Minton, 84, of Indianapolis died Sunday November 7th, 2004. While earning
her B.A. degree at Butler University, she was one of the first four women
in the United States to graduate from the Advanced Civilian Pilot Training
Program authorized by the Civil Aeronautics Authority.
In 1943 she joined
the newly organized Womenís Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) and was trained
to ferry Army airplanes to domestic military bases for delivery to combat
flight crews. After World War II Madge remained passionate about the role
of women in aviation. She was a member of The Ninety-Nines, Inc.
International Organization of Women Pilots, P-51 Mustang Pilots Association,
The Confederate Air Force, and the Indianapolis Aero Club. She served
as a regional vice president for the P-47 Thunderbolt Pilots Association.
In the 1970ís Madge took an active role in lobbying for and finally
achieving recognition and veteran status for all former WASPs.
While serving in World War II, Madge and Naval Officer, Sherman A.Minton,
M.D. were married on October 10, 1944 during a five day leave. After the
war, they settled in Indianapolis. With the exception of four years in
Pakistan (1958 - 1962), Indianapolis was the familyís home.
Madge, mother of
three daughters, was a teacher, an author, a lapidary, and an amateur
herpetologist. She was an accomplished collector of unique primitive
artifacts, fine art, and natural rarities.
The memorial service is scheduled for Saturday , November 20, 2004, 11:00
a.m. at All Souls Unitarian Church, 5805 East 56th Street in Indianapolis.
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, contributions to: WASP Memorials,
P.O. Box 456, Sweetwater, Texas 79556.
Madge is survived by her three daughters, Brooks M. de Cervantes, April
M. Kiesier, and Holly S. Minton; and her grandchildren, Natasha
Cervantes M.D., and Benjamin Childers.
For a vision in our youth, Dear Lord
We are much beholden, and with heartfelt
respect we invite Your presence here.
We come to celebrate a score of glorious months
When You blessed us with more courage than caution and more determined
commitment than common sense.
Our vision was to fly, and we hardly considered
That we might fail. Eager and proud; rebellious,
Even arrogant, we defied current mores
And slipped time-hallowed traces.
Our purpose held, and with Your help we achieved
Our heartsí desire; to serve as pilots in our
Countryís cause; to fly in defense of
Freedom, truth, and human dignity.
Bless, Dear Lord, our comrades untimely dead;
Bless all who fought and all who died
In common cause with us.
We are here to share friendship to revel in past
Glories, and to marvel at our incredible luck.
Years deracinate our fellowship and time
Dear Lord, forgive us if our memories be gently
enhanced by selective forgetting.
We entertain conjecture of the times when, all alone,
We flew between the sun and citadels of clouds
And watched the shadow of our plane
convoy us on our course --
A dark cross rimmed in fractured light--
A holy wage -- The Pilotís Cross--
We felt Your Presence than and touched the
Interface between that which may be known
And that which can never be transcended.
You blessed us then; we pray Your blessing now.
Madge Rutherford Minton