Donald Lee Stoddard, 89, was born in Woodward, Oklahoma, 18 July 1934, to Raymond and Josephine Stoddard. Don graduated from Woodward High School in 1951 and attended the University of Oklahoma for a year before entering the U.S. Air Force. Don married Shirlee Grace Ayers at the First Baptist Church in Carrier, Oklahoma, 02 July 1955.
During his time in the Air Force Don was stationed at Lackland AFB, Keesler AFB and Zaragoza, Spain. The Air Force provided his training for his life work as an Air Traffic Controller. During his tour of duty in Spain he was on a military Bowling team that competed in military European competition in Garmisch, Germany.
After his military discharge, he was hired by the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller at the Enroute Traffic Control Center in Fort Worth, Texas. In the late 1970s Don started working on the team that developed the automated Air Traffic Control system. Once he retired from the FAA in 1979, he worked as a contractor for several years in Bayonne, New Jersey. He also worked a year in London, a year in Hawaii and several years in Taipei, Taiwan as a team member updating the automated air traffic control system.
Don loved motorcycles and enjoyed riding through the hill country of Texas. One Year Don and Shirlee took a three-week round trip on the motorcycle from Roanoke, Texas to visit friends in California.
After Shirlee’s death in the spring of 2005, he met Nancy Bowers and they were married in Branson, Missouri, 10 October 2006. In 2008, Don was asked to return to work for his historical knowledge of the development of the initial Air Traffic control system on a three-year contract in Miami, Florida. At the end of this contract, Don and Nancy relocated to Amarillo, Texas where he was an active in the First Baptist Church until his health failed.
Don had been a resident of the Ussery- Roan Texas State Veterans Home for the past two years. He always enjoyed visits with his attentive dog Scout.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Gayle Stoddard, Dallas, Texas; and his daughter Lisa Ann Pergeson, Holden, Missouri.
He is survived by his wife Nancy, Amarillo, Texas; son Richard Stoddard, Golden, Missouri; daughter Tami Mills (David) Terrell, Texas; son Scot (Theresa), Granbury, Texas; son Chris, Plano, Texas; and brother-in-law, Norman Stewart (Susan). In addition, he is survived by 10 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
Services will be Tuesday, January 30, 2024, in Boxwell Brothers Chapel, 2800 Paramount Blvd, Amarillo at 10:00 AM, Dr. Robby Barrett officiating. Burial will be in Viney Creek Cemetery, Golden, Missouri.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that memorials in Don’s memory be made to First Baptist Church, The Loft, 1208 South Tyler, Amarillo, Texas 79101.