Obituary of Phillip Gregory Hackett
Phillip Gregory Hackett, 80, passed away peacefully on January 24th, 2024, at his home in St. Petersburg, under the care of his children. Phil was born on October 24, 1943, to Milton and Doris Hackett, in Bakersfield, California. He attended Bell High School in Bell, California. He was married to his beloved wife, Savilla Hackett, for 48 years.
At a young age, he enlisted in the United States Army. He earned a degree in Aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. He flew helicopters during two tours of duty in Vietnam. Over a period of 22 years of technical pilot proficiency, he achieved over 8,500 accident- and incident- free flying hours in ten different types of aircraft. In addition to Hawaii and Alaska, he was stationed in Turkey, Germany, Vietnam, and Korea. His last duty station was at SOCOM (Special Operations Command) at MacDill Air Force Base, where he was an instructor pilot. He flew foreign dignitaries and high-ranking officials all over the world. An important aspect of his command was the oversight of aircraft maintenance and personnel management. He achieved the rank of CW4 (Chief Warrant Officer 4), the highest warrant officer rank at the time. He retired after 31 years of service.
His many decorations include the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster; Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Air Medal with 30 Oak Leaf Clusters; Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal; and he achieved the classification of Master Aviator.
After retirement from the Army, he was a real estate agent for Century 21 achieving Diamond level status.
He was a professional and recreational aviator, distance runner, an avid skier, bowler, roller-skater, photographer, certified scuba diver, and an aviation buff. In addition to volunteering at the food pantry, he participated in missions to Nicaragua in building houses, a church, and a bridge. He was an active member of Pinellas Community Church.
He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, and brothers.
He is survived by his daughter, Valerie Kovach, and his sons, Greg Hackett (Marypat), Sean Hackett, Kerry Renner (Julie), Troy Renner, nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. He was our confidant and mentor. We will dearly miss our loving father who cared so greatly about his family.
He will be buried at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.
In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.