A final resting place at Goodfellow

John Garrett, 17th Training Wing historian, shows the changes that the base has undergone since Ron Cichon’s family was stationed here at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. Cichon visited to fulfill his mother’s final wish, spreading her ashes on Goodfellow. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

John Garrett, 17th Training Wing historian, shows the changes that the base has undergone since Ron Cichon’s family was stationed here at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. Cichon visited to fulfill his mother’s final wish, spreading her ashes on Goodfellow. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

Ron Cichon speaks after spreading his mother’s ashes at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. His mother’s final request was to be returned to Goodfellow where she and her husband began their familly.

Ron Cichon speaks after spreading his mother’s ashes at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. His mother’s final request was to be returned to Goodfellow where she and her husband began their familly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

Ron Chichon poses with John Garrett, 17th Training Wing historian, after spreading his mother’s ashes at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. Garrett brought a photo of Goodfellow from 1944 to show what the base was like when Ron’s parents were stationed there.

Ron Chichon poses with John Garrett, 17th Training Wing historian, after spreading his mother’s ashes at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. Garrett brought a photo of Goodfellow from 1944 to show what the base was like when Ron’s parents were stationed there. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Borger, 17th Training Wing chaplain, greets Ron Cichon who spread his mother’s ashes where the movie theater was once located at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. Borger said a few words and a prayer before the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Borger, 17th Training Wing chaplain, greets Ron Cichon who spread his mother’s ashes where the movie theater was once located at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. Borger said a few words and a prayer before the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

Ron Cichon spread his mother’s ashes where the movie theater once stood on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. Ron spread the ashes once for each of his mother’s eight children during a small ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

Ron Cichon spread his mother’s ashes where the movie theater once stood on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. Ron spread the ashes once for each of his mother’s eight children during a small ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

Goodfellow was the destination of Ron Cichon’s three week pilgrimage. Visiting friends and family along his way, the goal of his trip was to honor his mother’s dying wish by spreading her ashes on Goodfellow. He accomplished this Nov. 6.

Ron’s mother, Betty Jane Cichon, 92, died in March 2017. His father, Louis Edward Cichon, 96, followed shortly thereafter in June 2017. They originally met in Chicago, where Louis joined the Army Air Corps. His first duty station was Goodfellow. The couple was stationed here from 1943 to 1945. While the time spent at Goodfellow was short, Betty Jane felt that this is where their family had started. The young couple were newly married, and Ron, the oldest child, was born here in 1944.   

 “Mom and Dad may have had other fond memories around here, but they used to always come to the theater,” said Ron. “It was my mother’s dying wish to have her ashes spread here at Goodfellow. She said, ‘I’d like you to take my ashes down to San Angelo where we started our life together.’”

            Goodfellow is not the base that it was during World War II, but with the help of John Garrett, 17th Training Wing historian, Ron was able to track down the location of the old theater. A location that the couple spent a lot of time visiting.

            Lt. Col. Robert Borger, 17th Training Wing chaplain, spoke a few words before Ron spread the ashes. 

“This is a fitting tribute,” said Borger. “You were born here, she wanted this because they had so many joyous memories here.”

            With his mother’s red and silver urn in his arms, Ron scattered the ashes. Reciting the names of each of Betty Janes’ and Louis’ eight children. When the task was complete, he had created a circle around him.

After composing himself, Ron addressed the crowd.

“It’s been interesting, holy, sacred and very meaningful to me and it feels complete,” said Ron. “All of you, who participated in it, made it all feel so special, like I wasn’t alone trying to do this. You honoring her and my dad in this way means a lot.”