John Rolland Brittain, Jr., 84, of New Galilee and Phoenix, Arizona, passed away on June 18, 2022, at
The Auberge at Peoria assisted living facility in Peoria, Arizona.
Born on May 26, 1938, he was the son of the late John and Ruth (Beck) Brittain.
John attended Beaver Falls High School and afterward joined the United States Marines Corps where he
proudly served for four years. He was an Aviation Electronics Technician and attained the rank of corporal.
Upon completion of his military service, John continued his academic career by earning an Associate
degree in Aeronautics at Cypress Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
(Accounting) at Fullerton State College, and a Masters of Business Administration at the University of
John’s illustrious work career began with North American Aviation/Rockwell International where he was an
Electronics Technician and Associate Engineer. After earning his secret security-crypto clearance, he
directed and performed electromagnetic interference testing on the Minute Man Missile and Apollo Space
Craft. Eventually, John was employed as an Internal Revenue Field Agent for the U.S.Government
Department of Treasury, while also working as an Adjunct Professor at Cypress Community College,
where he taught classes in basic and advanced aeronautics. In 1979, John was hired by Embry Riddle
Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ, where his responsibility as Simulation Supervisor was to develop
and oversee a flight simulation laboratory. John served on numerous committees at Embry Riddle
University and eventually served as Chairperson of the Aeronautics Division. At Embry Riddle, John
earned the Faculty Marshal and Golden Eagles Flight Team recognitions. John’s last employment before
retirement was with the State of Arizona Department of Revenue as a Tax Compliance Officer.
John’s love of flight led him to earn his Federal Aviation Administration Certificates as a commercial pilot,
flight instructor, and ground instructor. He was a founding member of the Cypress Soaring Club, a club for
sailplane enthusiasts, in which John earned several soaring awards. In 1970 the club rebuilt a glider in
John’s backyard. John’s children have many memories of Hemet airport where they looked forward to their
opportunity to soar in a glider with their father. John participated in several flying clubs, but most notable
was the Los Alamitos Base Club at Los Alamitos Naval Air Station where he was a civilian flight instructor.
In his spare time, John used his private plane to give flight lessons. He kept a scrapbook of all his
students that learned to fly under his instruction. John also volunteered his time to the marketing division
of Embry Riddle University by presenting at seminars throughout the United States to promote the
University. Hobbies John enjoyed include square dancing, traveling with his dogs, reading, and
researching his family’s genealogy. John was admired, respected, and loved by the countless friends and
coworkers whose lives he touched along his life’s journey.
John was preceded in death by two sisters, Shirley Newman and Ruth Ann Beatty. He is survived by two
sons, Alan Brittain and Jon (Teresa) Brittain; his daughter Debbie (Dave) Shee; a sister, Helen Lee
Muldoon; four grandchildren, Christie and Casey Shee, Wesley and Mark Brittain; many nieces, nephews,
The family would like to thank the staff of The Auberge at Peoria for the exceptional and compassionate
care John received as a resident.
In accordance with the family’s wishes, a private committal service with full military honors will be held at
the Reformed Presbyterian White Church Cemetery in New Galilee, Pennsylvania. In lieu of flowers,
memorial contributions in John’s name can be made to either the Animal Welfare League and SPCA or to
the National Alzheimer’s Organization.
Messinger Indian School Mortuary in Scottsdale, AZ, is honored to be assisting John’s family.