David A. Scheina, 71, of Pleasant Plains, died at 8:14 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at his residence.
A graveside ceremony was held on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield with military honors provided by the Department of Defense and the Interveterans Burial Detail of Sangamon County.
Cremation was provided by Butler Cremation Tribute Center. The family was served by Butler Funeral Home in Springfield.
Mr. Scheina was born on Dec. 28, 1949, in Springfield, the son of Carl Otto and Wanda Mae (Dempsey) Scheina. He married Juanita “Gail” Rogers on March 15, 2012, in Springfield.
Mr. Scheina attended Bunn Elementary School and was a 1968 graduate of Lanphier High School in Springfield. He earned an associate degree from Lincoln Land Community College and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Passionate about flying, he earned his pilot’s license before he was 18 years old, making him the youngest pilot at the time in the state of Illinois. He served his country for 26 years as a chief warrant officer and pilot in the United States Army and Illinois Army National Guard. His passion was flying helicopters. During his military service, Mr. Scheina was a military instructor pilot (IP) and he was qualified in the OH-58 Kiowa, UH-1 Huey, AH-1G Cobra and the CH-47D Chinook helicopter- the largest helicopter in the Army inventory.
In Vietnam, he served as a Cobra aircraft commander with the 334th AWC (known as the Playboys) where his call sign was “Playboy 18.” Chief warrant officers are commonly known as or called “chief” and those with a rank of CW4: super chief. Mr. Scheina was respectfully known in the National Guard as “THE Super Chief.”
He retired after many years of service working for the State of Illinois in various agencies and owning several small businesses throughout his career. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing cards, especially Texas Hold ‘Em, watching Fighting Illini basketball games, traveling, RV’ing, water sports, seeking deals and starting projects. He was deeply loved by his grandchildren, and he will be dearly missed by all.
He was preceded in death by his parents and son, Joshua Allen Scheina.
He is survived by his wife, Gail Scheina of Pleasant Plains; one son, D. Patrick (wife Angela) Scheina of Petersburg; daughter-in-law, Valerie Marie Scheina of Springfield; two stepchildren, Brandon (wife Callie) Rogers of Hillsboro and Nikki (husband Chris) Carron of Waggoner; grandchildren, Kate Elizabeth, Cassidy Skylar, Isabella Marie and Bryleigh Rose Scheina, Dillan (Mackenzie), Mizabella, Mira Moon, Ryan, Braydon (Holly) Carron, and Samara, Jasmine, and Autumn Rogers; sister, Kathleen (James) Augustine of Springfield; nephews, James (wife, Shannan) Augustine and Ryan Augustine; great-niece, Alyse Augustine; great-nephew, Elias Augustine and many cousins.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) Scholarship Fund, 1601 E. Lamar Blvd, Suite 117, Arlington, TX 76011.