Posted by: SJS | December 20, 2020

George “Red” Stahley – Happy 96th!

Stahley family in 1960 – George & Rita with their children: Maryellen, Teresa, Marguerite, Joan, and Stephen

My father was born on December 20, 1924. By the time he turned 21 in December of 1945, he had served in the European and Pacific theaters of WWII, seen parts of the world that many people have never even heard of, and absorbed the harsh reality of intense combat with his closest Navy buddy, Tom Saffles, who he never saw again after they were honorably discharged in the spring of 1946.

At the time of his death in November of 1999, I was only beginning to explore the deeper dimensions of his military career. The initial diagnosis of the lung cancer that claimed his life occurred in July of 1999 and he passed away before Thanksgiving. The opportunity for extensive, wide ranging discussions about my father’s PT days evaporated rapidly as his body was devastated by the cancer. It would be another ten years before my serious research on his navy service would begin.

George Stahley, Sr. and his son, George Jr. in 1925

Marking the 96th anniversary of the day of his birth in 1924 reminds me yet again of how much I learned from him before his death. And through my research on his PT days, the learning has continued on a scale I could never have imagined ten years ago.

So as I raise a toast to his memory with love and gratitude, I look forward to the learning that will continue as my journey of discovery takes me to new and surprising places.


Responses

  1. And I join you, Steve, in raising a glass 🥃 (of the ‘Top Shelf Good Stuff!) to your Dad on the anniversary of his birth. Love the family pic—didn’t realize you were the only boy of a brood of 5. No wonder you were so spoiled! 😂. I see the physical resemblance of you and your dad too!! Take Care! Keep ‘pen to paper!’ 👍🏽

    • Thanks, Jay! I really appreciate your supportive words. As the only boy in the family, I made the very wise decision of being born first (ha!).
      That gave me a running head start when my sisters decided I needed a bit more spoiling. They kept me on my toes–for sure. Thanks again for your continued support.


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