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Cpt. Joseph Raphael Hackett Jr.

May 5, 2016
Lake Placid News

Cpt. Joseph Raphael Hackett Jr., 85, of Saratoga Springs and formerly of Lake Placid, flew home to his Creator on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at Saratoga Hospital, surrounded by adoring family.

A long-time pilot for Eastern Air Lines, his late wife Maureen (Durkin) Hackett and their youngest daughter Christine Hackett were waiting for him at his final gate.

The only son of Joseph R. Hackett Sr. and Josephine (Wagenknecht) Hackett, Cpt. Hackett's journey began on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1931 in Oceanside. He attended St. Christopher's Elementary School in Baldwin and graduated from Baldwin High School in 1949.

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Working as a Good Humor Man, he put himself through Fordham University, where he was a member of the Fordham Glee Club and Fordham's Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. In 1953 he became the first member of his family to graduate from college and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force.

Cpt. Hackett earned his Air Force wings in 1954 - the same year he married Maureen, a model and Copa Cabana dancer, at St. Matthews Church in Brooklyn. The couple had their first two children while Cpt. Hackett was on active duty in the United States and Europe, where he piloted the A-300, B-727, DC-9 and C-119 among others. He was a member of the 60th Troop Carrier Group based at Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany and an intelligence officer in the 11th Troop Carrier Squadron.

After Cpt. Hackett was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1956, he and Maureen bought their first home in Massapequa and shortly after moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut, where they raised their four children for 33 years. That same year, Cpt. Hackett became a pilot with Eastern Air Lines, which he flew for with great pride and passion for 31 years.

If you flew Eastern's LaGuardia to Boston shuttle sometime between 1967 to 1988, you most likely were a passenger of Cpt. Hacketts. Among some of the notable travelers he flew were: Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Cassius Clay, Neil Armstrong, Jacqueline Kennedy, Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, Rev. Daniel J. Berrigan and The Supremes.

Other highlights of his Eastern Air Lines career were: sharing a cockpit with Neil Armstrong, becoming one of the first 100 American pilots to get certified on the Airbus A300 and checking out as captain in the last Lockheed Constellation Class for Eastern.

After Cpt. Hackett took an early retirement from Eastern in 1988 he served as an Air Carrier Operations Inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration, based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, until 1993.

Upon retirement, Cpt. Hackett, who once sang at Carnegie Hall with the Ridgefield Chorale, focused on personal real estate ventures in Ridgefield and other places he and Maureen had homes, including: Lake Placid, Staten Island, Lido Beach, Duck, North Carolina, Indio, California and Palmas Del Mar, Puerto Rico. In Ridgefield, he was a member of the Ridgefield Historical Society, homeowner in the historical Main Street district, parishioner at St. Mary's Church and supporter of Notre Dame Academy.

From the mountains of the Adirondacks, to the coast of France, he had a love of traveling that was only trumped by traveling with his loved ones and bevy of friends - particularly his fellow Fordham Rams. He took great pleasure in sharing his properties with those he loved, especially his oceanfront home "Spendlove" in Ships Watch, Duck, North Carolina.

Cpt. Hackett will be greatly missed by his two surviving daughters: Dawn (Hackett) Miner and her husband, Gregory, of Shushan and Mary Therese "Trez" (Hackett) Cedrone and her husband, Victor, of Maryland and his son Brian Hackett and his wife Grace of Baldwin.

He is also survived by his seven grandchildren: Caurie (Eric) Putnam-Ferguson, Stephanie (Matthew) Dana, Erica (Kristopher) Haraldsen, Kathryn Miner, Christopher Miner, Brian Hackett, Jr. and William Hackett; his six great-grandchildren: Brice and Brady Putnam, Ryan and Andrew Dana, and Dylan and Shelby Haraldsen; brother in-laws Jack (Patricia) Durkin, Martin (Elizabeth) Durkin; and many nephews, nieces and cousins.

Cpt. Hackett was predeceased by his parents and his beloved wife, Maureen, their youngest daughter Christine, and his sister Mary Hackett.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:15 p.m. Friday, May 6 at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church; 55 Catoonah St., Ridgefield. Military honors will be rendered at the conclusion of the funeral mass. Interment will take place immediately following at St. Mary's Cemetery.

Friends will be received on Thursday, May 5, 2016 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah St., Ridgefield.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Wilton EMS or the Fordham Fund in memory of Cpt. Joseph R. Hackett



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