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The Chillicothe Voice


Apr 01, 2024 09:56AM ● By Sherry Killion Adams

Service to his country, dedication to his family, and volunteerism to his community—those are the qualities that make up the man, Bill Stoops.

William “Bill” Stoops was born in Fairmont, Indiana. Shortly there after his family moved to Frankfort, Indiana where he went to school, and met the love of his life, Patricia Hill. Bill graduated from Frankfort High School in 1958. In 1959 he enlisted in the United States Air Force and completed basic training at Lackland Air Force base and then went on to Aircraft Mechanic’s school in Amarillo, Texas. After training, he was assigned to Stewart AFB in New York. In 1960 he and Pat went back to Frankfort and were married. Pat has been a faithful companion at his side ever since. The couple have been married for 63 years. They have two children; John and Karen, five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

Bill as a tactical aircraft maintenance technician has lived in seven different states. While stationed in Michigan, he was a crew chief on the F106 aircraft, the Delta Dart Interceptor which was the world’s fastest single-engine jet. He was so good at his job the Colonel gave him the nickname, “Superwrench.”

In 1972 while assigned to Langley AFB, Virginia, Bill was promoted to the rank of Master SGT and was flight chief for the F-106 fly-by in Washington D.C. While on temporary duty to Panama City, Florida, Bill was able to take a flight in the back seat of an F106B over the gulf of Mexico out of Tyndal AFB, Florida, that hit the speed of Mach 1.5 (one and one-half times the speed of sound) Bill also received his private pilot’s license while he was there. During his long career in the Air Force, Bill and Pat have traveled all over the world.

After his stint in Vietnam as crew leader in Aero repair and aircraft battle damage, many assignments and 8 years in the Air Force, Bill left the Air Force to move back to Indiana. He worked a few jobs but felt the tug to re-enlist in the Air Force, where he spent the next 12 years. He retired with the rank of an E-8, (a senior Master Sargent) with 20 years of service and medals, awards, and commendations too numerous to mention.

Settling back down in Frankfort, Bill got a job with Frito Lay setting up their new food plant, serving as their building maintenance manager. He later worked for ServiceMaster/Aramark and retired in 2006.

Bill’s public service first began in 1989 when he joined the Matthew’s Lions Club where he served as president for two terms, a zone chairman, and a regional chairman for the district. During that time Bill went to Mexico on a Lion’s Eyeglass mission. Weeks before the trip he had come across a large box of beanie babies at a garage sale. He bought all of them, not knowing what he would do with them at the time. He knew they were visiting an orphanage in Mexico, so Bill packed up all those beanie babies with him and took them to the orphanage they were visiting in Mexico. They gave away 3–4 beanies to each child that day. “The smiles and joy it brought to those kids were so special,” he relates. That same trip the Lion’s Club amazingly fitted 4,500 people with eyeglasses in four and a half days!

So, how did Bill Stoops get to Chillicothe? His son and daughter moved here when his son-in-law accepted an engineering job at Caterpillar. Soon after, Bill and Pat decided to move here to be closer to their family.

Bill is a trustee at their church, Mossville Methodist. He is very involved with the Chillicothe Lion’s Club having been president five or six times. He can always be seen helping and serving at every event. He volunteers at Pearce Community Center, and at Helping Hands Resale Shop. He delivered meals for Meals On Wheels for 12 years, and occasionally when called, drives the bus for the Council on Aging, taking seniors to doctor’s appointments and errands.

Bill believes in keeping busy and being involved in his community. He stays in good health by walking two miles most every day. He enjoys photography and takes beautiful pictures of the sunsets on the river from his back porch. At 83 Bill says, “We thank the Lord for the wonderful life we’ve had.”

Thank you, Bill, for your service to this country and to our community. You are one of the people that make Chillicothe a special place to live!