Retired Jeppesen President Wayne Rosenkrans Passes Away <


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Retired Jeppesen President Wayne Rosenkrans Passes Away

Shane Nolan

April 17, 2010 - Former Jeppesen president and chief executive officer Wayne Rosenkrans passed away April 12. He was 86. Mr. Rosenkrans joined Jeppesen following service as an Army Air Corps F-47 pilot during World War II. He joined the company as a compiler of navigation charts and quickly moved into a succession of managerial positions.

He served as manager of Airline Sales and Service, director of production and senior-vice president of operations before becoming president and chief executive officer in 1967, a position he held until retiring from Jeppesen in 1988.

Mr. Rosenkrans' vision was central to the growth of Jeppesen into world's leading provider of aeronautical information, and his innovations were instrumental in helping to make aviation the safest mode of transportation in the world.

Most notable among the accomplishments during Mr. Rosenkrans' tenure at Jeppesen were his work with the US Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), forerunner to today's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to develop standard instrument approach procedures for pilots to use; and establishment of the FAA's National Flight Data Center, a central office where data on airspace, air traffic control and facilities is collected and disseminated.

Wayne A. Rosenkrans Sr.  

In addition, Mr. Rosenkrans oversaw the expansion of Jeppesen's product lines to include products and services that complemented the Jeppesen Airway Manual, such as pilot training materials. Mr. Rosenkrans led Jeppesen's adoption of computer graphics technology for use in drafting and maintaining charts, thus establishing the company as the leader in transforming aeronautical information from being paper-based to being digitally-based.

"Wayne Rosenkrans' leadership left an indelible impression on Jeppesen and the commercial aviation industry during their formative years," said Mark Van Tine, Jeppesen president and chief executive officer. "Wayne laid a foundation for Jeppesen's success today.  I am grateful to have had the honor of knowing and learning from him."

He was born in Kensington, Smith County, Kansas on June 2, 1923 to Henry Lafford and Jessie May (Hannan). Wayne completed a year of college at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas before joining the Army Air Corps and becoming a fighter pilot flying P-47 Thunderbolts in WWII.

He frequently joked about being in the best trained fighter group in the Air Corps, having been transferred frequently for specialist training before finally landing in Selma, Alabama, where his group was trained to fly the Thunderbolts from aircraft carrier decks for the invasion of the Japanese home islands.


The end of the war found his group in transit for operational deployment from San Diego, and he retained a love of flying throughout his life. While in Selma, he married Martha Jane Reed from Clarion, Pennsylvania, and the couple moved to Denver in 1945 where Wayne became one of the first employees of Jeppesen & Co., a new company in the equally new area of aviation navigation.

With company founder Elrey B. Jeppesen, Wayne helped to build a global company providing aerial navigation products and services for the emerging airline and private aviation industries after WWII. Wayne spent his entire career at Jeppesen, becoming company president in 1967 and seeing the company become the world's largest compiler and publisher of aerial navigation aids before his retirement in 1988.

After the death of his beloved Martha in 1989, he met his second great love, Ramona Jean Hae (Burkhardt) whom he married in 1997. He was active in the Stapleton Airport Lion's Club, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Club, Airline Pilots Association and the board at Cherry Hills Country Club. Wayne was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend, well known for his intelligence, integrity, and quiet contributions to aviation.

Wayne was preceded in death by his beloved wives Martha Jane Reed and Ramona Jean Hae, his brother Paul Alden Rosenkrans, and his sister Myrna Ruth Libbey. He is survived by his son Wayne A. Rosenkrans, Jr. and his wife Barbara Anne, his grandson Christopher Neil and his granddaughter Lisa Kathleen of Malvern, PA; and his sisters Ila May Dudley of Washington, DC, and Lois Loree Parse of Loveland, CO.

Services for Mr. Rosenkrans, was held at 3:00 p.m. Friday, April 16 at Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery and Mortuary in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Internment at Crown Hill immediately follows the service.

For more than 75 years Jeppesen has made it possible for pilots and their passengers to safely and efficiently reach their destinations. Today this pioneering spirit continues as Jeppesen delivers essential information and optimization solutions to improve the efficiency of air, sea and rail operations around the globe. Jeppesen is a subsidiary of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, a unit of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Jeppesen corporate information is available online at

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