WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A former Kansas state senator, Wichita City Council member, and Army pilot, died Tuesday.

Ulysses Lee Gooch, better known as ‘Rip’, was born in Tennessee and served following World War II. ‘Rip’ learned to fly and was certified by the man responsible for training all Tuskegee pilots.

Gooch moved to Wichita in the 1950s and started his own aviation business, providing flight training and charter flying. He was elected to the Wichita City Council in 1989. He was elected to the Kansas Senate in 1992 and served until 2004. Gooch was 98.

Interview with U.L. Gooch

The Sedgwick County Democratic Party tweeted the following picture, “RIP was a pioneer and warrior who fought tirelessly for civil rights and paved the way for Black leaders in the field of aviation. RIP served as Senator representing northeast Wichita from 1993 until 2004. He will be missed but his legacy lives on.”