Lt. Col (Ret) Darrel Lane Fillip, age 79, of Marlin, TX, returned to be with the Lord while at home surrounded by family and loved ones on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Funeral Services will be 10 am, Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at Grace Gardens Funeral Home with Rev. William Wright officiating. Interment will follow at Waco Memorial Park with full military honors. A Visitation with the family will be 5 – 7pm, Monday, July 5, 2021 at Grace Gardens Funeral Home.
Lt. Col Fillip entered this life on May 2, 1942 in Marlin, TX, son to the late Woodrow Wilson Fillip and Mary Evelyn Fillip.
Upon graduation from Marlin High School in 1960, he attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX and in 1964, graduated with a degree in business. While in college, he played tuba in the TCU Horned Frog Marching Band, was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and a proud member of the ROTC. He later earned his MBA from Troy State University in Troy, AL.
On June 30, 1964 he entered the United States Air Force at James Connally Air Force Base, near Waco, TX and then attended Navigator School. Upon graduation he was assigned to be a Navigator on the KC 135 aircraft, based at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York. While stationed at Plattsburgh, he married the love of his life, his wife of 54 years, Melenna Ann Moulthrop, on February 11, 1967.
After serving three years as a Navigator, he was selected for pilot training at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, TX. While there, he was an Instructor Pilot for the T-37. He then was trained to fly the RF-4C at Shaw AFB in South Carolina which earned him an assignment to Udorn RTAFB, Thailand in 1974-75 where he flew in the Vietnam War.
Upon his return to the US, he was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida and was a member of the 4485th Test Squadron. While there, he flew RF4/C’s, F4/D and F4/E aircrafts. After three years he was transferred to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, to be a part of the Studies and Analysis Department. His final assignment was as the Wing Safety Officer after returning once again to Reese AFB, TX, where he served as a T/38 Instructor Pilot for three years until his retirement on June 30, 1984, when he and his family returned to Waco.
During Lieutenant Colonel Fillip’s 20 year Air Force career, he earned the following awards:
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Award
Combat Readiness Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Award
National Defense Service Medal/Vietnam
After his military career he worked as the Vice President of Operations at Bank of America in Waco, Houston and Dallas offices. He then worked as Branch Manager for Production Credit Association in Marlin. He was an active member of the First Christian Church.
He loved sports, farming and ranching and enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
Darrel is preceded in death by his parents, Woodrow Wilson Fillip and Mary Evelyn Fillip; brother, Joel Ray Fillip. He is survived by wife, Melenna Ann Fillip; children, Melissa Ann Harrison-Toney and husband Darrin, Colby Lane Fillip and wife Brandie, Lindsay Ann Lentz and husband Jason; sister Donna Kay Daniel and husband Danny; grandchildren, Ashton Nicole Rice and husband Justin, Paige Elizabeth Solis, Lindsey M’Kaye Toney, Taylor Ann Fillip, Nathan Henry Harrison, Kaitlyn Ann Harrison, Matthew William Wallace, Robert Coy Wallace, Barrett Christopher Wallace, Hudson Fillip Lentz, Beckett Paul Lentz, and Isabell Esther Wallace; great-grandchild, Amelia Nicole Rice.
Please consider a memorial donation in lieu of flowers to either the Michal J. Fox Parkinson's Foundation at https://www.michaeljfox.org/donate or to the First Christian Church, Marlin at 5099 State Highway 7, Marlin, TX 76661.
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