William Marvin Stampley, 93, of Yazoo City, died at home the day after Christmas and is now reunited with his beloved wife, Ruby Rae Davis Stampley, to whom he was married for 59 ½ years.
Mr. Stampley was the only child of Richard Ulric Stampley and Susie Mae Wainwright Stampley. He grew up in the community of Holly Bluff, leaving only for WW II. But at 17, he was technically too young to enlist. However, his reluctant mother was persuaded to sign permission for him to join the Navy. He was proud to claim that branch of the armed forces throughout his life.
He served on a fuel supply ship carrying high-octane fuel to England, sailed to Venezuela, and after the Japanese surrender, served on a minesweeper in the Pacific. As with so many others of that generation, when his service was complete, he returned home to marry and establish a family.
He drove a school bus in Holly Bluff and noticed the pretty girl three years younger than he, Ruby Rae Davis. They were married July 3, 1948, and immediately moved to the Washington D. C. area for a job opportunity. But the call of home ties was too strong, and the young couple moved back to Holly Bluff for the birth of their first son, William Marvin Jr. (Bill).
Billy Stampley drove a gravel truck and farmed on the land owned by his father-in-law, V. B. Davis, near Holly Bluff. But after the births of daughter Janet Marie and son Davis Wainwright, the family moved to “town,” town being Yazoo City, in 1959.
Though raised a Methodist, where his mother played the organ at Holly Bluff Methodist Church, his wife said they would go to church together in Yazoo City. And so they did. He was a faithful member of First Baptist Church, Yazoo City, for 60 years.
Mr. Stampley worked at Mississippi Chemical Company for 30 years, when it was the largest farmer-cooperative chemical business in the country. He worked shift work, and as his children grew older, would swap schedules with men who had younger children so they could be with them on Christmas morning.
He coached both his sons and many other boys in Dixie Youth Baseball. The team was known as the Chemi-Kids, sponsored by Mississippi Chemical.
As Ruby Rae retired from her job as a school principal, Billy Stampley retired at the same time. They used their retirement years to travel, to Europe and Hawaii, across Canada, and on several trips within the continental United States. They took each child and their families on separate trips to Washington D.C. so they could experience the history of the country at the Smithsonian, Mt Vernon, Ford’s Theatre, and Arlington National Cemetery.
In retirement, he took up golf, adding the sport to his hobbies of hunting and fishing. He often hit it long, though not always with accuracy. But he loved the competition and camaraderie.
As a proud veteran, Mr. Stampley flew the flag and attended the annual Veterans’ Day program at Manchester Academy. His values were straight-forward and simple: God, country, family.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a half-brother, Richard Ulric Stampley Jr.; wife Ruby Rae Davis Stampley; and most recently, granddaughter Lacey Claire Lee.
He is survived by son Bill Stampley, Jr. (Charlotte), Lafayette, LA; daughter, Janet Stampley Lee (Rory) of Clinton; and son, Wain Stampley of Yazoo City. He was the grandfather of five grandaughters, including Lauren Lee Ryan; Lacey Claire Lee (deceased); Sarah Stampley Pepper; Elizabeth Stampley White and Jourdan Rae Stampley. He was also a great-grandfather of nine, including five boys and four girls, with two additional blessings expected in 2020.
In the last two years, a series of caregivers has helped in Mr. Stampley’s home. The family is most appreciative of all their efforts, especially those of Annette Washington and Olivia Turner. Olivia called him “Pops,” seeing to both his needs and wants, including an afternoon ice cream cone. He told anyone and everyone that Olivia “just spoiled him rotten.”
Funeral services were Sunday at First Baptist Church.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 328 Grand Avenue, Yazoo City, MS