Have you ever celebrated when you find an obituary that details a military career? Well, I’m celebrating today! As I’m researching cousins, I’ve finally found an obituary that provides quite a few details about the military career of my second cousin twice removed, Everett Wayne Stoops.
Feb. 19, 1919 — July 7, 2006“Obituaries,” Corvallis Gazette-Times (Corvallis, Oregon), 21 July 2006, page 4; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 31 December 2021).
Retired Chief Master Sgt. Everett Wayne Stoops, U.S. Air Force, of Albany died Friday, July 7, after a valiant fight against complications of heart and lung disease. He was 87.
Born in Hamilton County, Ind., to Ernest and Edith (Christy) Stoops, he was one of eight children.
Graduating from high school at 16, he worked in the family grocery store. Enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1940, he attended aircraft maintenance schools and participated in submarine patrol missions until crashing in a B-26 aircraft on Dec. 18, 1941. He served 34 months in Australia, New Guinea, Dutch Ne Guinea and Owi Island, maintaining and, in some cases, rebuilding planes before returning to the United States. He then married Wilma Ridenour of Indiana, whom he had met on a blind date before he went overseas and ask to marry him on their third date. He left the service in 1945 as a master sergeant, but after three years re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he remained for 30 years of active service.
He was stationed all over the world from England to Labrador, Canada, to Vietnam and the Philippines, and traveled to Scotland, Bermuda, Guam, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Greenland and points in between. As often as possible, his family and their dogs accompanied him.
He was one of the first men to attain the rank of chief master sergeant, the highest a non-commissioned office can hold. Upon retirement, the family moved to Albany, where Wayne worked as parts manager for Dorsey Bus Company and then for J and J Electric until his final retirement in 1984. He continued to work part time until 1998.
He enjoyed camping neighborhood and family get-togethers, and taking his friends flying. He was a voracious reader, enjoying mysteries, westerns, war novels, nonfiction and the occasional Danielle Steel. An avid dog lover, he also discovered the joy of being owned by cats during the last 30 years of his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, stepmother Lydia and siblings. Survivors include Wilma, his wife of 61 years; his daughter, Elizabeth “Libby” Stoops, her husband, Vernon Smith, and Grandson Connor Stoops-Smith; niece Nancy Gressler of Springfield; several nieces and nephews east of the Rockies; and many many friends.
Wayne will be remembered as a quiet man who valued his family and friends, loved animals, and was always available to lend a hand. He is missed.
A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, at the American Legion, 1215 Pacific Blvd. S.E. Albany.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Safe-Haven Humane Society or Heartland Humane Society.
Although I haven’t found another source to corroborate the airplane crash, I have been able to find items in the local Indiana newspapers that provide details about where Wayne Stoops was stationed during his military career.
Everett Wayne Stoops1 was born on 19 Feb 1919 in Clarksville, Indiana.1–5 He was the child of Edith Ethel Christy and Ernest Evert Stoops.1,6–7 He lived in Wayne Township, Hamilton, Indiana, United States in 1920.8 Everett lived in Owen Township, Clinton County, Indiana in 1930.9 He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 5 Jan 1940.4,7,10 He served in the military in May 1940 in Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, United States.11–12 Everett served in the military in Staten Island, New York.12 He served in the military in Dec 1942 at Lincoln Air Base in Lincoln, Lancaster, Nebraska, United States.13 He served in the military in Jun 1944 at Lowry Field in Denver, Colorado, United States.14 Everett served in the military in Greensboro, Guilford, North Carolina.14 He was discharged from the military on 20 Sep 1945 at Camp Atterbury.4,7,12 He registered for the military draft on 26 Sep 1945 in Frankfort, Clinton, Indiana, United States.5 Everett enlisted in the Air Force on 24 Dec 1948.4,7 He served in the military witha a rank of Technical Sergeant in 1951 in Merced, California, United States.15 He lived in Salina, Saline, Kansas, United States in 1953.16 Everett served in the military in 1963 in Goose Bay, Alaska.17–18 He was discharged from the military on 30 Jun 1973.4 He lived in Albany, Linn, Oregon, United States in 1988.6–7 Everett lived in Eugene, Lane, Oregon, United States in 1999.19 He lived in Albany, Linn, Oregon, United States in 2002.20 He died on 7 Jul 2006 at the age of 87.1–4,7 The funeral of Everett was held on 2 Aug 2006 in Albany, Linn, Oregon, United States.7
1. Social Security Administration, “Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007,” database on-line, Ancestry, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60901/ : viewed online 21 November 2020), Everett Wayne Stoops.
3. Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 31 December 2021), Everett W Stoops, 307-16-3375, before 1951.
4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010,” database, Ancestry, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed online 31 December 2021), Everett W Stoops.
8. 1920 U.S. Census, Hamilton County, Indiana, population schedule, Wayne Township, Hamilton County, Indiana, ED 114, Sheet 5A Image 9 of 11, family 109, Earnest Stoops; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 21 November 2020); NARA microfilm publication T625
9. 1930 U.S. Census, Clinton County, Indiana, population schedule, Owen Township, Clinton County, Indiana, enumeration district (ED) ED 12-17, Sheet 1B, family 19, Ernest Stoops; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 22 November 2020); NARA microfilm publication T626.
17. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online 30 December 2021), memorial for Sylvester Eugene Stoops (1913-1963), Find a Grave Memorial no. #8528622, created by Judy, citing Geetingsville Cemetery, Geetingsville, Clinton County, Indiana; accompanying photograph by Judy, Sylvester Eugene Stoops.