Richard C. Lookis, Sr.
Richard C. Lookis, Sr., age 91, passed away on January 16, 2020, at his home in Plainfield, Indiana. Richard was born on July 9, 1928 in Johnston City, Illinois to Ester and Anthony Lookis. Richard was a 1946 graduate of Lanphier High School in Springfield, IL. He was united in marriage to (late) Marjorie E. Gebhart on August 31, 1948 in Springfield, IL. During their amazing life together, they were blessed with two sons, Kevin and Richard Jr. who were his pride and joy.
In 1993, Richard met, and instantly loved, Bernice (Hughes) Lookis. They were married on August 27, 1994 in Madison, IN. This beautiful union was filled with 26 years of travel, adventure and endearing love for one another.
In 1957, Richard pursued a career in law enforcement and graduated from the Illinois State Police Training Academy in Springfield, Illinois. During his appointment as an Illinois Highway Patrol Trooper his growing interest in aeronautics motivated him to study aviation. He received his pilot’s license and became an accomplished pilot with the Illinois State Police Air Operations Bureau for the next 24 ½ years of his career. His aviation credentials comprise of a commercial pilot certificate, instrument rating, multiengine rating, airline transport, flight instructor, multiengine instructor and instrument instructor. He logged a total flight time of 11,524 hours in his career and retired as a Master Sergeant/Chief Executive pilot with the Air Operations Bureau. He received several commendations and Certificates of Proficiency that denoted the absence of any accidents and violations from his career as a pilot. He received a Certificate of Commendations in recognition of professional skill and diligence during the course of multiple homicide investigations from the Rockford Illinois Murder Task Force, Certificate of Proficiency in aviation technology in helicopter aerodynamics, flight maneuvers and law enforcement techniques and was a member of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association. He served with devotion to duty and always reflected integrity, loyalty and pride. His positive mental attitude and professionalism earned respect and admiration from all who knew him. He always stated, “I never experienced a bad day in my career with the Illinois State Police”. Richard retired from the Illinois State Police Air Operations Bureau in 1988 after 31 ½ successful years with the ISP. After retirement, he continued his flying career and became a charter pilot for Aero Charter, Inc.
He was an avid outdoorsman and as a young adult loved boating, fishing and hunting. He also developed a love for corvette collections and restorations. He was well known amongst the “corvette enthusiasts” in Springfield and awarded the Concours First Rank Certificate for participation and excellence from the Central Illinois Corvettes, Inc.
Richard’s life was a blessing. He was loved beyond words and will be missed beyond measure!
Richard will be missed by his loving and devoted wife of 26 years, Bernice Lookis of Plainfield, IN; his loving sons, Kevin (Regina) of Skokie, IL and Richard “Rick” Jr. (Jill) of Springfield, IL; his loving step-daughters, Rhonda Wyatt of Terre Haute, IN, Karen Hall of Plainfield, IN and Debbie Terrell of Terre Haute, IN; his loving grandsons, Todd, Jeremy (Ashley) and Dezmond; his step-grandchildren, Jason Tinker, Abigail (Devon) Carter and Tyler (Jenna) Vestile and his great-grandchildren, Kaden, Braxton, Dane, Grey, Brynn and Gavin. Richard would like to thank his special and faithful friends, Dick and Jan Herren of Springfield, IL, for their friendship, kindness and love. He would also like to extend warm regards and love to Ronnie Horwedel, his co-pilot and trusted friend from the Illinois State Police Air Operations Bureau.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ester and Anthony Lookis, his brother, Tony; his sister, Ester; and his late former wife and mother of his beloved children, Marjorie E. Lookis who passed away on November 29, 1992, and step sons-in-law, Don Wyatt and Bill Terrell.
Visitation: 4-7 pm, Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at Staab Funeral Home- Springfield.
Funeral Service: 1 pm, Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at Staab Funeral Home- Springfield. Burial will follow at Rochester Cemetery.
Flowers are welcome, should friends desire, as an expression of love and sympathy. The family has also designated the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation and Museum for memorial contributions, P.O. Box 8168, Springfield, Illinois, 62791.
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