William R. Stearns, 1928-2019

William R. Stearns
William R. Stearns, 1928-2019. Photo provided

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – William Roy Stearns passed away peacefully at the age of 91Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 at Maplewood Nursing Home in Westmoreland, N.H. surrounded by his children.

Roy was born March 17, 1928 in Waterbury, Conn., the son of Albert William and Mary Ann (Manley) Stearns. Roy grew up in Waterbury, Conn. until moving to Springfield, Vt. in his teens. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1948. While in high school, he was enrolled in the Cooperative Shop Program and worked at The Foundry, learning pattern making, molding, and core making. After graduating high school, he took a post-graduate course at the Jones and Lamson Machine Tool Company in the engineering and pattern shop.

He met his wife of 66 years, Dorothy Ruth Snide, while in high school, and they wed June 30, 1951 in Chester, Vt.

Roy worked at The Foundry from 1950 to 1954. He then assisted his father in the family grocery store on Mary Street in Springfield for one year. In 1955, he was employed by the Fellows Gear Shaper until the pattern-making department was phased out in 1971. He then went to work for the O’Brien Pattern Shop until it closed in 1972. Roy then joined the newly formed company Lucas Pattern Shop owned by Ralph Lucas, where he was employed until his retirement. He was a master craftsman of pattern making and an excellent finish carpenter. After retirement, Roy could be found driving around in the Woodbury Florist van delivering flowers and on the greens of Bellows Falls County Club.

Airplanes were Roy’s passion. Roy started flying in 1958 at Springfield Airport in the Springfield Flying Club. He flew Aeronca, Piper Cub – his favorite – and Ercoupe. He logged his first solo flight March 19, 1959. He was often found at Springfield Airport watching planes take off and land or at any other airport he might have driven by. He enjoyed attending airshows local and far away. He would often attend the Blue Angels Air Show and flying into the Sun and Fun airshow in Lakeland, Fla. with his brother-in-law Alan Anderson. Roy’s last airplane ride was with his daughter Wendy, son-in-law David, and his sister Joan June 24, 2017 in a 1945 vintage Beach C-45 that was used for photoreconnaissance. The aircraft was flown by Dr. Mark Jacob.

Roy is survived by his son Gary and wife Sharon of East Stroudsburg, Pa.; daughter Kelley and husband Karl Lauren of Chester, Vt.; daughter Wendy and husband David Putnam of Westmoreland, N.H.; granddaughters Meghan and Emily Stearns of East Stroudsburg, Pa.; step-grandson Tim Lauren of Ludlow, Vt.; step-granddaughter Kristi and husband Andrew Elhers of Eden, Vt.; step-great-grandsons Wesley and Bryson Elhers of Eden, Vt.; sister Joan Carey of Springfield, Vt.; brother-in-law Larry and wife Judy Snide of Bellow Falls, Vt.; sisters-in-law Patricia Hardy and Linda Snide of Springfield, Vt.; and many nieces and nephews.

Roy is predeceased by his wife Dot, who passed May 30, 2018; his parents Albert and Mary; sisters Jean Anderson and Enid Barr; and brothers-in-law Alan Anderson, Roger Carey, and Edward “Chick” Barr.

Graveside services will be held Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Gill-Walker Cemetery on Putnam Road in Springfield, Vt. Immediately following, there will be a gathering of friends and family at the Crown Point County Club in Springfield, Vt.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Roy’s memory to EAA Chapter 968, 879 Parker Rd., East Wallingford, VT 05742. Part of this chapter has a Young Eagle Club that’s sole mission is to introduce and inspire kids in the world of aviation.

Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield is assisting with arrangements.

Back To Top