Obituary for William "Bill" Stamper
On December 1, 2017, William "Bill" Stamper passed away peacefully at the age of 78 while surrounded by his family. Bill suffered from dementia during the final stages of his life, and ultimately succumbed to complications.
Bill was born in St. Louis, Missouri on November 11, 1939, to the late Howard and Beulah Stamper. He was predeceased by his late sister Jane Stamper.
Bill is survived by Barbara Stamper, his beloved wife of 41 years, along with his four children Tracy (Tom Barkman) Stamper, David (Erin) Stamper, Becky (John) Engman, and Davey (Ali) Desloge, his brother John (Nancy) Stamper, along with his ten grandchildren Caeleigh and McKinley Stamper, Max Barkman, Abigail, Brooke, Elizabeth and John Jr. Engman and Tucker, Cooper and Finnley Desloge.
Bill attended Community School and John Burroughs School in St. Louis, Missouri. Successful academically and athletically, Bill was the winner of the Les Hatcher Award during his senior year at Burroughs, awarded to the Most Valuable Soccer Player in the ABC League. Bill would move on to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he continued playing soccer and was a proud member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
Upon graduation from college, Bill enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he proudly served his country as a Marine Corps Captain. He remained a proud supporter of the Marine Corps for the rest of his days.
Soon thereafter, Bill married Patricia Flotron. Together they shared a love of airplanes and both became accomplished pilots. In 1971 they welcomed daughter Tracy Stamper into the world, and she was followed by a son, David Stamper, born in 1973. Patricia Stamper passed away in 1976.
One of David’s classmates at his St. Peter’s playgroup was Becky Desloge. Becky’s father, David Desloge, had very recently passed away. Bill and Barbara contacted one another to offer each other support, and thus began a relationship that would culminate in a marriage of 41 years.
In 1977, Bill and Barbara Macdonald Desloge were married, thus bringing two separate families of three into one family of six. Bill and Barbara Stamper were now the proud parents of Tracy Stamper, David Stamper, Becky Desloge, and the child formerly known as David Desloge, who now became Davey Desloge, due to his new brother David. The family celebrated the wedding vows with a big lunch at Coco’s Restaurant on Lindbergh Boulevard in St. Louis.
Bill was generous with his time and knowledge while serving on a variety of boards and organizations around St. Louis. He served on the boards at Central Institute for the Deaf, St. Luke’s Hospital, the St. Louis Art Museum as well as heading the boards at Community School and John Burroughs School.
One of Bill’s greatest passions was sailing. Whether navigating the beautiful blue waters of the British Virgin Islands or the calm seas of Nantucket’s north shore, Bill was at home on his various sailboats. And while Bill could often be seen heading out with his tools to “work on the boat,” more often than not the tools went untouched, newspapers were read, pots of coffee were consumed, and he couldn’t have been happier enjoying the peace and serenity of just being on his sailboat.
Bill loved his “Poker Group”, a collection of high school friends who would convene upon Sugar Tree, Missouri for an annual weekend of float trips, poker, cigars and camaraderie. He was a regular at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis, where his intentions were always to get a workout in, but long lunches visiting with great friends were generally the order of the day.
Riding his bike around Forest Park or the many bike paths on Nantucket Island were favorite pastimes of Bill’s. Each year he would dedicate a day to riding one mile for each year of his age - which he successfully performed with 70+ mile rides into his early 70s.
Bill became a grandfather in the early 2000s. He was known affectionately as “Pop Pop, Pop, or Gop Gop” to his ten grandchildren. He loved taking his grandchildren sailing in Nantucket, to St. Louis Cardinals games, and coming to see them perform on various stages and athletic fields around St. Louis and Baltimore, Maryland.
In lieu of flowers, please help make a child’s holiday brighter by donating an unwrapped gift to support the Marine’s Toys for Tots Foundation, as well donations in Bill's memory may be made to John Burroughs School or Forest Park Forever.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of William Stamper will be held at Ladue Chapel, 9450 Clayton Rd., on Tuesday, December 5th at 11:00am.