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Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home & Cemetery

14501 North Ih-35, Pflugerville, TX

OBITUARY

Ronnie Jan Stailey

October 12, 1944November 25, 2019
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Ronnie Jan Stailey, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, November 25, 2019 in Farmington, New Mexico. Ron was 75 years of age.

Ron was born in Abilene, Texas on October 12, 1944 becoming the precious son to the late Finley T. Stailey and Jessie Langston Stailey. He was raised and attended High School in Eula, Texas. Ron was a Veteran having served with the United States Army. He was employed as a Firefighter Specialist at the Austin Fire Department. He served time at numerous fire stations throughout Austin and with (CFR) Crash Fire & Rescue at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Ron was a caring, loving and truly devoted husband, father, grandfather and a friend to so many. He will be forever remembered for his true one of a kind personality that was filled with laughter, generosity and many jokes. He was passionate about his family and friends. He also had a deep love and interest for Ham radios, Contesting (He was very competitive), attending and participating in conventions and in all aspects with the art of Ham radios. Throughout his life there were many hobbies that brought him great joy these included raising and racing homing pigeons, raising hunting dogs, building custom clocks, flying model airplanes to just mention a few.

Ron is preceded in death by his mother, Jessie Langston Stailey; father, Finley T. Stailey; step mother, Jessie Eloise Stailey; brother, Richard Ivey; and his great granddaughter, Mia Lee Bevins.

He is Survived by his wife of 55 years Wanda Alexander Stailey; Daughter, Shari Stailey- Floyd; Son, Thomas Karl Stailey; grandson, James C. Floyd; granddaughters, Jaclynn Stailey, Brittney Bevins, Brooke Henderson and Jessica Stailey; great grandchildren, Ashton, Bentley, Jesse and Ryker; 4 step great grandchildren; brother, Charles Ivey; half siblings and step siblings; the Cowan family; nieces, Courtney and Allison and Cameron; nephews Rick and Randy as well as many extended family and close friends.

A Funeral Service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home, 14501 North Interstate 35, Pflugerville, Texas 78660. Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home will be ready to receive guest from 1:00 p.m. until the time of service at 2:00 p.m. Pastor Don Long will be officiating with military honors being afforded by United States active duty Army as well as the AFRS Fire Department Honor Guard (AFRS) (Austin Firefighter Relief Services).

The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider Memorial Contributions in Ron’s name may be made to the Knights of Columbus # 9368. Mail to St. Williams Catholic Church 620 Round Rock, Texas 78681.

Please visit www.cookwaldencapitalparks.com where you may leave condolences and share memories with Ron’s family.

  • FAMILY

  • DONATIONS

  • Knights of Columbus #9368

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, December 11, 2019
  • Funeral Service Thursday, December 12, 2019
  • Graveside Service Thursday, December 12, 2019
  • Reception Thursday, December 12, 2019

Memories

Ronnie Jan Stailey

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Gary Floyd

February 13, 2020

My father-in-law had a great sense of humor about himself.
He sure got a kick out of it when he first introduced himself to me, weak wristed and speaking in a lispy, sissy like voice. I almost went back out the door until he started laughing, letting me know it was a joke. My mother-in-law put her hands on her hips and said, "Rrronn, stop that"!
I sure miss him, rubbing his head for good luck (he had a bald spot) or laughing when we watched a football game when it really didn't matter who won. It was always enjoyable sitting around the kitchen table with the family and him telling us all kinds of stories about being a fireman and the pranks they pulled on each other. Some of the things they would do to pass the time was crazy and funny too. I liked how he would talk about his Ham Radio Operations and I truly believe that was his true calling in life. I had a love and respect for him. He really grew on me like a father figure and I believe he was okay with me calling him "Pops". He really was like a second dad to me and most especially when my own dad passed away early in my marriage to Ron's daughter, Shari. He was always there for me, no matter what the issue was - he always tried his best to help me out. He and his wife, Wanda, have always been good role models. I know he's up there in heaven playing with my granddaughter, Mia Lee, now that he's been able to meet her. He will always be in my heart and he'll always be my "Pops" too.
I'll see you on the other side, Pops!
I love you,
Gary L Floyd

Don Hill AA5AU

January 24, 2020

Sure hate to hear this sad news. On this Thanksgiving Day, I'm thankful I got to know Big Ron. He taught me a lot about RTTY contesting and introduced me to WriteLog.

One contest we operated together was the 2000 BARTG RTTY Contest. We set a record that still stands today. I remember having a big run into Europe in the morning on 10 meters and thinking I was seeing a few JA calls in the pileup as well. I thought I was hallucinating. I said to Ron "I think I'm seeing JAs". He said "Yeah, turn the top antenna southeast and work the JAs longpath." I had never worked JAs longpath before on any band, let alone ten meters. But there they were. Operating contests with Ron was a real treat.
Here's a synopsis of that 2000 BARTG contest with Ron
(with pictures).
https://www.aa5au.com/rtty/articles/2000-bartg-hf-rtty-contest/

RIP my friend.
Don AA5AU

Dean St.Hill

January 24, 2020

I am saddened by this news. Ron was always kind and patient with me, answering my several emails when I was just starting out in RTTY contesting.

He also introduced me to WriteLog in the late 90's perhaps around 1998/1999. And it was always great to work him, usually on all bands during several contests.

RIP Ron and condolences to his many friends in the ham radio fraternity. He will be missed.

73 Dean 8P2K/8P6SH
Dean St.Hill
Bajanscapes
St.Philip
Barbados

Don AA5AU

January 24, 2020

2000 BARTG HF RTTY Contest
In March 2000, Ron K5DJ invited me to operate the BARTG Spring HF RTTY Contest from the W5KFT Ranch in central Texas. We had operated this contest as mult-multi in 1997 and had set a new world record with 1,893,546 points. However, in 1999, the team of LY8X broke that record by scoring 2,021,760 pts. So Ron and I set out to retake the record using the callsign AA5AU.

Conditions were unbelievable. 10M was in excellent shape allowing us to work JA longpath and EU at the same time in the early morning. The band stayed open late into the evening. 15M was the best I’d ever seen it. The band stayed open to EU all night. 20M was also open 24 hours. 40M wasn’t bad, but 80M was extremely noisy and nearly unusable.

Using two complete stations, side by side, and the awesome antenna farm at the W5KFT Ranch, we broke the record in just over 24 hours. As the 2nd day wore on, we kept changing our goals. First we went for 2.5M, then 3.0M, then 3.5M and finally, although nearly impossible to obtain, we set our sights on 4M points.

What started out as a leisure operation, turned into a grueling, all-out gut wrenching performance that left us both completely drained at the end.

With less than 15 minutes to go before the end of the contest, we finally reached 4M points. A big thanks goes out to Ron and to Bryan, W5KFT, for allowing us to use his station. It was a memorable experience I’ll never forget. Our final, now official score, is 4,009,824 pts.

Jay Townsend

January 24, 2020

Shari Stailey-Floyd

I was like many of Ron's friends thinking of him over the weekend. We couldn't do the contest as we just couldn't get into the mood.
K5DJ was a very dear friend. We probably spent a million hours yacking on the phone. I think our first contest was the 1995 ARRL RTTY Roundup. He wanted to do it and talked me into flying into Texas. Great fun from his home in Round Rock. Later that year Ron and I created the WW RTTY WPX contest.

From the RTTY Journal to Dayton the WPX held in February had results and plaques out and at the RTTY contesting dinner which Ron created in April. Less than 3 months setting a standard that hasn't been approached yet.

Many trips were planned and implemented. We went to W5WMUJ's super station a couple of times and did well. Many trips to the W5KFT ranch were made with Wayne K7WM (SK), Don AA5AU, and many others. I missed the trip to Canada, work got in the way of that one.

As Wayne W5XD has stated without Ron there wouldn't have been the Writelog that we have today. Ron couldn't type with a darn, so got Wayne to put in all the mouse stuff. Many thought that an improvement over the WF1B software that we all used.

Having one program to do CW, RTTY, and SSB won me over. I talked W5XD into keeping all the keyboard stuff that those of us who can type still use.

Many good times on the porch of the Ranch Shack, eating some Texas BBQ, and sipping a beverage of choice.

RIP old buddy.

Jay WS7I

Charles Zachry

January 24, 2020

We were schoolmates together.
Also Mrs. Stailey lived next door to my Mother after they both had moved into Abilene after leaving the country. I used to enjoy his visits when we were both visiting our parents.
RIP,
Charles Zachry

ARRL Amature Radio

January 24, 2020

RTTY Contesting Stalwart Ron Stailey, K5DJ, SK
12/10/2019
Ron Stailey, K5DJ (ex-AB5KD), of Farmington, New Mexico — a major player in the 1990s amateur radio RTTY scene — died on November 25. An ARRL Life Member, he was 75.

“Ron dominated the RTTY contesting world in the late 1990s,” said Jay Townsend, WS7I. Stailey lived in Texas at the time. “Ron really enjoyed RTTY operating. When Wayne Wright, W5XD, a fellow resident of Round Rock, Texas, began developing one of the first Windows-based computer logging programs, Ron was an early adopter, and helped champion its tight integration with the state-of-the-art RTTY terminal hardware of the time.”

Stailey became the distributor of WriteLog. Ron’s first RTTY contest from the W5KFT Ranch Station was the 1996 ARRL RTTY Roundup, in which he operated under his own call sign, AB5KD, in the single operator, high power category. It was his first of five consecutive W/VE victories. It was also the first of five consecutive record scores in that category of the ARRL RTTY Roundup.

Stailey is credited with creating (with WS7I) the CQ World Wide RTTY WPX Contest and the North American QSO Party RTTY event. He served as RTTY Journal’s contest columnist and hosted the RTTY Contesters Banquet in Dayton for many years.

Brion W5KFT

January 24, 2020

Ron K5DJ at W5KFT

Ron Stailey K5DJ (ex: AB5KD) dominated the RTTY contesting world in the late 1990s. With a modest
station at his home in Round Rock, Texas, Ron really enjoyed RTTY operating. When Wayne Wright
W5XD, a fellow resident of Round Rock, began developing one of the first Microsoft Windows-based
computer logging programs, Ron was an early adopter, and helped champion its tight integration with
the state-of-the-art RTTY terminal hardware of the time. Ron became the distributor of WriteLog,
freeing up Wayne to focus on software development. WriteLog soon became the premier computer
logging software for serious RTTY contesters, and Ron was always on the cutting edge.
Ron's first RTTY contest from the W5KFT Ranch Station was the 1996 ARRL RTTY Roundup, in which he
operated under his own call sign, AB5KD, in the Single Operator High Power category. It was his first of
five consecutive W/VE victories. It was also the first of five consecutive record scores in that category of
the ARRL RTTY Roundup, a feat that has never been accomplished before or since. Ron also dominated
the BARTG Spring HF RTTY Contest operating at the W5KFT Ranch Station, with two Single Operator High
Power world victories in 1998 and 1999, and two Multi-Operator Multi-Transmitter victories in 1997 and
2000. From 1996 to 2000, no other RTTY contest station in the world had as much success as the W5KFT
Ranch Station, operated by Ron Stailey K5DJ.
Between 1996 and 2002, Ron entered a total of at least 14 major RTTY contests from the W5KFT Ranch
Station. In addition to dominant victories in the ARRL RTTY Roundup and the BARTG Spring HF RTTY
Contest, Ron also had successful contest efforts in the JARTS RTTY Contest, the CQ WPX RTTY Contest,
and the CQ/RJ World Wide DX Contest, RTTY. Ron's last RTTY contest from the ranch was the 2002 ARRL
RTTY Roundup, in the Multi-Operator Single-Transmitter category with teammate Robert Brandon K5PI.
RIP, Ron, you will be missed by us all.
Brion

Wayne Write

January 24, 2020

There would be no WriteLog today if Ron, who was AB5KD at the time, had not offered back in 1995 or thereabouts, to take over and manage WriteLog sales. I remember him better by the phonetics of his previous call, Killer Duck.
The only operating plaque in my possession was also due to Ron and from 1997. It was #1 in the World-Wide RTTY WPX contest as WU3V/5 at W5WMU (RIP Pat, as well) along with K5DJ, WSJI, WU3V, W5WMU, K5JZ, K5ET N5SYF, and K7WM. My job was to keep the WriteLog network up at all the operating positions (were there 5 or 6 of them?) and call CQ on 10m.
RIP Ron.
Wayne, W5XD

Shari Stailey-Floyd

December 13, 2019

My dad was one of the most remarkable men that people can say they knew. He was a fireman for 25+ years who saved countless lives. He was an Army Veteran who served overseas in Vietnam. He was a substitute bus driver at the Round Rock school district for many years. He also drove a school bus for the Georgetown school district for several years and he drove for a private charter bus company with his daughter for 3 years. He loved being in service for and with others & made friends everywhere he went. If you know my dad, then you already know that he was one of the most humorous men you've ever known. There wasn't one day that went by that he wasn't telling one of his stories and making people laugh so hard that they were almost falling out of their chair & ready to pee their pants! My dad always had some sort of hobby that he was involved with. He built & flew model airplanes, had a pigeon loft in the backyard where he raised & raced pigeons from point A to point B (point B was home). He built customized clocks that he would sell at one of the booths on Frontier Days in the main downtown square of Round Rock. He was known best and world wide for his ham radio contesting & the software he assisted in it's creation, sales, and service. Ham was a very serious thing for him. He placed in the number one spot for many years in a row. Sometimes he worked solo for these contests & sometimes for certain contests he had a team. He or with his team won top ranking spots every single year that he participated. I would work with him during his contest many a time throughout the years & my contesting began at the young age of 8 years old where I did his logging before there was a WriteLog software program. He always told me he couldn't have won that one without his lil blonde sidekick helping him. My dad was my best friend, my advisor, my pillar of strength, & my hero. I will miss him for the rest of my life, we all will!
Until we meet again, daddy. I love you 💗

FROM THE FAMILY

This is Ronnie (Ron) Jan Stailey. He was 67 years of age at the time this photo was taken. He had recently moved to Farmington, New Mexico from his Round Rock, TX home at this time of his life. He had moved with his wife Wanda Stailey to help assist his wife's parents in their elderly years. They assisted with the management of her parents trailer court among many other things and most of their health needs. This move for them was for the love of Wanda's parents and very selfless of them both to do so. A child's love for their parents is quite remarkable.

FROM THE FAMILY

This lovely couple is Ron's adoptive parents Finley Thomas Stailey and his wife Jessie Langston Stailey (She preferred to be called Jackie - so from here on she will be referred to as Jackie to prevent confusion). After being married for about three years Finley and Jackie found out that they couldn't have children of their own and decided that they would start looking into adoption as another option to create the family they dreamed of. They were very much in love, very happy and wanted to grow their family with children. Weren't they a gorgeous couple filled with love? I can see it emitting from them. Can you?

FROM THE FAMILY

This is Finley Thomas Stailey. From here we will refer to him as F.T. Stailey. He was a professional butcher and quite the philosopher. He was also very dedicated to the church and his wife, Jackie, at the time of this photo. F.T. Stailey was in his early thirties at the time of this photo. He was quite handsome wouldn't you agree?

FROM THE FAMILY

This lovely woman is Jackie Langston Stailey. I believe she was in her early to mid 20's at the time of this photo. Jackie loved collecting things to go in special scrapbooks with special poems, ribbons, lace, and other very sweet meaningful items that were special to her. She was a remarkable woman and loved her husband deeply. She was a living example of living life to its fullest. She always found the positive things in life and was filled with an inspiring outlook on life at all times.

FROM THE FAMILY

This photo of F.T. & Jackie Stailey was right around the time that they had started searching for a beautiful baby to call their own. I'm not sure of their exact age but I believe that they were now in their mid to late 30's. They were such an attractive couple with so much love and support to offer a child. To me this is a true "Once Upon A Time" story for Mr. & Mrs. Stailey.

FROM THE FAMILY

In this photo Jackie in her white dress, and looking forward to meeting her new baby boy in Abilene. She was in her mid to late 30's at the time she met and adopted her son, Ron, with her husband F.T. Can you just imagine how very excited they were to actually meet their new son?

FROM THE FAMILY

Here he is, Ronnie Jan Stailey, the beautiful baby boy Mr. & Mrs. Stailey had been praying for. Finally, their prayers had been answered and they finally got to hold him in their arms and bring him to their home on the farm in Eula, TX. We believe this is one of the first photos that F.T. and Jackie were able to get of their new little boy. He was born in the Abilene, TX hospital on October 12, 1944. (Fun side note, Shari, Ron's daughter was born in the same hospital on October 10, 1965.) Ron & Shari always thought this was just fun to get to share their birthdays! :)

FROM THE FAMILY

Photo Left - This is the one and only photo that we have in our possession of Jackie with her son, Ron. They were enjoying the sunshine that day. It appears that Jackie was having quite the conversation of how beautiful and special her baby boy is and that she was so grateful to have him. He sure looks like he was listening intently to all that she had to say. Unfortunately, Jackie passed away from brain cancer when Ron was five years of age. This is most likely the reason that we do not have in our possession more photos of them together as she became very ill following this photo. Ron was 3 months old in this photo. What a love emitting from these two together in this single photo. Jackie sure was proud of her baby boy, that is for certain.
Photo Right - is F.T. Stailey with Ron right about the same age of three months. Can you see the comfortableness of these two together and the since of pride that his dad had in this photo? Mr. & Mrs. Stailey waited a long time for this precious little boy and looked forward to a long happy life together.

FROM THE FAMILY

Here's Ron at approximate age of six months at a photoshoot. What a handsome little man he was at this age and yes, he was a very large little boy. His birth weight was 12 lbs and at a whopping 22 or 23 inches long. I'd say by looking at this photo he was one very happy little boy and smiling at his parents as this photo was taken.

FROM THE FAMILY

Photo Left -This is Ron as a toddler at the age of approximately one year old. It appears that he was getting real familiar with his walking and running skills while playing in the yard at the farmhouse in Eula.
Photo Right - Ron was sitting on the homemade swing that his daddy had made for his mama to spend enjoying the outside yard on beautiful days. I feel like my daddy was having a gibberish conversation with his mama in this photo and was fully involved in his conversation. He seems so very comfortable.

Biography

Ron Stailey's - Biography - Written by: Shari Stailey-Floyd

Ron Stailey, 75, of Farmington, New Mexico joined his Father God in Heaven on November 25, 2019. He was born in Abilene, Texas on October 12, 1944 becoming the precious son to the late Finley Thomas Stailey and Jessie Langston Stailey (Jackie).

Ron spent the majority of his childhood in Eula and Abilene, Texas. Following his high school years, he enlisted into the US Army, serving his country for two years and fought in the Vietnam War. After completing his military service and returning to the United States, he went to visit his parents (F.T Stailey and his 2nd wife, Jessie Eloise Stailey) in Colorado. While attending church with his parents one Sunday morning, he met the love of his life, Wanda Alexander.

Ron and Wanda were married on May 31, 1964 where their life together began to blossom into a family. Ron moved his very pregnant wife to Abilene, Texas. It was two years later that he moved his family to Austin, Texas where he then joined the Austin Fire Department serving and saving lives until retirement. Ron and Wanda had one daughter, Shari, and one son, Thomas.

In 1978, Ron moved his family to the lovely town of Round Rock, Texas. He finished raising his children. He won many worldwide contests in his most loved hobby: Ham Radios. He raised and raced homing pigeons. His drive to try something new led him to build and fly model airplanes. To showcase his creativity, he built custom clocks that were sold at local festivals.

Ron attended St. William Catholic Church where he served as a Eucharistic Minister. He was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus where he put his faith into action, serving and protecting families within his community as well as other areas around the world.

Ron made many friends worldwide with his charity work and ham radio. He was loved by many. He will be remembered for his hard work and commitments, his sense of humor, practical jokes, and his profound love of God and family.

Written in loving memory for my daddy.

Until We Meet Again,

Shari Stailey-Floyd



Ron Stailey's - Eulogy - Written by: James C. Floyd

Thank you all for coming here today to recognize and celebrate the life of Ron Stailey, my Grandad, with us.

The program you have for today has a nice, short summary of his life, and later on after today's service - I encourage you to visit the Cook Walden website and read the beautiful biography my mother wrote to honor him, as well as the other kind words that others have taken the time to write in his memory; but that's not why I have the honor of standing up here today.

Let's delve a bit deeper now into just who and what was/is Ron Stailey. Each one of you here have thoughts, feelings, and many memories. All of these beautiful memories you hold, that fill your heart and soul, and could never be replaced... That right there is exactly who and what Ron Stailey was. Treasure those memories, keep them precious, share them through stories and kind words with smiles and laughter, and he shall forever live in your heart.

Ron was an Army Veteran who served Honorably in the Vietnam War. This made him not only my Grandad, but eventually my brother in arms. I looked up to him throughout my childhood and perhaps even more now. His stories helped to prepare me for life and war both on and off the battlefield. He was also a firefighter for 25 years, thus further proving his Hero status in my eyes and encouraging answering the call to serve. Who wouldn't want to live a life worthy of his admiration? I know I did, still do, and always will.

For my family, Ron [or PaPa, as I - the first born Grandkid (#1 Grandson), had the privilege to name him] was and always will be a foundational pillar and influential example. He will always be known as a "class clown" too. He was known for his humor and practical jokes. There wasn't a day that went by where he wasn't doing something to make you smile and laugh. Just one example would be how he could make and convince you that passing gas was funny; by acting as though the act itself was simply a form of "Roll Call" (Raise hand and say "Present!"). He'd even rate them using the Olympic scale on occasion. Another example of his joking nature, that we were reminded of recently, was when my Grandma's best friend Perry Smith, locked her keys in her car and called PaPa for assistance... So what did he do? He dispatched the largest fire engine he could, lights and sirens blaring, he had a firefighter jump out with a big axe and exclaim: "Where do you want the hole, Lady!?" Of course Perry was shocked/wide-eyed and asked: "Is that really necessary?!?". The firefighters then busted out in laughter saying: "Ron sent us." and it was a great laugh had by all.

He always had ways of making you feel special... For instance, for the girls and ladies in the family, after a shopping trip, he'd sit and let you model each new outfit and give you his seal of approval with a whistle and saying: "You look prettier than a speckled pup in a red wagon!". Speaking for myself and my mom, it was always a privilege to sit in during his Ham Radio contests. We felt really special when he enlisted our "help" in order to win. Then it was like a badge of Honor that we wore proudly when we won and he'd tell us - with full, sincerity in his eyes - the he "Couldn't have done it without you". Speaking of his love of competition, everyone here knows that he was a Dominant Force within the Ham Radio community and that was his favorite "hobby" turned into a business. He is even credited (along with CS-WS7I) with creating the "CQ World Wide RTTY WPX Contest" and the "North American QSO Party RTTY Event" because he loved to be challenged.

What you may not know is that he wasn't into sports very much, however, when you watched a game together, his favorite team was whichever team you were rooting against. The only time this mindset didn't apply was when he was watching football with his Dad (The Cowboys were their team). I learned early on to wait and see which team others were rooting for and how PaPa reacted, then I'd just join him in rooting for whoever everyone else was against. Being on PaPa's team was Always fun.

My Grandad was an Awesome and Amazing Man. One that I'm Proud to say had a lot to do with the Man I've become, and I will continue to live my life in such a way that makes him proud. I truly hope each and every one of you can and will say something similar while recognizing his impact on your life.

He was, is, and forever will be loved by everyone that knew him.

Heroes, through story, become Legends and therefore never die.

Ron Stailey was Legendary, So shall He Live on Forever.


Love You Forever PaPa,

- James Casey Floyd



Ron's Brother, Bob Cowan, also had a eulogy and spoke straight from his heart and didn't follow something that he had written. He simply said with all the love he had within him what he wanted to say. He told us all how thankful he was for Mr. and Mrs. Stailey raising his brother. As well, he thanked the brothers Richard and Charles Ivey for being such good brothers to him throughout his life. He told us how it was that Ron had been given up for adoption and a bit about the circumstances surrounding that decision. He spoke about how much he loved his brother and how grateful he was that his family had found him. He spoke about how close, connected, and how bonded he and his brother, Ron, had become in the short years they'd had together. Bob also thanked everyone for accepting the Cowan family into their lives as well. I wish I had recorded all that my Uncle Bob said to everyone that day, because everything he said was touching and beautiful. Uncle Bob also sang the song “Soldiers Again” in honor of his brother. That song touched everyone that attended the services. I am posting the lyrics to that beautiful song below. As well, Uncle Bob, sent me a letter telling us the story of the search for his brother, the entire story of how and when they met and other times they shared together. I will post this letter below the song lyrics as well.

Thank you so much for sharing your heartfelt words during your eulogy, Uncle Bob. Thank you for singing the beautiful song "Soldiers Again". We felt all of the love that you poured into singing that song. Thank you for sending the story about finding your brother and all of the wonderful moments that you were able to share together.

We love you too and we are your family also,

- Shari Stailey-Floyd

"Soldiers Again" Song Lyrics

Backyard soldiers, little boys
We fought the enemy with little toys
Sticks for swords, hands for guns
Every battle always won.

But as we grew and went our way
We forgot about our soldier days
No more swords, no more guns
No more battles to be won.

But we were wrong
We did not see we still had an enemy
So now we stand Friend with friend
We are soldiers once again.

We are soldiers again
In the army of the Lord
We are soldiers again
And His Word is our sword
We will not be denied with Him by our side
We know the victory we'll win
We will fight till the end
Soldiers again.

And we still can't even see
The one we are fighting
But we stand with One who can,
the Lord God Almighty.

We are soldiers again
In the army of the Lord
We are soldiers again
And His Word is our sword
We will not be denied with Him by our side
We know the victory we'll win
We will fight till the end
Soldiers again.

Letter from Bob Cowan,

The year before our mom died (she died in 1999), my mother had gone blind. All she could see was an image or a figure. Anyway, she told one of the girls about Dad making her give Ron up if she wanted him to marry her with 3 kids already. Mom wanted Ron to know she was going totally blind, in case he was having issues with his eyes. Mom still remembered the town (Abilene, TX), what hospital and what day he was born! She carried that in her heart and mind for 50-51 years and never told anyone. Well, the girl thought Mom was losing her mind and didn't tell anyone! About a week later, Mom told another one of the girls. She also thought Mom was 'losing it' and didn't tell. But the 3rd girl, a week later, couldn't keep it in and told the other girls. Each story was just alike right down to the where, when and what hospital. So the search for Ron was on!

Mom passed away not knowing whether we found him (Ron) or not. My sister, Linnie, took it upon herself to keep looking for him. After almost 3 years of looking, she almost gave up, but tried one more thing. She got on the internet and went to a site where you pay them to look for loved ones, and filled out all of the information she had on Ron and paid them, I believe $20.00. A few weeks later they called and said they believed they found Ron. After 2 DNA tests we were 98% sure he was our long lost brother!

We found Ron in 2001, I don't remember the actual date. It was in the Spring or Summer. I know I was in Abilene, TX. My wife and I were at my sister, Anna Faye's, for their 50th Wedding Anniversary. That Saturday night Linnie called and asked me to call Ron and welcome him to the family - so I said I would! I called Ron, he was at a Ham Radio Convention in Dallas. We talked awhile then I asked how long he was going to be in Dallas. He said he was leaving the next morning, going to Abilene! I said, "What time are you going to get there?" He said, "About 10 A.M." So I said, "How about that! I am in Abilene now!" We made plans to meet at an eating place on the Interstate and have brunch. I called Linnie and told her Ron was going to Abilene the next day. She said, "So?" I said I just wanted her to know and she said something like, "You're not going to Abilene tomorrow anyway, are you?" I said, "No, I'm already there!" She called me a dirty dog...here she had done all the leg work and I was the first to get to meet him. She got over it, finally...LOL!!

We met about 10:00 the next morning and had a great time! I told him about all the brothers and sisters and Mom. I told him why she gave him up. It was an emotional visit in some ways, but a great one. I was the first Cowan he had met. They, the other sibs, met Ron in Dallas about 2 weeks later. I didn't go. They apologized to Ron and told him they were so glad he went ahead and met them "even after having met Bob first"!! They were glad he didn't hold meeting me first against them!

We met in Temple, TX that same year. I think it was July because we had a surprise birthday party for Linnie - her 50th! Her birthday is July 31st. (There are pictures of the group in the memories section). I believe brother Don Cowan and wife, Mary; sister Sue and her husband, Elton Snodgrass; sister Ann and her husband, Wayland Walton; and I want to say brother Bill Baker and wife, Billie, were all there along with Dee, T-Ann, Carl, Rosa, Jessie, Linnie, Bob (myself), Barbara and Marjorie. Lots of kids and grandkids of all of us also. We all met at a hotel for a long weekend and had a wonder time!!

I went later myself and visited with Ron and Wanda in Round Rock, TX but I don't remember what year that was. Ron met me at the airport in Austin. I don't remember what year Ron's step mom passed away, but I want to say I met her the year I went to Austin along with Ron's brother that I met again at Ron's funeral....really nice brother and lovely Mom! We dropped by Clyde, TX and saw Bill (Baker) and his boys, also.

I wanted to go to church with Ron and Wanda to see how Catholics 'tick' and be in a church service. I guess Ron thought I was just humoring him about going. He knew how strong I am in my Church of God 7th Day faith. I said, "What time are we going to church Sunday morning?" And Ron said, "We aren't going." He didn't want to make me go. I said "Look, I came down here to see you, visit and to be sure I went to a church service with you." I had never been to a Catholic church service before and I was impressed. Those people do a lot in their services and have communion, without the foot washing, every week. (We call it the Lord's Supper Service, with foot washing, once a year). On our way out, Ron and Wanda partook of the wafer and cup. Ron said, "You won't be able to take it, though." I said, "How are they going to know I'm not Catholic?" He said, "Cause I told them you weren't, so they won't let you!" I really enjoyed myself that long weekend!

Six year ago, our oldest son, Rob, and daughter-in-law, Eliza, took Jeanette and I on a trip of a lifetime! We were gone 9 days. We went to the Grand Canyon and up into Utah. We really had a blast, it surely was the trip of a lifetime for me! I had told Rob that, if we were going within a couple hundred miles of Ron, I wanted to go by and have one meal at least with Ron and Wanda. We started out from home and went west to Albuquerque, NM, then turned north and went to Farmington to see Ron and Wanda. We were saddened to find out Wanda was down with the stomach bug, not feeling well at all. We did stop to have breakfast with Ron down at the Cafe. Breakfast was great and we enjoyed our short visit. Ron and I became real close and we talked every month or two. He'd call me sometimes and I would call him. We always had lots to talk about! I won't forget the last time I talked with Ron, he was really down in spirit, he wasn't feeling well at all. I told Jeanette that Ron was on his last leg if he didn't snap out of it. I told him he needed to snap out of it or I may have to come out there and kick his butt and give him a jump start! He said I probably could do it with ease now and to just come on! It wasn't long after that, maybe a month or two, that he passed.

Ron was taken out of my life the first 49 years by a selfish old man who thought more about himself than my brother--sorry, I still have bad feelings over all that. I hope this helps. I wouldn't trade my time with Ron for nothing!! He was my bud!!

- Bob Cowan


The Poem Read At Ron's Funeral:

"When Tomorrow Starts Without Me"

When tomorrow starts without me, and I'm not here to see
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me.

I wish you wouldn't cry the way you did today
While thinking of the many things we did not get to say.

I know how much you love me as much as I love you
Each time that you think of me I know you will miss me too.

When tomorrow starts without me please try to understand
That an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand.

The angel said my place was ready in Heaven far above
And that I would have to leave behind all those I Dearly Love.

But When I walked through Heaven's gates I felt so much at home
When GOD looked down and smiled at me from His golden throne.

He said This is Eternity and all I promised you
Today for life on earth is done but Here it starts anew,

I promise no tomorrow for today will always last
And since each day's the exact same way there is no longing for the past.

So When Tomorrow starts without me do not think we're apart
For every time you think of me remember I'm right here in your heart.



Ron's Obituary - Written by: Shari Stailey-Floyd

Ronnie Jan Stailey, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, November 25, 2019 in Farmington, New Mexico. Ron was 75 years of age.

Ron was born in Abilene, Texas on October 12, 1944 becoming the precious son to the late Finley T. Stailey and Jessie Langston Stailey. He was raised and attended High School in Eula, Texas. Ron was a Veteran having served with the United States Army. He was employed as a Firefighter Specialist at the Austin Fire Department. He served time at numerous fire stations throughout Austin and with (CFR) Crash Fire & Rescue at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Ron was a caring, loving and truly devoted husband, father, grandfather and a friend to so many. He will be forever remembered for his true one of a kind personality that was filled with laughter, generosity and many jokes. He was passionate about his family, friends. He also had a deep love and interest for Ham radios, Contesting (He was very competitive), attending and participating in Ham Radio conventions, and in all aspects with the art of Amateur Ham Radio Operations. Throughout his life there were many hobbies that brought him great joy these included raising and racing homing pigeons, raising hunting dogs, building custom clocks, flying model airplanes and fixing up antique cars to just mention a few.

Ron is preceded in death by his mother, Jessie Langston Stailey; father, Finley T. Stailey; step mother, Jessie Eloise Stailey; brother, Richard Ivey; and his great granddaughter, Mia Lee Bevins.

He is Survived by his wife of 55 years Wanda Alexander Stailey; Daughter, Shari Stailey- Floyd; Son, Thomas Karl Stailey; GrandSON, James C. Floyd; Granddaughters, Jaclynn Stailey, Brittney Bevins, Brooke Henderson and Jessica Stailey; Great Grandchildren, Ashton, Bentley, Jesse and Ryker; 4 step great grandchildren; Brother, Charles Ivey; Half Siblings T-Ann, Carl, Rosa, Jessie, Linnie, Bob, Barbara, Marjorie Cowan; and Step Siblings; The Baker family; nieces, Courtney, Allison and Cameron; nephews Rick and Randy as well as many extended family and close friends.