Kirby Chase Stafford, Jr. passed away at home on September 16, 2017.
Kirby was born on July 8, 1924 to Kirby Chase Stafford and Effie (Starnes) Stafford in Statesville, North Carolina, the oldest of four children. On March 17, 1950 he married Nelle Anderson in Athens, Tennessee. An officer of the United States Air Force, Kirby was a resident of Colorado Springs for 52 years.
Kirby loved flying, and in 1943 he joined the Army Air Corps at the age of 19. During WWII, he flew 26 missions from Rackheath, England in the B-24 Liberator as pilot with the 467th Bombardment Group, 789th Squadron. In May 1945, he returned to the U.S. and, while remaining in the reserves, earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Tennessee, where he met his future wife. During the Korean War, he was recalled to active duty and worked for the National Security Agency writing code-breaking programs. He later joined the Air Weather Service and became a member of the Royal Order of Typhoon Goons, flying B50s into typhoons to gather data. In 1963 he took command of a radar site in Alaska, monitoring the Soviets. After his retirement in 1970, he went to work for Denver Dry Goods, retiring from there after 12 years.
Kirby loved photography and flying his radio-remote controlled planes. He was a ham radio operator, and he especially enjoyed talking on the radio net and joining his fellow hammers at their Saturday morning breakfasts.
Kirby was predeceased by his loving wife of 57 years. He is survived by his children, Kirby Chase Stafford III and Barbara Nelle Stafford Nickless, and by four grandchildren—Geoffrey and Brittany Stafford and Kyle and Amanda Nickless.
A memorial service with military honors will be held for family and friends from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on November 10 at the Shrine of Remembrance Vista Grande Chapel, 5440 North Union Boulevard.
Online condolences may be made at ShrineOfRemembrance.com