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Robert (Bob) Lee Stalnaker, 87, died peacefully at his home in West Valley City, UT surrounded by family.
Bob was born July 5, 1933 in Plainville, Kansas to George Lee Stalnaker and Lillian Ann Novotny.
He married Alta Joyce Tanner in 1957 at the Ramstein Airforce Base in Germany Rhineland while serving as a pilot for the U.S. Air Force. They recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.
Their military journey continued with several stops throughout the United States including bases such as Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Phoenix, AZ; Nellis AFB in Southern Nevada; McConnell AFB in Wichita KS; and March AFB (now Air Reserve Base) in Riverside, CA.
After leaving the Air Force, Bob returned to Kansas to start a cattle ranch with his best friend Leon (Sonny) Ross which operated for over 60 years. In 1961, the family relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah as Bob began a career as an air traffic controller with the Federal Aviation Administration. The next year they settled in Granger where they raised their four children.
In 1964, Bob joined the National Guard unit which was later the reserves. Bob completed his Bachelor of Science degree at Westminster College and later purchased a C-182 Cessna and joined a “flying club.”
Bob was a very patriotic man and was very proud of the opportunity he had to serve and to fly a number of different aircraft including the Piper Cub, T-6, T-28, T-33, F-84, F-100, B-47 for the USAF. As a serviceman for the Army, he flew the Bell helicopter, Hiller helicopter, Huey helicopter, L-19 Birddog, U-8 Beaver, U-10, C-310 Cessna, and the U-8 Queenaire.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents; his infant son Douglas Lee; his sisters Betty Vogts (Melvin) and Shirley Stinemetz (Merlyn); and daughter-in-law Jeri Erickson Stalnaker.
Bob is survived by his wife, Joyce; children Keri Denise (Kelly) Graff, St George, UT, Mark Lee, Magna, UT, Scott Lee (Loralie), South Jordan, UT, and Shauna Joan (Scott) Anton, Temecula, CA; 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; sisters Eva (Tom) Miller, Broken Arrow, OK, Gloria (Vernon) Chard, Hays, KS, Carolyn (Lawrence) Balderston, Tucson, AZ, Madge (Tom) Mock, Tucson, AZ, Dianne Conway, Manhattan KS, and Patty (Jim) Foltz, Las Vegas, NV; and brother Alan (Susan) Stalnaker, Taylorsville, UT.
The family would like to thank the special care of Lorna Middleton-Almond, Angelica Vasquez and the staff at Rocky Mountain Hospice, especially Carlos.
A private graveside service will be held on Friday, September 18, 2020 at Valley View Memorial Park, in West Valley City, Utah with the assistance of McDougal Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating financially or with service to the Wounded Warriors.
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