Wichita Falls is remembering a fallen native. Ron Chambless, 40 died Sunday when the air tanker he was co-piloting went down near the Utah-Nevada border. Ron and the air tanker pilot, Captain Todd Tompkins were dropping retardant to battle the flames before both died in the crash. Chambless lived in Boise, ID but was a 1989 graduate of Rider High School and a 1994 graduate of MSU.
"Ever since I was a kid you'd walk into his room and you would see pictures of airplanes and fighter jets," said David Johnson. Johnson and Chambless were friends for 30 years. He said flying was what Ron Chambless loved more than life itself.
"It was his passion, his life, the only thing he truly loved," said his sister Kirsten Jenkins.
"He flew airplanes into the volcanoes in Hawaii flying tourists around, India and Africa," said Johnson.
Ron's family remembers him through family pictures and his photography. His snapshots filled the family living room, up into the dining area. If there was something he loved even more than taking to the skies it was snapping pictures of the beauty that surrounded him. From the rocks of New Mexico to the vast Texas land, he didn't miss a chance to take truly amazing photos.
His family said they find peace knowing he died doing what he loved.
Visitation will be held Saturday June 9 at 6 p.m. at Hampton Vaughan Funeral Chapel. Service will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. The honor guard will be present for both.