Stanley O. Schaetzle, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)
April 05, 1934 – February 08, 2013

Stanley O. Schaetzle, 78, passed away Friday, February 08, 2013 in Sumter, South Carolina, surrounded by family and friends. “Stan The Man” was born to the late Carl and Pearl Schaetzle on April 5, 1934 in Omaha, Nebraska.

He graduated from Omaha South High in 1952, where he was inducted into the South High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Omaha South High Magnet School Hall of Fame in 2011. A three-sport star athlete, Stan was recruited to play basketball by two legendary college coaches — Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp and Kansas’s Phog Allen – but chose the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he earned nine athletic letters in baseball and basketball from 1953 – 1957. He set several athletic records which still stand today: A perfect 9-0 season as a pitcher in 1956, and the high scoring records for most field goals (17) and most points (49) in a single game. He was inducted into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981.

He married high school sweetheart Lois Ann Bertolini in 1954, completed ROTC training in 1957 and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force. In 1959, he completed jet pilot training at Webb AFB, Texas, and helicopter pilot training at Stead AFB, Nevada. He then spent 25 years serving in assignments in Korea, Japan, Thailand, Libya, Vietnam (two tours), Texas, Missouri, California, Arizona, Kansas and Washington DC. He earned a Master’s Degree in 1960, and graduated from the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College (1971), Electronic Warfare School (1978) and the USAF Air War College (1978). A proud and dedicated patriot, Stan’s colorful military career included flying the first rescue mission to save a downed American pilot in North Vietnam, which earned him a Silver Star for gallantry in action in 1964. He attained the rating of Command Pilot; worked on the Air Staff at the Pentagon; led the USAF contingent for President Jimmy Carter’s Inauguration; served as the Commandant of the NCO Academy in Washington DC; commanded the 703rd TASS helicopter squadron at Shaw AFB; and retired in 1982 as a member of the 9th Air Force Headquarters staff. Among his many military honors and decorations are the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Marksmanship Ribbon, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Air Force Presidential Unit Award with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters.

Following his retirement from the Air Force, Stan, a big believer in “giving back,” threw himself into his second hometown of Sumter. Among his many community, civic and military activities, he served as a member of the Boards of Directors of the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce, the Sumter Chapter of the American Lung Association, Crime stoppers, the Tuomey Hospital Hospice Advisory Board, the Christian Businessmen’s Committee, and the Sumter Sunrise Rotary Club. He was also a life member of the USAF Helicopter Pilots Association, the Air Force Association, the Order of Daedalians, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Following the death of his wife Lois in 1994, Stan was instrumental in revitalizing the American Cancer Society’s “Relay For Life” program in Sumter, contributing his considerable fundraising and networking skills to a cause in which he deeply believed. Always pleased to see people of faith coming together to make the world a better place, he also provided a special brand of leadership to the annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at the behest of Mayor Joe McElveen, who presented him with the Gamecock City Award this past May.

A faithful and active Lutheran all his life, Stan was a longtime worshipper at St. James Lutheran Church, where he served as President of the Church Council and Chairman of the Finance Committee, Bible Class Leader, and several terms as Head Usher. He was also a member of Via de Cristo, the South Carolina Lutheran Men. He later took a leading role in the formation of Sumter’s new Immanuel Lutheran Church, and took great pride in his last years as an active and productive member of Immanuel’s optimistic, warm-hearted and life-affirming family of parishioners, who lent him great comfort in his last days.

Stan is survived by his daughter Terri Lynn McKenna of Los Angeles; son Stanley O. “Bud” Schaetzle, Jr. and wife Tricia Schaetzle, of Los Angeles; granddaughters Alexis Schaetzle and Meghan Schaetzle, both of New York City; grandson Max Schaetzle of Los Angeles; sister Mariann Childs and husband Frank Childs III of Thayne, Wyoming; niece Deborah Sumnick and nephews Kurt Schaetzle and Scott Schaetzle, of Omaha, Nebraska; nieces Carla Rudolf and Laura King, of Idaho Falls, Idaho; and beloved friend Pat Ferro of Sumter.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, February 16 at the Bullock Funeral Home at 1190 Wilson Hall Road in Sumter. You may sign the family’s guest book at www.bullockfuneralhome.com

The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home for the arrangements.

Published in The State on February 10, 2013

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