Lt. Colonel James Marion Stamper, Jr.
August 1, 1930 – May 18, 2020
This obituary is for Lt. Col. James M. Stamper, Jr., one of the greatest men I've ever had the honor of knowing.
Live Oak - Marco Island, FL
Lt. Col. James M. Stamper, Jr. 89 years of age, passed away Monday May 18, 2020 at his home after an amazing life full of honorable accomplishments.
James was born August 1, 1930, the son of James and Frances Stamper. He grew up in the Lake City/Live Oak area but throughout life and his extensive military career had travelled the world then ultimately ended up residing on Marco Island. James dedicated his life to the military in which his accomplishments and service remain nothing short of remarkable and commendable.
We want to offer a bit of background of his lifelong commitment and some of the goals he achieved which partially formed the incredible man he was and why he changed history and lives during his time here.
James entered the Army in 1947 as a private and was assigned to "G" Company of the 505th Regiment, 82nd Airborne after completing basic training. By March of 1949, he had earned the Expert Infantry Badge, served as jumpmaster, graduated several service schools and was a candidate for soldier of the year. In 1950, he volunteered as an Airborne Ranger to fight in Korea where later in 1951, he was wounded at Bloody Nose Ridge in North Korea but refused medical evacuation and remained pushing forward with his company. Later that year, he was assigned to "G" Company 187th ARCT, Japan then returned in 1952 to the 508th ARCT, Ft. Benning where he was assigned as a special duty instructor to the Ranger Department at the North Georgia Ranger Camp. As his dedication and determination continued to excel and exceed expectations, he became the 1st Combat Ranger to be assigned to the 10th Special Forces unit until he went to OCS and was then commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1954.
By 1959, James had received his regular Army commission as a 1st Lieutenant and went on to become a fixed & rotary wing and instrument rated aviator which led him to being assigned to Italy in 1961. His Airborne Ranger and Special Forces qualifications made him the optimal choice to command the SETAF LRP Unit tasked to train the Italian Army Parachute Brigade. He returned to Conus and was selected to command the 11th Air Assault Division Helicopter Gunship Company which was designated as the 1st Air Calvary Division in 1954.
Now a Major, James went to Vietnam and flew over 500 combat missions as Commander of the 11th Air Assault Unit. James earned awards including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, (8) Air Medals of Valor and many other US and Foreign awards. He also holds the CIB, Master Parachutist Wings, Senior Army Aviator/Glider/Air Assault/Expert Infantry/Italian Master parachutist badges and several others. He is the recipient of the Sikorsky Aircraft "Medal of Honor" for rescuing more than 120 civilians in the Italian Alps during extreme weather and hazardous flying conditions. In 1999, James received the Korean War Ranger of the Year award. His military record and accomplishments speak for itself as truly exemplary and an outstanding example of a great soldier who proved "Be all you can be" is absolutely possible. Lt. Col. James M. Stamper was officially inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame.
Outside of his unquestionably remarkable military career, James was also a truly unforgettable man, full of love, worldwide experiences, a wealth of knowledge with a fantastic sense of humor and an uncomparable zest to live life to the fullest. James was a loving husband, father, friend and mentor that we were blessed to have had in our lives. One of a kind that always left an impression.
James leaves behind his children, grandchildren, family, and friends who will love and miss him forever. His final wishes were to not have any official service, as he simply wished for everyone to remember him for who he was. This request is difficult only in respects that we feel he deserves the highest honors and show of gratitude for who he was and all he did in life, however his wishes will be honored just as he requested. We ask that everyone say a prayer and remember this great man as he is now in heaven dancing through the skies with his lifelong soulmate and love of his life, Judie. Their love and connection to one another was always truly a fairy tale, from the soul kind of love that we would all be blessed to have in life.
James you will be missed forever, respected and honored eternally. You without question left a mark on this world and in all our lives and hearts. You will be remembered always.
"Hoo Rah" & God Bless all our fallen Rangers, including our dearest James now having become one.
We love you.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Lt. Colonel James Marion Stamper, Jr.
Chuck and Rody Wolf
May 29, 2020
Oh what an amazing man! We loved him and have so many wonderful memories of him and Judy on as he would
always say "world famous, historic, beautiful, and romantic Suwannee River. Rest in peace our friend, soar high with Airborne wings.
May 29, 2020
This bigger than life hero was always a good time and educational too one of my favorite memories is of him teaching me to do back flips off his rope swing into the river he would go out there in his speedo every morning and do a back flip off of that rope swing into the river and he’d say what a pretty man he is lol he was in his late 60s teaching us 20 somethings to do back flips simply amazing also once his brother Larry and I worked in a nice supper club there was a private party that had the whole restaurant they had a cake about 5 feet square our cousin Frank and Jim had come up to party lol Frank used his cane and whop Frank cut their cake lol Larry and I were fired on the spot my momma joined us we went to another club to ride the electric bull we rode all over South Georgia standing in the sunroof singing like crazies and laughing it was always a great time always made awesome unforgettable memories
May 29, 2020
My Uncle Jim always had a smile on his face. He loved life. His life was and is remarkable. He is a true Hero.
I also remember all our family reunions at his home on the Suwannee River. Those were pretty amazing. Family, friends, music and laughter. I miss those days.
I knew he was something special but after reading his obituary, I am in awe.
He makes me proud to have the Stamper name.
I will always remember him because he had a presence that is unforgettable. He was strong , proud, funny and inviting.
My condolences to the family. Rest in Peace Uncle Jim.
May 29, 2020
I still refer to him as Uncle Jimmy, well because that is how he was introduced to me some 40 yrs ago. I was 15 and dating Wayne, I will never forget the first time I met Uncle Jimmy, definitely one of a kind and not forgettable! He was this big, bold, muscular, bald and handsome man that when he walked in the room, he was respected. He was always very nice and inviting. My last memory is a Stamper family reunion at Uncle Jimmy’s house on the Suwannee river, which is an unforgettable experience in itself! Lots of family, laughter, kids, food and good times. Life happens, me and Wayne went our separate ways but I never stopped thinking of Uncle Jimmy and the Stamper family. My regret is that I wish I had a greater appreciation for our history and his military career when I had my opportunity to know and respect it first hand.
With my deepest sympathy for the Stamper, RIP Uncle Jimmy. ♥️