By  on May 8, 2018

Services have been held for Burt Simms Avedon, 94, a lifelong military leader and the former owner of Willis & Geiger, who died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on May 1 at Agrace Hospice Care in his hometown of Madison, Wis.

Born in New York on April 15, 1924, Avedon was sent to Missouri Military Academy at age 12 where he learned to fly and accumulated more than 600 hours of flight time. After graduating, he flew to Rangoon, Burma, in November 1941 to join Claire Chennault’s American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers). That group was put on hold a month later when war was declared after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, so Avedon returned to the U.S. and attended the University of California at Los Angeles, joined the university’s Naval Reserve Officers Training program, and played football and baseball. He was the quarterback for the Bruins and played in the 1941 Rose Bowl.

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