Kelly Garvin- Wingwalker


Photo by Jim Liles

Born at K.I Sawyer AFB, Kelly’s love affair with wingwalking started at a very young age when she saw a documentary about wingwalkers. Their prowess and bravery moved her to one day emulate the stunt people that she had so admired.

Hailing from a long line of military servicemen saw her family based in K.I. Sawyer AFB, Offut AFB, Nellis AFB, Scott AFB, Barksdale AFB and later, when her father was posted to the Pentagon, the family was relocated to Virginia. As an adventurous, young adult, Kelly moved to Italy for several years. It was here that Kelly taught herself Italian so that she could persue her Bachelors degree in International Economics and Finance at Unisersita Bocconi in Milan; a degree which she completed at the University of Texas in Austin.

Kelly is an avid warbird restoration enthusiast and regularly volunteers at her local CAF. She enjoys the work immensely and was once cautioned by her fighter pilot grandfather to never fly in or on anything that she was not capable of working on. When asked why she is passionate about warbird restoration she replied ” it’s my way of helping to keep the memory of those who fought and died for my freedom alive. It’s my way of helping to preserve their history and keep their story active in the minds of the next generation. They live on in the aircraft that I work on…..and those aircraft live on only if I do my part.”

In the past, Kelly worked as Education Director for the state of Texas at APHCC. She received the Ed Lipscomb Outstanding Service Award from the CAF Yellow Rose Squadron in 2008 and was crowned Miss Smith Co which led her to compete in the Miss Texas USA pageant where she placed in the top twenty.

Kelly currently works as a middle school mathematics intervention teacher in Austin, Texas. Kelly is also the co-host of EAA Radio’s afternoon “Traffic Jam” show. In her free time, she volunteers at the CAF, VFW and at the Austin Boxer Rescue. She enjoys piloting, parachuting, cooking, sewing, jogging, weight lifting, sword dancing and knife throwing.