Dwight Lefner, 77, of Wickenburg, Ariz., passed away at the Health Care Odyssey Hospice in Peoria, Ariz., on June 1, 2008. Funeral services, under the direction of Davis-Morris Funeral Home, will be held 10 a.m. Friday, June 6, 2008, at the funeral home Chapel. Interment to follow in Greenleaf Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday evening at the funeral home. There will also be a memorial service held in Bethel, Alaska, at a later date.

Dwight Lefner was born in Brownwood, Texas, July 2, 1930, to the late Stephen Granville Lefner and Mary Elizabeth (Weedon) Lefner. He attended high school in Brownwood, Texas, and in Williamsburg, Va., before he and his mother joined his father overseas in Germany after World War II. He liked to relate how he attended Heidelberg University in Germany, but then adding that it was the campus for America High School for dependents.

Dwight served in the Air Force during the Korean War conflict. He graduated from Port Arthur College in 1953. Shortly after, he married Glenna Green of Brownwood, Texas.

He spent 13 years with Braniff Airways mostly as a radio operator, and then in Amarillo, Texas where he pursued his commercial instrument flying license. By 1966 he and his family moved to Tucson Ariz., where he was employed with Hughes Aircraft. In 1968 he and his family began their 40 year adventure in the “Great State of Alaska.” It was quite a shock to move from sunny Arizona to the “cold” of bleak western Alaska.

His career with RCA Alascom in Bethel, Alaska, meshed well with his previous love for recreational flying. His job was to travel to 56 native villages and install the first telephones in western Alaska. These were usually placed in the village stores. He was greeted with warm hospitality in many of their homes, where they offered him hot tea, cookies, and salmon strips after his long cold flights in temperatures often 20 below zero.

Sometimes just to get away from it all Dwight and Glenna would take their plane to a lodge on the river about 100 miles from home just to “eat out” — saying the hamburgers were the best anywhere.” Talk about making your own entertainment in the “Alaska Bush.” Dwight’s entrepreneurial spirit began to emerge and in 1980 he formed his own company, D&G Express. For the past 25-plus years his company has ground-handled Alaska Airlines as well as some other carriers.

Next on his agenda was opening a car rental company. This not only accommodated business people from places like Anchorage, but also provided services for villagers coming into Bethel for shopping and medical needs.

He decided to restore an old airline terminal and converted it into a nice facility for different carriers, including: offices, a restaurant, and a gift shop. One very important business aspect that Dwight enjoyed was his inclusion and involvement of his entire family. To this day his sons, Michael and David Lefner are continuing a very active role.

He enjoyed restoring old antique cars and was a member of the “Classy Classics Antiques Car Club” in Wickenburg, Ariz. There for many years, he and Glenna would retreat to Arizona at the first sign of a snowflake in Alaska. Another hobby in earlier years was that of his ham-radio activity, thus making many contacts all over the world. He was very involved with the club in Amarillo, Texas.

Dwight’s love for travel took him and Glenna to many countries and remote places all over the world. His favorite trips were those that were involved in missions, whether it would be bringing medical supplies or clothing and such in to Russia or dedicating a new well for fresh water into parts of the Philippines. One of his favorite trips was smuggling Bibles into China and attending one of the underground churches, where the pastor had been imprisoned for many years for sharing the Gospel.

Dwight had his own “mission”; through the years, he used his personal plane to carry missionaries, volunteers, and equipment to churches and retreats around western Alaska. He was very active in Bethel Moravian Church, serving several years on the Board of Trustees. Dwight also volunteered for three years on the local radio doing the Christian Gospel Music Show on Sunday mornings. He initiated a Christian radio station that broadcast to Bethel, Alaska.

Dwight will be greatly missed by his wife of 55 years; two sons, Michael Lefner (and wife Mary), and David (and fiance Mary) Lefner; grandchildren, Justin Lefner, Jenna Lefner; other family, Jonathan, Emily and Tyler; two grand-dogs Bear and Penny Lane; sister, Nyo Lowe of Brownwood, Texas; along with several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Wanda Fields.

In closing, we hope to have shared a part of Dwight’s life with you and may each of you experience the peace and joy in Christ that he had. As Dwight often said about his life, “Wouldn’t change a thing.”

Dwight Lefner

Dwight Lefner, 77, of Wickenburg, Ariz., passed away at the Health Care Odyssey Hospice in Peoria, Ariz., on June 1, 2008. Funeral services, under the direction of Davis-Morris Funeral Home, will be held 10 a.m. Friday, June 6, 2008, at the funeral home Chapel. Interment to follow in Greenleaf Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday evening at the funeral home. There will also be a memorial service held in Bethel, Alaska, at a later date.

Dwight Lefner was born in Brownwood, Texas, July 2, 1930, to the late Stephen Granville Lefner and Mary Elizabeth (Weedon) Lefner. He attended High School in Brownwood, Texas, and in Williamsburg, Va.,before he and his mother joined his father overseas in Germany after World War II. He liked to relate how he attended Heidelberg University in Germany, but then adding that it was the campus for America High School for dependents.

Dwight served in the Air Force during the Korean War conflict. He graduated from Port Arthur College in 1953. Shortly after, he married Glenna Green of Brownwood, Texas.

He spent 13 years with Braniff Airways mostly as a radio operator, and then in Amarillo, Texas where he pursued his commercial instrument flying license. By 1966 he and his family moved to Tucson Ariz., where he was employed with Hughes Aircraft. In 1968 he and his family began their 40 year adventure in the “Great State of Alaska.” It was quite a shock to move from sunny Arizona to the “cold” of bleak western Alaska.

His career with RCA Alascom in Bethel, Alaska, meshed well with his previous love for recreational flying. His job was to travel to 56 native villages and install the first telephones in western Alaska. These were usually placed in the village stores. He was greeted with warm hospitality in many of their homes, where they offered him hot tea, cookies, and salmon strips after his long cold flights in temperatures often 20 below zero.

Sometimes just to get away from it all Dwight and Glenna would take their plane to a lodge on the river about 100 miles from home just to “eat out”-saying the hamburgers were the best anywhere.” Talk about making your own entertainment in the “Alaska Bush.” Dwight’s entrepreneurial spirit began to emerge and in 1980 he formed his own company, D&G Express. For the past 25-plus years his company has ground-handled Alaska Airlines as well as some other carriers.

Next on his agenda was opening a car rental company. This not only accommodated business people from places like Anchorage, but also provided services for villagers coming into Bethel for shopping and medical needs.

He decided to restore an old airline terminal and converted it into a nice facility for different carriers, including: offices, a restaurant, and a gift shop. One very important business aspect that Dwight enjoyed was his inclusion and involvement of his entire family. To this day his sons, Michael and David Lefner are continuing a very active role.

He enjoyed restoring old antique cars and was a member of the “Classy Classics Antiques Car Club” in Wickenburg, Arizona. There for many years, he and Glenna would retreat to Arizona at the first sign of a snowflake in Alaska. Another hobby in earlier years was that of his ham-radio activity, thus making many contacts all over the world. He was very involved with the club in Amarillo, Texas.

Dwight’s love for travel took him and Glenna to many countries and remote places all over the world. His favorite trips were those that were involved in missions, whether it would be bringing medical supplies or clothing and such in to Russia or dedicating a new well for fresh water into parts of the Philippines. One of his favorite trips was smuggling Bibles into China and attending one of the underground churches, where the pastor had been imprisoned for many years for sharing the Gospel.

Dwight had his own “mission”; through the years; he used his personal plane to carry missionaries, volunteers, and equipment to churches and retreats around western Alaska. He was very active in Bethel Moravian Church, serving several years on the Board of Trustees. Dwight also volunteered for three years on the local radio doing the Christian Gospel Music Show on Sunday mornings. He initiated a Christian radio station that broadcast to Bethel, Alaska.

Dwight will be greatly missed by his wife of 55 years; two sons, Michael Lefner (and wife Mary), and David (and fiance Mary) Lefner; grandchildren; Justin Lefner, Jenna Lefner; other family, Jonathan, Emily and Tyler; two grand-dogs Bear and Penny Lane; sister Nyo Lowe of Brownwood, Texas; along with several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Wanda Fields.

In closing, we hope to have shared a part of Dwight’s life with you and may each of you experience the peace and joy in Christ that he had. As Dwight often said about his life “Wouldn’t change a thing.”

Condolences to the family may be left online at http://www.mem.com/.