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Loved ones attend funeral service for Gail Halvorsen, the 'Berlin Candy Bomber'

KUTV Salt Lake City logo KUTV Salt Lake City 2/23/2022 Hayley Crombleholme, KUTV

Friends, loved ones, service members and members of the German consulate were all in Provo Tuesday to say goodbye to Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen, also known as the "Berlin Candy Bomber."

Halvorsen was known for bringing food, joy, and, of course, candy to children during the Berlin airlift. Halvorsen later returned to Berlin as commander of Templehof Air Force Base. He retired as a Colonel.

MORE: German girl who received gum from 'Candy Bomber' has 'hole' in her heart at his passing

Flags were flown at half staff Tuesday across Utah by order of Gov. Spencer Cox in honor of Colonel Halvorsen. The 101-year-old, who died on Feb. 16, was remembered fondly during funeral services today for bringing sunshine into people’s lives wherever he went.

Todd Phillips came from Elkridge to pay his respects.

“Had a chance to associate with Gail a little bit, and what a tremendous, wonderful man,” Phillips said.

He met Colonel Halvorsen helping a group that formed a foundation to put in a museum and civil air patrol hangar at the Spanish Fork Airport.

“He is legendary, but he was just such a humble, unassuming... he loved children,” he said.

ALSO: Berlin Candy Bomber remembered for warm heart and being a family man

Phillips said Halvorsen’s acts of kindness can create a ripple effect.

“I think he’s inspired countless people," he said.

During Tuesday’s services, Halvorsen’s daughter, Denise Williams, shared a similar sentiment.

MORE: Student candy bombers: Vernal elementary school shows kindness like iconic WWII pilot

“He expressed gratitude for everything and taught us that through small acts of kindness, we can bring miracles to the lives of others," she said.

Jim Keller also came to honor Halvorsen.

“I feel like we’ve lost a national treasure,” he said.

Keller said the services made sure to pay tribute to what the Candy Bomber was known for.

“The candy is inside symbolic of what he is so famous for,” he said.

ALSO: 'Candy bomber' honored at 70th anniversary of key moment in Cold War

Keller hopes we can all learn from Halvorsen’s example.

“I certainly hope that it will influence other people to be as service-oriented as he has been for the better part of 101 years," he said.

Williams also expressed positive sentiments.

MORE: Utah delegation recommends 'Candy Bomber' get Presidential Medal of Freedom

“Now he has his heavenly wings and will soar with all the loved ones he has missed for so long," she said.

Following the services, the Utah Air National Guard honored Colonel Halvorsen with a flyover. Halvorsen was buried with a private graveside internment at Provo City Cemetery.


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