Chief Master Sergeant (GENE) Sherman Eugene Eller, United States Air Force (Retired), Niceville (Boggy Bayou), Florida departed from this life on Aug 7, 2020 at the age of 79. He is survived by his son, Sherman Eugene Eller, Jr, daughter in law, Laurie Eller of Birmingham AL, daughter, Toni McCormick of Niceville. His sister Jane Roucolet and husband Gary of Phenix City, AL. His granddaughter Danielle McCormick, grandsons Kyle Eller, Cory Eller, and Cody Cook. Former wife Priscilla Eller. Step grandchildren Lacey Williams, Lindsey Foxhall, and Trent Foxhall. Great grandson Mathew Eller, great granddaughter Jordan Eller, and best friend Debra Wolfenden.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Vera Eller and his brother H. George Eller
(GENE) Sherman Eugene Eller was born in Columbus, GA November 23rd, 1940. He attended Jordan HS where he was a member of the Marching Band ’54-’58, Concert Band ‘54-’58, Clarinet Choir ‘56-’58, Honor Band ’55, and Woodwind Choir ’56-’58. He also attended music conventions in Chicago and Los Angeles and graduated in 1958. The quote under his Senior Year picture was “Nothing phases him…incomparable sense of humor”, which was so true throughout his life.
He joined the United States Air Force in July 1959 and retired in July 1986. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Troy State University during his time in the service. After a distinguished military career, he joined Lockheed Martin as a Senior Staff Engineer & Marketing Manager until his retirement July 2006. In retirement he continued as a consultant with Lockheed Martin.
As a Flight Engineer on the AC-130 Gunships (the most feared weapons systems on the planet) he was decorated and honored for his many missions and service. He participated in combat operations in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He also participated in Operation Eagle Claw (Iran Rescue Attempt), Operation Bield Kirk (El Salvador), and Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada). During his decorated military career, he received numerous medals which included:
Distinguished Flying Cross with One Oak Leaf Cluster
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with Two Silver and Three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Distinguished Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit award with Valor and Three Oak Leaf Clusters
Combat Readiness Medal
Air Force Good Conduct Medal with one Silver and one Bronze Oak Clusters
Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary with One Oak Leaf Cluster
Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Service Stars
Humanitarian Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Award ribbon with One Silver Oak Leaf Cluster
Non-Commissioned Officers Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon with One Oak Leaf Cluster
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
During his time with Lockheed Martin he was recognized for his innovative and significant contributions on the C-130J. His leadership and support were instrumental to the success of the program. He was the ultimate teammate. As someone once said “if you approached him with a problem, your problem became his problem”
In July of 2006, after 47 years of a stellar career serving the military in some capacity, he got to finally enjoy the fruits of his labor and begin retirement. He always said he loved retirement because every day was Saturday. He loved to travel, golf, sail, and of course driving his Corvette. He loved a good Scotch. He was an excellent cook, but also loved to go out to good restaurants. When he did go out, there weren’t many people that didn’t know him. You could often find him at his favorite place, Tisano’s Garlic Grill in Bluewater Bay, where he would buy you a glass of wine.
He also served as the President of the Special Ops Spectre Association, President of the Water Oaks Homeowners Association multiple times and was very involved with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation that was very dear and near to his heart. He was a member of the Sunset Corvette Club. He loved showing his Corvette at car shows and won a few awards along the way.
He was a man of integrity, bravery, loyalty, and intelligence.
His family and friends will miss his smile, stories, generosity, and sense of humor
“If you loved him, you loved him, if you didn’t, you still respected him”
If they have AC-130 Gunships in heaven, God found himself one heck of a Flight Engineer.
Rest in Peace, Ghost Rider.
Visitation will be Friday, Aug 14 from 3pm-5pm. A Gravesite service is set for Saturday, Aug 15th @ 2pm. Both Visitation and Burial Service will be held at Heritage Gardens, 2201 N Partin Dr, Niceville, FL and open to all friends and family. Masks are encouraged.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Chief Master Sergeant (Retired) Gene Eller’s memory to Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) https://specialops.org/
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