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Val Lavent of Brooklyn possessed a passion for flying machines from the very young age of six.: Valere Lavent (1920-2013)

Valere Lavent (1920-2013)
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Val Air Activities

Valere Lavent----Early in life Valere did whatever it took to get a ride in an airplane. At the very young age of 6 when a traveling barnstormer came to town, he talked his parents into letting him ride in a World War I “Jennie” at the price of a penny a pound. Daughter Debra Lavent shared in an email that her dad said he threw a tantrum and got his plane ride.

During World War II Valere trained in B-24s and B-29s and served in the Army Airs Corps. Following the war he turned his passion into his profession.  In the spring of 1946, he bought his first planes, a Piper Cub and Piper cruiser to give flying lessons, charter service or give rides for $1 per person, often making $100 in a weekend. He taught many area people to fly.

In the following years he constructed an airport along Highway 6, two miles north of Brooklyn where he operated Val Air Activities, an air-taxi service, contracting with General Telephone of the Midwest for 20 years and many others. It was not always a glamorous life of a pilot, Valere would be up before dawn using a grader to clear snow off the runway, fueling, warming up and checking planes before scheduled trips. His daughter also shared that he was meticulous about checking and maintain his planes. Living near the airport he would race through the backdoor in his dirty coveralls, jump in the shower, eat breakfast with the family and leave in a starched white shirt, tie and sport coat.

 In the 1950s and 1960s Valere was an active member of the Brooklyn Flying Club, where he also gave lessons for many years. He was a member of the Brooklyn American Legion and various aviation societies. Valere enjoyed a lifetime of creativity, remodeling homes, building an experimental aircraft, creating tools and farming.

With great honor we recognize Valere Lavent as a Hero of Industry and Technology in the field of aviation. Accepting on behalf of the family is grand-daughter Wendy Amatangelo. 

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