Richard “Dick” Arlan Stetzler
Warner Robins – On Wednesday evening, August 5, 2020, Richard “Dick” Arlan Stetzler passed away at Houston Medical Center following a three week battle with Covid 19. Born on April 6, 1938, in Upper Berns Township, PA, Dick was one of three children born to the late William J. and Mary Berger Stetzler. He was a graduate of Hamburg High School in Hamburg, PA, where he was a star baseball and soccer player. Later, he went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. In 1958, he was wed to Patricia Henne, with whom he would share 62 wonderful years of marriage and three beloved daughters, Carol, Karen, and Mindy. He was a loving and devoted husband and an extraordinary father; there was nothing he wouldn’t do for his family and they knew it. His love for them was unquestioned and shared freely.
As a young man, Dick enlisted in the United States Air Force where he proudly served for four years. After active duty, Dick continued to support the Air Force as he began a 40+ year career in Civil Service in 1956 as a fire control technician at Griffiss Air Force Base in New York. Dick would go on to work for IBM as a quality control inspector on the B-52 Bomb Navigation system and later at Olmstead Air Force Base where he worked on the AIM-4 Falcon missile system. In 1966 he transferred, for the first time, to Robins Air Force Base but left after just a year to Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan, where he worked on the F-101 aircraft. Finally, in 1969, Dick returned to Robins Air Force Base where he worked on the Aim-4 and Aim-9 Sidewinder missile systems as an electronics technician. This would be the final move for Dick and Pat. He soon became an equipment specialist in the Air Superiority Missiles Division of the Space and Special Systems Management Directorate; a distinction he shared with only 10 others at Robins AFB. During his time in civil service, Dick helped redesign and repackage the AIM-9 launcher power supply used by the Air Force and its allies. Professionally, he is remembered as hard-working and tireless in his dedication. Personally, it’s interesting to note that each time he and Pat moved, it seemed a new child was born to the couple!
Outside of his work, Dick adored his family. As a father, he was devoted beyond measure to his girls; he did anything and everything he could for them. He supported them through the years in all activities such as dance, swimming, and cheering. He spent countless hours playing softball, basketball, and kickball in the backyard; his yard was impeccable and the pool always spotless. His efforts for the girls were limitless and it was thanks to Dick that their friends always wanted to spend time at the Stetzler house. There was always something fun to do! As a grandfather, his devotion naturally continued. The apple of his eye and his only grandchild, Alex, became the highlight of his life. He supported her with all the resourcefulness and ingenuity for which he was known, especially with her gymnastics - even building a balance beam and bars on which she could practice. She truly was the center of his life. Additionally, Dick was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and gardening, but his main handiwork was working on cars as well as restoring old tractors. Generous with his time and talents, Dick could often be found helping others. He was a man who could fix or repair absolutely anything you put in front of him. Determined and persistent, he tackled things with a never-give-up attitude; no matter the project, he would not quit until he figured it out! Dick also enjoyed competitive shooting and was a member, range master, and competitive shooting instructor at the Cool Springs Gun Club. He was also a long-time member of the NRA and the RNC.
In addition to his parents, Dick was preceded in death by his beloved dogs, Ginger and Marci; and his cat, Olivia.
Those left to cherish Dick’s memory are his loving wife of 62 years, Patricia Henne Stetzler; daughters, Carol Stetzler Deason (Dale), Karen Stetzler Morgan (Tim), and Mindy Stetzler Anderson (Tommy); granddaughter, Alex Morgan; siblings, William J. Stetzler, Jr. and Linda Stetzler Hemerly; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and his two feline sidekicks, Socks and Lucky Boy.
The family would like to specifically express their heartfelt gratitude for the caregivers at Home Instead Senior Care for the never-ending support shown to both Dick and his family.
A memorial service celebrating Dick’s life will be scheduled for a later date. The family of Dick Stetzler deeply appreciates your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Dick’s family suggests that those wishing to do something in his memory make donations in memory of Dick Stetzler to Wake Up Narcolepsy at www.wakeupnarcolepsy.org/donate/.
Visit www.mcculloughfh.com to sign an online registry for the family. McCullough Funeral Home and Crematory has the privilege of being entrusted with these arrangements.