary and Eulogy at Memorial Funeral Home, 802 S Market, Hearne, Texas 77859. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00am on Monday, September 9, 2013 at St. Mary’s Church, 402 W. 1st St. Hearne, Texas 77859, Father David Leibham, Celebrant.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the New Roof/Renovation Fund at St. Mary’s Church.