Stanley Cope Wood passed away at the age of 90 on Sept. 14, 2020, with his family by his side at his home in Sun Lakes, Arizona.
Stanley was born Dec. 14, 1929, at his family’s home two miles southwest of Elmdale, Kansas, to Olive Cope Wood and Paul Bailey Wood. He was the fifth of six children, three boys and three girls.
After attending Elmdale schools, he graduated from Kansas State College on May 27, 1951, with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture engineering and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve.
He immediately was called to active duty and, after completing pilot training, received his Air Force Pilot Wings in June 1952. He was ordered to Korea in 1952 after attending fighter gunnery school and flew combat in an F-84 Thunder jet until a ceasefire agreement in 1953.
Upon returning to the U.S., he was an instructor pilot in the USAF undergraduate pilot training program, an intelligence officer at Headquarters USAF, and an instructor pilot in fighter gunnery, including conventional and nuclear weapons delivery. In 1968, he went to Vietnam, flying an F-100 Super Sabre in combat. In 1989, he was placed on the USAF’s retired list at the grade of colonel with more than 38 years of service, including 10 years of active duty.
He was a partner and general manager of Kalispell Bottling Company, a Pepsi Cola Bottler in northwest Montana. In Denver, Colorado, he worked as a sales engineer with Mountain States Industries, as a pump and electric motor distributor; as an assistant chief application engineer for Worthington Corporation’s vertical turbine pump division; a sales engineer with Electro Hydraulics, and as a hydraulic component distributor. He also was a Colorado Air National Guard technician, first as base operation officer/air field manager and later base commander of Buckley Air National Guard Base.
In 1981, he was transferred from Air Guard status to the Air Force Reserve and his technician status was terminated. After living in Marion for three years he and his wife moved to Phoenix, where he was a consultant to Robertson Aviation and a program manager for their range extension tank unit. He retired in 1991. He and his wife enjoyed the retirement activities of the Sun Lakes community and traveled the U.S. in their motor home.
He was married to Sharon Parkerson in 1955 and to that union they had two sons. Sharon died in 1961.
In 1965 he married Venita Meusel, who had a daughter he adopted. That marriage ended in divorce in 1971.
A marriage to Joyce La Dean Seiler followed in 1977. She had three sons.
Col. Wood is survived by sister Pauline Ferrell, sons Wade Parkerson Wood and Stephen Parkerson Wood, daughter Pamela Wood Koenig, stepsons Charles Baker, William Seiler, and Steven Seiler, grandchildren Kayla Koenig Watson, Meagan Koenig Schmitt, Courtney Christine Wood, Stephanie Nicole Wood, Melissa Michell Cotton, Bryan Mitchel Baker, Christopher Charles Baker, Joseph Stanley Seiler, and Jason Louis Seiler, six great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
Col. Wood was an FAA commercial pilot with both single engine and multi engine ratings. He also was an FAA certified flight instructor. Col. Wood was a Kansas licensed registered professional engineer for more than 65 years.
A memorial service will be 2 p.m. Nov. 21 at Elmdale Cemetery, followed by a celebration of life at Clover Cliff Ranch, both in Elmdale. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in Stanley’s honor to Camp Wood YMCA, 1101 Camp Wood Road, Elmdale, KS 66850.