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Steve Eisner

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Steve Eisner

On March 26th, one of our longest standing members, Steve Eisner, passed away after a long illness.  The following are a few words from our officers that knew him best:

In remembrance of Steve Eisner —

When we as aviation researchers, historians, military veterans, etc., lose a likeminded friend or colleague, we usually attempt to apply some catch phrase to the event, such as “slipped the surly bonds.” I can’t recall any cliché that really fits with the passing of Steven D. Eisner who died March 26, 2023, from health problems. He was born on Pearl Harbor Day in 1947.

He was many things to me and to the F-4 Society. Steve was a long-time member, mentor, guru and dedicated supporter to help further our objectives and increase our membership rolls. The knowledge he possessed of all foreign and domestic versions of the aircraft was extraordinary and he shared it whenever asked. It seems his personal library held every book, magazine article, McDonnell Douglas company brochure and literature, prospective foreign details/variant, flight manual, etc., ever printed.

It seems like forever ago that I met Steve at a PhanCon long past (1988?) He was a funny, gregarious, outgoing guy and had a great multitude of friends and connections with military and civilian groups. I know scores of people will miss him.

The last time I saw Steve was at the final full Society gathering in the USA — PhanCon 2016  at Alamogordo/Holloman AFB where he was selling some of his F-4 toys as a vendor. At that time, he was already suffering some effects of the disease that took his life. Even with this, he was the same affable and genial gentleman I’ll always remember.

    Steve Billings
      VP, F-4 Phantom II Society

There were so many in the early days that devoted so much to make the Society what it is today and Steve was that person. I will not mention all those names but thank them all for what they did. I will keep this about Steve and his devotion to the Society. Steve was deeply involved with the planning and execution of many of our Phan -Con events as were others. He was a special character loved to laugh. He enjoyed nothing more than being “ on the line” chatting with everyone and photographing Phantoms. He was known to knock on the door of airlines aircrews and ask them if they were former Phantom drivers and hand them a stack of Society applications.  Once in Boise at Phan Con one of the Phantoms from I believe the 561st did not show up. Steve put chocks where they would be if the jet had showed up with a sign that said “ 561st F-4G Stealth Fighter. At least that’s how I remember what he did. I could go on about Steve but you get the message. Without him and so many others we would not have the great Society that we have today. RIP Steve you are missed and will not be forgotten.

-Bill Crean, Treasurer, F-4 Phantom II Society

 I would like to add that I saw Steve and Jan Jacobs manning a society booth at the 1999 March ARB Open House.  He was a great ambassador for us.  There was also the time at Holloman that he kept General Olds's drink refreshed with the announcement, "Tanker inbound!"  I think that caused the general to give us a longer presentation.  He will definitely be missed.

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