Lt Col. Theodore J. Labernik, USAF, Ret. 83, of St. Cloud, MN dies

Lt Col. Theodore J. Labernik, USAF, Ret. 83, of St. Cloud, MN - June 8, 1933 - April 7, 2017.
Lieutenant Colonel Theodore (Ted) John Labernik passed away peacefully with his beloved wife by his side, Friday, April 17, 2017 at the St Cloud Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St Cloud, MN. Ted was born to Rose (Veranth) and John Labernik in Ely, Minnesota. He was married to Mary Sue Fay on July 5, 1958 in St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely.
Ted is survived by his wife, Mary, of 58 years and five living children and their spouses: Debra (John) Curry (Colorado Springs, CO), Linda (Tom) Himmelberger (Puyallup, WA), Laura Fay, Colonel USAF, Ret. (Alexandria, VA), Daniel (Carol) Labernik (Fargo, ND) and Steve (Karla) Labernik (Spencer, IA). He is also survived by ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Ted was preceded in death by his parents, brother Kenneth, and daughter Susan North.
Ted was a Lieutenant Colonel and decorated combat veteran in the United States Air Force. He graduated from Ely Memorial High School in 1951 and Ely Vermillion Junior College in Engineering in 1953. Ted enlisted in the Air Force in 1954, graduated from Aviation Cadet Flying School, and was commissioned as an officer in 1955.
Ted proudly served before God and country as a fighter pilot, with several assignments in the following aircraft: T-33 Shooting Star, F-86 Sabre, F-101 Voodoo, F-106 Delta Dart, A-1E Skyraider, and F-4D Phantom II. Ted was a member of the USAF 4-man Bob Sled team that won the 1958 North American Championship at Lake Placid, New York and qualified for the 1960 Olympics in Italy.
He served two tours of duty in Southeast Asia, during the Vietnam War, flying search & rescue and air-interceptor missions. Lieutenant Colonel Labernik was decorated with the Silver Star for valor in combat and the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism during flight.
Ted traveled the country from base to base and loved to vacation in the family Mercury station wagon and 8-pack Holiday Rambler.
After 28 years of service, he retired and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Moorhead State University, MN and began building his dream, A-frame cabin on Burntside Lake. Ted cherished many wonderful memories with family and friends there.
Ted recently shared that although he had the best job ever, his family was his greatest pride and joy, and that he lived a wonderful life with no regrets.
A funeral mass with military honors will be held for Ted this summer, the same date he was married, July 5 2017 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely. Visitation will be at 10:00 am, with mass at 11:00 and a reception to follow in the church basement.
Interment with full military honors, will be conducted at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, where Ted will be laid to rest