STEPHEN ISTVAN (STEVE) JOHANNES April 6, 1938 – March 23, 2007
Steve and wife Jackie
Steve was born in Hungary on April 6, 1938 and grew up in the town of Tata, west of Budapest.He was old enough to remember the hardships, of the German occupation during World War II, and then the control of Russia.During this time, his uncle closed his shoe factory and fled to America.Steve, as a robust teen, he became an outstanding soccer goalie.
Then on October 23rd, 1956, it was time for Hungary to revolt against the Iron Will of Russia.As part of this struggle for independence, Steve was captured, interrogated and tortured. After his second capture and escape with the help of friends, he decided to leave Hungary for the West and freedom.During November of 1956, 200,000 Hungarians, including Steve, crossed over to Austria with nothing but the clothes on their backs.Russian tanks tried to suppress the rebellion so the going was dangerous.Steve moved west to the corner of Austria where, the LakeNeusjedler shoreline separates the East from freedom to the West.On the edge of the lake, Steve found a small abandoned row boat which he took to cross over the border.However, after a while in the water the boat started to leak, causing it to sink, Steve was forced to enter the cold autumn water and swim for the shore and his freedom.Inside of Austria he and the other refugees were helped and feed.All the schools between the border and Vienna were closed so that they could be used as refugee camps. Steve went directly to the US authorities and was able to get sponsorship from his uncle, who was now settled in America.Before long Steve arrived in Colorado to Uncle Backi.The young European man was anxious to work in America and because it was winter in Colorado he was able to qualify for the ski patrol and skied till spring.At that time he got a job driving an ambulance.These jobs kept Steve busy until 1958 when he joined the Air Force and was sent to WacoTexas, for Training as an Aircraft Instrument Mechanic, where he served until 1962.This was the beginning of a lifetime career that lasted some 49+ years. While serving in the air force Steve went to college where he took some English language courses.On the tennis court he met Jackie, a real Texas cowgirl, who was smitten by this wavy blond haired, blue eyed, athletic European fellow.They were married in 1964 and enjoyed 43 years together.Steve made America his home and his Texas accent made him an All-American. Steve’s remarkable career gave him the opportunity to set up more FAA 145 Aircraft Instrument shops here in America than anyone I know.He began with Executive Instrument in 1962, following this with Instrument Tech, Whetstone, Midcoast, Austin Jet, A J Aerospace and then J & S Enterprises. Numerous others received his expert consultation, test equipment and technical support and training.It is fair to say, it is a rare shop that did not receive his aid. His volunteering record is also long.For 20 years he served the Aviation Instrument Association as a Director, Vice President and President.In Washington he served for the FAA ARAC Committee on altimeter testing. For the Hungarian Society of Texas he brought his countrymen together serving as their President.For the Lions’ Club of Georgetown, serving as President, he furthered their humanitarian effort for the vision impaired with eyeglasses to the poor in the third world and a Leader Dog (Seeing Eye Dog) program.And, not to be forgotten in the early 1960’s he formed the first children’s soccer team in Garland, Texas.So maybe all the soccer moms have a reason to thank him as well.
Steve is survived by his wife Jackie, his sister Zsuzsa Johannesz in Hungary, and many friends. His interment is in the Fort Sam Houston Veteran's Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas on the 20th of April 2007 at 11 A.M. Our friend, we will miss you. Eric Johannessen, President, Aviation Instrument Association
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