Former U-2 Pilot at church breakfast group

David Stanard

It just may have been one of the best Resurrection Church Men’s Breakfasts ever when former U-2 pilot and SaddleBrooke resident Lt. Col. (ret.) Jack Stebe addressed the group on January 6. This kick-off gathering for the New Year was the largest crowd on record for the Men’s Breakfasts. Right at 70 men came out early on a Saturday morning, and 25 of those in attendance at this increasingly popular monthly activity were from SaddleBrooke.

It was apparent from the beginning of his talk that Stebe has had an interesting life and career. An engaging and obviously bright fellow when you meet him, Jack’s video and slide presentation, along with his account of the thrills and challenges of flying ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft, were well received by an audience who had experienced the same Cold War world that Jack did, albeit for most in a somewhat different way.

Jack was raised in the iron range country of northern Minnesota. He has been flying since age 16 and played hockey in high school, an activity he continued while a student at Dartmouth in New Hampshire. After graduating in 1966 with an engineering degree, Jack entered the U.S.A.F., embarking on a twenty- year career. After eight years of service which included a tour in Vietnam, Jack volunteered for the U-2 program. For the years of 1974 to 1984 Jack first flew U-2s then later became a test pilot flying military aircraft out of the Lockheed Skunk Works in Southern California.

Jack left the Air Force in 1987. After that he became a program manager for Draper Labs at M.I.T. and prior to retirement was president of a flight inspection equipment company. Over the course of their married life he and his wife of fifty-one years, Nancy, have lived in Arizona five times. Two of them have been in SaddleBrooke. They were first here from 2001-2005, then returned in 2015.

The Resurrection Church Men’s Breakfasts take place the first Saturday of the month for the months of October through May. Meeting place is the Outreach Center at the main campus in Oro Valley. Time is 7:30 a.m. There is always an interesting program and the group is adjourned by 9:00.

The breakfasts are organized by a five-member steering committee; and four of the five members of that group, Duane Hartzler, Ron McNutt, Al Toensing and Gary Zellinger, live in SaddleBrooke. Any SaddleBrooke resident interested in attending may freely contact one of the committee for further information.

Resurrection Church at SaddleBrooke holds its all-denominational Sunday worship services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. in the Vermillion Room at the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse. All are welcome.