Gallery of Aviation
A tribute to Steve Stuczynski.
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|Steve's Memorial by Le Roy Stuczynski|
Hi fellow Eagles! As you all probably know by now, we have
lost a fellow Eagle, Eagle Screams Research Editor, and his
most important title……Dad. Steve Stuczynski died with his
loving family at his side at the beautiful new Hospice Care
Center in Fitchburg, WI. When he died, I was caressing his
head and his two grandsons were each holding one of his hands.
It was a beautiful moment that will live with me forever!
Dad had his funeral pre-arranged with Connie Ryan of the Ryan Funeral Service. Connie was also a Marine and they shared many stories together over the years of their military adventures. About two weeks before Dad’s death, he drove down to Ryan’s and Connie told me he said, “the Lord is calling me to help out with some special projects and I need to make some arrangements.” Dad waited until mom was gone to a doctor’s appointment and he refused to let me take him to Ryan’s. He wanted to do everything on his own and did so up until nearly the end. A marvelous man to say the least.
With most of the arrangements made, our family was able to concentrate on making the memorial service a very special occasion for Dad and for all who would be in attendance. To say the least, I think our family pulled together to accomplish a service he is proud of.
We immediately began going through pictures for the picture boards
and gathering other items for display at the service. But then
something struck me! I said to myself “What can I do for Dad that
would really be special?” Of course! A World War II Warbird fly by.
I presented the idea to the family and they agreed wholeheartedly.
But how could you possibly pull that off they said. That’s where I
leaned on Dad’s lifetime motto of “the difficult we do right away and
the impossible takes just a little bit longer”. I wasn’t exactly sure
where this charge fell within the motto but I knew that with the help
of the Lord and fellow EAA Warbirds I could pull it off.
I went home and called a good Warbird friend and acquaintance Dad, Jason, and I had met while camping in the Warbirds campground about four years ago. We have ended up being Warbird camping neighbors every year since. His name is Harry Thompson and he owns an AT-6A he calls “Tigger”. Harry and Tigger live in Brookings, South Dakota. In one of the last issues of Eagle Screams he is the guy I mentioned would be giving Jason an AT-6 ride in St. Paul and also offered my Dad, Jason, and I a seat on the DC-3 he and Bob Odegaard (Super Corsair owner) own for a trip to the 2000 Reno Air Races. Jason got weathered out for the AT-6 ride and due to Dad’s health situation we passed on the Reno trip. I also contacted the television stations that had done broadcasts on Dad in the past in case they were interested in the service.