Antone James Testa

Antone James Testa

October 14, 1926 - January 29, 2011

Antone James Testa

October 14, 1926 - January 29, 2011


Antone James ‘Tony’ Testa
11-14-1926 to 1-29-2011

Antone James ‘Tony’ Testa was born on October 14th, 1926 in Hillsborough, Illinois. His family moved to California In 1937 settling down in Montebello, California. Tony graduated Montebello High School in 1944 where he promptly joined the U.S.Navy. Sent to Texas, Tony attended Texas University in Georgetown, as part of the V-5 program. It was at the height of the war and Tony was going into the V5 program to become a Naval Aviator, but before he could get into flight training the war ended and the Navy sent Tony home.

Once back in L.A., Tony attended UCLA and earned a Bachelors degree in business. Soon though the draft would be back so he re-enlisted in the Navy and this time he got to fly. In 1951 while attending flight training in Pensacola, Florida he met the love of his life on a blind date, Josephine F. Forrest. They would be married by Sept. 1952. Tony would have a total of 20 years in the U.S.Navy by the time of his honorable discharge, attaining the rank of Lt. Commander. The Navy would send them all over, flying Martin PBM and P5M flying boats out of Panama VP-45, helicopters in Key West and San Francisco, flight instructing in Pensacola.

The big chance came in 1956 when he got hired by United Airlines which resulted in a 30 year career. He flew several aircraft for United such as the DC-6, DC-7, Caravel, 727, 737, and finally retiring on the DC-8. Between the airlines and the Navy, Tony and his family were kept on the move; Sunnyvale, Key West, Pensacola and finally settling down in the North West suburbs of Chicago in 1963. Officially retired from the Navy in 1965, he remained in Chicago until 1977 when he got the okay from the Airline to transfer to Southern California. Without hesitation and before the next winter hit or airline changed its mind, he moved his family to Dana Point, California and remained there until his death.

Aviation was more than a career for him, it was a passion that he carried throughout his entire life. It coursed through his veins. He was a walking encyclopedia about aircraft, often knowing such small details as how certain components were made or how their design originally came about. If he was working in the yard or garage and he heard a plane fly over he would drop what he was doing to see what type of plane it was. That is how much he loved flying and how much he missed it after retiring. On his last flight for United Airlines he flew from LAX to Hawaii, celebrated his 60th birthday and was officially to old to be allowed to fly it back home according to the FAA. He rode home as a passenger officially retired after 30 perfect years.

Outside of work, Tony and the love of his life Josephine would travel all over the world. They visited such places as Kenya, Tanzania, Europe, Brazil, Australia, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and various Caribbean Islands. He made many friends around the world and kept those friendships to the end. He belonged to many organizations, Experimental Aircraft Assoc., Assoc. of Naval Aviators, and the Retired United Pilots Assoc. to name a few.

On January 29th, 2011, Tony took his last flight to be with our Lord after a lengthy illness. He will be missed by all who loved and knew him.

Tony is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Mrs. Josephine F. Testa; five children, Mike, Mark, Karen, John, and David; two grandchildren, Natalie and Tony; and his sister RoseMarie Page of Whittier, Ca.

Instead of flowers, please make a donation to a worthy charity of your choice. The Testa family would like to suggest either St. Judes Childrens Hospital or the Shriners.

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29 responses to Antone James Testa

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  1. Jason Leigh says:

    I never met Antone in-person, yet I spoke with him on the telephone over the years, and I honored his service in the U.S. Navy, being a Navy Veteran myself. I can say that I learned much about him through his son, Mark, my great friend, who told many a story of his dad’s service to our country, and Mark also shared in some of the stories of his family with Antone Tony at the helm. He was a true and loving husband and father and I know that he will be dearly missed. Yet we all hold fast to the great faith that we all will be rejoined in the hereafter. Having recently lost my mother, I know this to be true. Farewell Antone, Sir. I statue you.

  2. Our comments are family comments. The Testa and Beck kids grew up together and I think it safe to say the adults did some growing up together, too. Our experiences include staying at the Testa house for 3 + months in the middle sixties while building a home, living in the same neighborhood for several years in the Chicago area, flying out of ORD with the same guys and building a life-long personal and family relationship. My wife Kolene and Fran Testa are telephone buddies–tie up the phones for one hour every morning.

    Tony Testa was not a high profile guy but a quiet sincere man of deep character and deep concern for all. Very few of us can reach the high standards of moral living Tony set for himself. His absence will forever be felt by friends and family.

  3. Ted Simmons says:

    Tony was a great guy to sit next to at our monthly RUPA Retired United Pilots Association luncheons at the Dana Harbor.
    He was so full of great information on aircraft of the world. He became our unofficial historian on aircraft for our group Later his
    Son David told me he read Jane’s Encyclopedia of Aviation like there was a plot…and he remembered everything!
    I would loved to been his Co-pilot and flown some of those late hours long hauls across the pacific with him.
    Now, he has ‘flown west’ and I feel that he is enjoying the flight.
    Ted Simmons Capt Ualrtd

  4. Park Ames says:

    Tony was a gentle giant . Gentle in manner and speach , but a giant in aviation knowledge . To listen to Tony recall details of names , places , aircraft facts and figures at a RUPA meeting was captivating . He was a man’s man and a pilot,s pilot loved and now although remembered fondly , sorely missed . God bless his loved ones in his absence . Park & Jonna Ames

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