Flying Tiger Line
Pilots Association

Rick Litle

In Memoriam

November 25, 1955 - September 23, 2020

The following is from Gene Krawchuck, a good friend and fellow flight attendant of Rick.

It's with the heaviest of hearts that I share the news that former FTL Flight Attendant, Rick Litle, flew west at 5:14 pm this evening. Rick had been battling a non-smokers, adenocarcinoma in his lungs since February. He was fairly private about it and fought as much as he could. He passed peacefully at home, on his own terms, surrounded by his entire loving family.

I’m grateful to had the privilege to spend a few days with Rick last month and also spoke to him this morning. We both acknowledged our appreciation for our adventures with Tigers. How blessed we were to had that experience of travel, culture and rare friendships that withstand the test of time. I passed on how loved and respected he was by ALL that had the honor of knowing him.He was comfortable, at peace and ready for his transition.

There aren’t enough words for me to describe the depth of love I have for Rick. Besides being like a brother to me, Rick was the KEY to my life as I know it today. If I didn’t meet him, I honestly can’t imagine where I’d be today. We met in 1977, when he hired me in the car stereo business. We became close friends and after he transitioned to Flying Tigers, my interest in the airline industry was forged. Rick’s recommendation letter got me my interview in 1979. As they say, the rest is history.

My time with FTL was the most formable and shaped who I am today. His influence was always positive in my life. Rick even played a part in suggesting I’d be a great fit in the mortgage industry. Though I didn’t see it at first, I ended up here and have thrived in my second career for 26 years.

Handsome, intelligent, sincere and fun loving; I’ve never met anyone who got to know Rick that didn’t love him. 2020 has taken some well loved fellow Tigers. I know this loss will effect many as deeply as it will me. FTL reunions have always been my guaranteed chance to spend time with my best buddy in our absolute element.Hard to imagine reunions being the same for me.

Rick’s amazing wife, Debbie, has asked me to be the conduit for our Tiger family. I’ll relay information regarding celebration of life plans. Of course, COVID environment will impact that. But I know Debbie would love to have something exclusive for his Tiger family at some point.

Please keep Debbie, his sons, Brett & Tyler, his brother Gene, his Dad and rest of Rick’s extended family in your thoughts and prayers. If you wish to drop a sympathy note to Debbie’s attention, their address is:

2770 Lena Dr.
San Jose, CA 95124

I’m raising a fine glass of Napa Cab to you tonight my friend. See you on the other side. I’m going to miss you beyond words.

Anyone wishing to contribute to this page with archived pictures or testimonials about Rick is encouraged to contact us at

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