Lieutenant Colonel Grace Elizabeth Chicken, USAF (retired) 107, received her final flight wings on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. She passed away peacefully at her home at South Port Square in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Grace was born July 7, 1914, in Hutchinson, Kan., to the late Austin B. and Nettie E. (Smith) Chicken. She moved to Buffalo, Mo., when she was 6. She and her brother, the late Earl Stephen Chicken walked 1.5 miles one way to a one room school house.
Grace graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing in 1938. After returning from WWII, she earned her Master's degree in Pathology from Northwestern University.
During WWII she joined the Red Cross because it was the only route for nurses to joint the service at that time. She went on to join the then Army-Airforce’s newly created Air-Evac group treating military personnel being transported to North American hospitals. After her Master's, she returned to the military as an Air-Evac nurse for the Korean War. Grace retired from the United States Airforce as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1968. She then went on to start the LPN program at Wichita State University.
She moved to Port Charlotte in 1974 from Wichita, Kan. Grace was a member of the Port Charlotte United Methodist Church, American Association of University Women, the Society Of Airforce Nurses, Women in Military Service for America, and The American Legion, Post 0110. She volunteered over the years in the Warren Willis United Methodist Camp, Port Charlotte United Methodist Church Library, Fawcett Memorial Hospital, the Port Charlotte Library and the Cultural Center of Charlotte County. She dedicated over 1,000 hours of service to the Port Charlotte Library. In 2021, South Port Square dedicated the “Amazing Grace’s Legacy Library” – the library Grace created in the Gables East building in her honor.
Survived by her adopted daughter, Deidre “Dee” (Thomas) Parkinson of Port Charlotte; their daughter Samantha Parkinson; Stephen (Leah) Parkinson; grandsons, Maxx and Nigel Parkinson; granddaughter Maranda Malnory; and a host of friends at South Port Square and the Port Charlotte United Methodist Church.
Memorial services celebrating Grace’s life will be held Saturday 2 p.m., October 9, 2021, at Roberson Funeral Home Chapel, 2151 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33948. Rev. Denvil Farley will officiate with full military honors by a U.S. Air Force Honor Guard from MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida. Interment will be in the Oaklawn Cemetery, Buffalo, Missouri with her parents and her brother at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Port Charlotte United Methodist Church, 21075 Quesada Ave., Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Friends may visit online at www.robersonfh.com to extend condolences to the family. Arrangements by Roberson Funeral Home & Crematory Port Charlotte Chapel.