Josephine Coombs deGanahl – Early Female Pilot, Navy Wife

Died at age 90, one of the first female pilots who flew for pleasure, died of heart failure August 5, 1993 at her home in McLean, Virginia.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, she grew up in Scarsdale, and attended Bryn Mawr and the Julliard School of Music before marrying Joe de Ganahl in 1925. They lived in McLean and Alaska during WWII, where Mr de Ganahl was a USN Reserve pilot. He taught her how to fly, making her one of the first female pilots.

Mr de Ganahl died in 1943. She later married August Boesche, who died in 1985.

Mrs de Ganahl was a volunteer with the National Symphony Women’s Committee and was an avid traveler. She is survived by a son, Charles, of Lakeside, NE; a daughter, Virginia de Ganahl Russell of Brandon, VT; 12 grandchildren; and 20 great grandchildren.

A memorial svce will be held at 2 pm August 25 at the Church of the Epiphany in the District, where her grandfather had been the second rector and assisted in the funeral of Abraham Lincoln. Burial will be private in ANC. Expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the Zacchaeus Free Medical Clinic, Bread for the City or a charity of choice.

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