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or three years. In late 1935 Cessna longed to retire and return to his farm at Rago, Kansas. In December he sold his stock to the Directors, but retained the Presidency until October, 1936, when he resigned. In retirement Cessna acquired a large tract of land adjoining his former farm, and there through the next few years reportedly raised beef cattle and enjoyed inventing new farm machinery. Cessna passed away at his farm home on November 20, 1954, at age 75, alert and active almost to the last. He was survived by his wife and two children. Burial was beside his father in a cemetery near Belmont, Kansas, with an aerial tribute by a formation of six Kansas National Guard planes circling overhead. He was one of the founding members of the Early Birds and an active member of the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce. He held Pilot License No. 6200 granted him on January 29, 1925. Flying Pioneer, Early Bird Clyde V. Cessna was truly one of the foremost aviation pioneers in the United States. Early plane designer and builder, self-taught aviator, a man of great vision and drive, he founded one of the largest and most successful companies in the world today. Always a steadfast ambassador of aviation and air travel, his contributions to the industry are legend. A perfect gentleman, known and loved everywhere, his was a life of determined struggle and hardships on the path to successful accomplishment. His name will always remain among the greats of American aviation history. 7
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