Cover photo for John Pfeiffer's Obituary
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1940 John 2024

John Pfeiffer

August 26, 1940 — May 11, 2024



Allegany – John L. Pfeiffer

John L. Pfeiffer, 83, passed away Saturday, May 11 at Olean General Hospital with his sister by his side.

John was born August 26, 1940, in Olean, NY to Evelyn and Joseph Pfeiffer.

John was a graduate of Allegany Central School class of 1958 where he was a four year letter winner in both football and baseball. After high school John attended Alfred University on a football scholarship playing four years and receiving numerous awards for his "on field" play. After college he enlisted in the Army receiving his basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He then attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Moore, Georgia and graduated attaining the rank of Captain. From there he received his pilots license while serving in Germany before being assigned to Vietnam.

During the Vietnam War, John bravely piloted Mohawk planes, demonstrating unwavering courage and skill in the face of adversity. His dedication to duty and his fellow soldiers earned him numerous commendations and the respect of all who served alongside him. He had many stories of his time in Vietnam and had several of his stories published in the Mohawker Magazine; a magazine that was dedicated to the pilots and staff who flew and maintained the Mohawk OV1 turbo prop airplane used by the Army in Vietnam. He has maintained many friendships to his last day on earth with the brothers he made while serving in the military. He received 24 Air Metals for missions he was involved with and an Army Commendation Metal for heroism. In 2008 he traveled to Vietnam and Laos to assist in the location and recovery of remains of a fellow pilot shot down on one of his missions during the war. He is the definition of a true hero.

After retiring from the military, he owned and operated a Brick paving business and also worked in Hotel management and facilities management for several malls owned by military friends in Texas.

John (AKA "Johnny Angel" aptly named by John’s female cousins), is survived by his sister Mary Jo Snyder of Florida, two sister in laws Marsha Pfeiffer and Barb Pfeiffer and several nieces and nephews along with a long list of cousins.

In addition to his parents, Evelyn and Joseph Pfeiffer, John was predeceased by brothers Bill and Dick, and his sister Judy.

John's favorite poem is "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee Jr:


            Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth 

            and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

            Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth 

            Of sun split clouds - and done a hundred things 

            You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung 

            High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, 

            I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

            My eager craft through footless halls of air....


            Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue 

            I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace, 

            Where never lark, or even eagle flew;

            And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod

            The high un-trespassed sanctity of space, 

            Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.


John will be deeply missed but never forgotten.

Fair winds and following seas, Captain Pfeiffer. You've received your final wings. May you rest in peace.

At John's request there will be no formal services. A celebration of his life for family with take place at a later date. Internment with be at the Mount View Cemetery alongside his Mother and Father.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Pfeiffer, please visit our flower store.


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