Vernon Stintzi, 97, former Chester

Dr. Vernon Lake Stintzi PhD (Col USAF ret) passed away on July 24, 2012 after a brief illness in Rainy River, Ontario. He was 97.

He was born on March 16, 1915, in Chester, Iowa, to Forest and Ruth (Lake) Stintzi. He survived a bout with Spanish influenza in 1917. Dr. Stintzi graduated from Chester High School in 1932. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, working as a bus boy and dishwasher to put himself through college. He also joined the ROTC while at Coe. After his graduation in 1936, he joined the Army Air Corps and became a pilot. While in the Air Force during World War 2, he served as Engineering Officer on the Hornet for the Doolittle Raids on Japan in 1942, and fought in North Africa, Italy and Europe. After the war, he served as a military attaché to the first session of the United Nations in New York, and at several air force bases in the United States. During his lengthy career with the United States Air Force, Colonel Stintzi was the Commander of Sondrestrom Air Base in Greenland for a year and served as Commander and later Wing Commander at McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Wash. He also worked at the Pentagon and served for two years at the USAF Headquarters for the 3rd Air Force at RAF South Ruislip near London, England. He retired from the Air Force in 1963 after serving for NORAD at Colorado Springs. His flight logs are in the Smithsonian.

After retiring from the military, he returned to university and earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration at the University of Arizona in 1965. Dr. Stintzi earned his doctorate in Business Administration at the University of Washington in 1970. While studying for his doctorate, he began working as a professor of Business at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, from 1964 to 1976. In 1969 he also worked for the State of Washington as the Administrator for Pierce County Public Assistance. He retired from PLU in 1976 and worked for Lutheran Brotherhood in Minneapolis until he decided to farm full-time with his son Mark in northwestern Ontario in 1978. He had started buying land by Lake of the Woods in the late 40s when he had first come to the area to deer hunt. He farmed full-time there with his son Mark until he was in his early 90s.

He met his darling Maria while serving in Bulgaria at the end of World War 2. The couple married in Connecticut on March 17, 1947. Maria passed away on August 24, 1992. The couple had three children who all survive, Vernon Lake (Sherry) Stintzi, their children Cindy Vieselmeyer and her daughters Jensen and Avery, Reid (Tameem) Bakkar and their daughter Saphira, and Jee (Carmen) Stintzi and their children Austin and Olivia; Sonya Willis, her son Ammon Theobald and his children; and Mark (Marjorie) Stintzi and their sons Paul, John and David Stintzi. He is also survived by his sister Marilee Hall in Lime Springs; and three nieces and two nephews, Rene Dilchovska, Shari Vitale, Robert Shankland, Brad Hall, and Candace Shankland.

Interment is in the family plot at Chester Hill Cemetery, Chester, Iowa.


2 Responses

  1. Hi, I am contacting you to see if this is the Vern Stintzi that trained with the Doolittle Raiders. My father, Dick Cole, 99, was Capt. Stintzi’s co-pilot till Capt. Stintzi got sick. We tried to find your family for a couple of
    years, no luck.
    If you get this please email me or call 210-274–7865 San Antonio, TX
    Cindy Cole Chal

    • So glad that our newspaper can be of help to get people in touch with each other. I am going to give your information to Vernon’s sister, Marilee Hall. She would have Vernon’s son’s name. I’m not sure how many children he had.
      Marcie Klomp, editor

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