Master Sergeant Vern L. Stambaugh, U.S. Air Force (USAF) (retired), received his final promotion on June 12, 2017, when he reported to heaven and met his Lord and Savior face to face. Vern was 87 years young.
A proud Idahoan, Vern was born on February 2, 1930, in American Falls to Samuel H. and Dessie B. (Kelso) Stambaugh. He grew up outside of Aberdeen on the family farm, where he learned the importance of faith, family, friends and hard work. The lessons he learned from his parents stayed with him his entire life, and he was proud to pass on those values to his three daughters, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Upon graduating from Aberdeen High School, Vern was drafted into the U.S. Army. Just before deployment to Korea, his Father became ill, and Vern returned to run the family farm until his Father recovered. At that point, Vern decided that milking cows was not his passion, and he enlisted in the USAF in 1954.
The USAF benefited from Vern's mechanical talents, and he became an aircraft maintenance technician and teacher starting on jets and finishing his career as a crew chief and maintenance instructor for C-130 airplanes.
Early in his Air Force career, while stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, Vern met and married his beloved wife, Arlene (Eichenauer), on November 19, 1955. Their marriage of 61 years produced three daughters, Karen, Carol and Sandy.
Vern's Air Force career took the family to California three times, Ohio twice, Okinawa and Hawaii. Vern also served a tour in Taiwan and Vietnam in 1966-1967. Upon his retirement from the Air Force in 1974, Vern and Arlene settled the family in Boise where he went to work for the State of Idaho, Department of Agriculture. In 1978, Vern accepted a transfer to Coeur d'Alene. Vern finished his official work career driving school buses and performing maintenance duties for the Coeur d'Alene schools where he was known and loved by all.
Never one to sit around, Vern in his official 'retirement" years became the handyman for many folks in the Hayden area. He was in such popular demand that Arlene would complain, she couldn't seem to get her projects on his chore list! If you lived on Vern's street, you were in luck, as he diligently cleared his neighbors' driveways and sidewalks of snow for many years. Vern was also a loyal member of the VFW, and he faithfully honored other veterans by participating in scores of honor guard ceremonies. He and Arlene also enjoyed escaping winter in Idaho by pulling their 5th wheel south to California and Arizona.
Vern is survived by his wife, Arlene; daughters, Karen Roetter (Matt), Carol Moore (Steve), and Sandy Motter (Rick); grandchildren, Katie Stolebarger (James Curb), Andrea Whiteman (Blake), Tara Vucinich (Shea), David Moore, Lauren Moore (Jared Hereford), and Kurt Moore; and great-grandchildren, Jackson Stolebarger, Layne Whiteman, Hudson Whiteman, Ensley Vucinich, and Ebbet Vucinich. He is also survived by his beloved dog, Macho.
A special thank you to Brian and the caregivers at Rose Terrace Cottages for their diligent and faithful care of Vern as he completed his life's journey.
A celebration of Vern's life will be held at 10AM on Friday, June 16, 2017 at Yates Funeral Home, 744 N 4th Street, Coeur d'Alene. www.yatesfuneralhomes.com
In lieu of flowers, Vern would love a donation to Real Life Ministries (Church Camp Fund), 1866 Cecil Rd. Post Falls, ID 83854 or the Windermere Foundation, c/o Midge Smock, 1000 Northwest Blvd., Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
"Well done, good and faithful servant." Mathew 25:23