Mildred Evelyn Eckert Carder, 94, service pilot for the Army during WWII

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mildred carderMildred Evelyn Eckert Carder, 94, died peacefully in her sleep on November 25, 2015 at Patriots Colony in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Born July 31, 1921 in Mason, Texas, she is predeceased by her parents, Kinney and Zilla (Wood) Eckert of Mason, Texas and her husband, John Thomas Carder of Johnson City, Tennessee.

Survivors include her two sons, Patrick Carder (Sandra) of Williamsburg, Virginia, and Kinney Carder (Virginia) of Leesburg, Georgia; three grandchildren: Charles Jonathan Carder (Joy) of Williamsburg, Virginia, John Clinton Carder (Margie), and Courtney Leigh Carder Paulson (Dan) of Leesburg, Georgia.

Mildred’s six great-grandchildren of whom she was so proud are Olivia Grace and Charles Jonathan, Jr. (Jack) Carder of Williamsburg, John Griffin and Talley Grace Carder of Leesburg, and Makenna Elise Fisher and Connor Daniel Paulson also from Leesburg.

In 1942, Mildred graduated from the University of Texas with not only a Bachelor of Arts degree but also a private pilot’s license. Her love of flying led to a position as a Link instructor, teaching instrument flying to Navy cadets at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, followed by selection for the Women’s Army Service Pilots (WASP) School at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas. In 1944, she was awarded her wings and assigned as a service pilot in the Ferry Command of the Army in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

After WWII, marriage, children, and traveling the world with her Air Force husband, the family moved to Jonesborough, Tennessee in 1963 where Mildred resumed her teaching career. She earned a Master of Arts degree from East Tennessee State University in 1973 and retired from the Washington County, Tennessee school system in 1984. Mildred loved to travel and read, never losing her enthusiasm for adventure and learning.

Mildred was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternity, Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, the Order of Daedalians association of military pilots, and the Williamsburg United Methodist Church.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Patriots Colony, 6200 Patriots Colony Dr., Williamsburg, VA, at 3 p.m. Thursday, December 3, 2015. Graveside services will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, December 21, 2015, at Mountain Home Veterans Cemetery in Johnson City, Tennessee.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Nelsen Funeral Home.

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