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Originally published: 2013-05-20 15:20:20
Last modified: 2013-05-20 15:20:20

John Samuel Hovis

John Samuel Hovis, 92, of Grand Boulevard, Boone, passed away Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Mr. Hovis was born May 9, 1921, in Bessemer City, a son of the late Eva Blanche Ormand Hovis and Samuel Brooks Hovis.

He graduated from Bessemer City High School and volunteered for the Army Air Corp in l941. During WWII, John served as a transport pilot carrying troops/para-troopers, equipment, ammunition and other materials of war. He flew C-46, C-47, and C-119 planes in a total of 222 combat missions while stationed at fields including England, Iceland, Sicily and Algeria. John flew in support of the Invasion of North Africa, as a part of the North African theater flying into Algiers, as part of "Operation Torch", and landing to watch the Invasion & Occupation of Sicily and Invasion of Italy, among others. He remained in the service until 1947, having attained the rank of Major, then spending 20 additional years in the Air Force Reserves. Major Hovis kept track of his surviving squadron members from the 18th Troop Carrier Squadron, 64th Group, and was a member of the Reserve Officers Association.

Surviving are his wife, Lucille Sullins Hovis of the home; daughters, Carol Pharr and spouse, Henry, of Charlotte, and Flora Hovis of Spruce Pine; two grandchildren, Athos Rostan III and wife, Jennifer, of Hickory, and Elizabeth Rostan of Charlotte; two great-grandchildren, Matthew and Andrew Rostan, both of Hickory.

Memorial services for John Samuel Hovis will be conducted 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at Boone United Methodist Church, officiated by Pastor Jason Byassee.

A reception will follow services at the church. The family respectfully requests no food or flowers, and suggest memorials to the Boone United Methodist Church Building Fund, 471 New Market Blvd., Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at the website

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Hovis family.