Lieutenant Colonel Roy William Wampler passed away Friday, June 12th at the age of 93, surrounded by his loving family. The only son of Roy Forth Wampler and Frankie Mae Sowers, Bill (so coined when his mother needed to call both her boys in for dinner), came into this world on November 9th, 1926 in Salisbury, North Carolina. His elder sister, Dorothey Elaine Hobson, predeceased him in 1975.

His distinguished career in the United States Air Force took him and his family to all corners of our nation and many parts of the globe, including Fairbanks, Alaska; Wiesbaden, Germany; and Quebec, Canada. He served with distinction in three American wars, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, over a 29-year career. All who knew him will attest that he was a man of principle, grit,and discipline.

He is at last reunited with his wife, Marion, with whom he was bound in matrimony on July 6th, 1949 in the Walter Reed Army Hospital Chapel in Washington, DC. They stood by one another for the 70 years that followed, gracefully navigating the challenge of relocating to 13 different bases over the course of his career. In the time since her passing last May, he spoke often of “his bride” and how deeply he missed her. In a beautiful missive to his “magnificent wife” on her 80th birthday he wrote, “I have been the luckiest of men to have had you beside me…I love you with all my heart.”

“Dad,” “Granddaddy” or “Papa” is survived by his four children and spouses: Phoebe and Mel, Randy and Teri, Eric and Tina, and Lisa; seven grandchildren and spouses: Ted and Liz, Seth, Chuck, Katie, Allie and Jake, Andrew, and Sydnee and Damian; and five great grandchildren: Lena, Harlee, Calvin, Eric Roy, and Nate. He is survived, too, by his beloved dog Saydee (who remains the only woman successful in competing for his affections).

If you were unfortunate enough to find yourself pitted in competition with him, you know he was as ruthless on the bowling lanes as he was at the bridge table. If you had the pleasure of visiting him in Colorado Springs, you have admired the handiness, diligence, and ingenuity on display in the upkeep and customization of his home over the past four decades. If you were lucky enough to be called a colleague or comrade, you enjoyed a loyalty and devotion not often found in life, to which he applied to all tasks, hobbies, or billets that met his attention.

Stoic and sincere to the very end, he delivered his valediction to a room filled with three generations of progeny: “Well what can I say. I have no grandiose speech. I’m so proud of each of you; you guys have all done so well. I love you, each and all.” He crossed the bar with his mettle, wit, dignity (and grip strength) intact. It is we who swell with pride in enumerating his accomplishments, admiring his regimented approach to life, remembering his generosity and the infinite well from which he drew love for his family.

In lieu of sending flowers, please consider supporting either the Pikes Peak Soaring Society (https://www.ppssrc.com) or the Al Kaly Shrine (http://www.alkalyshrine.org) as he was an avid and active member of both societies. A private service will be held at the Colorado Springs Shrine of Remembrance Funeral Home. He will be inurned beside Marion at Pikes Peak National Cemetery.

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  1. The Buckley AFB military Retiree Activities Office (RAO) would like to offer our condolences and our gratitude for Lt Col Wampler’s service to our country in the Air Force. If you would like help with any matters related to casualty assistance, Defense Finance Accounting Service, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), etc you can contact our office on Buckley AFB at 720-847-6693. The RAO is staffed by volunteers, all military retirees themselves, and our sole purpose is to provide assistance to any military retirees and surviving spouses/family members with anything related to their military service and/or benefits, in particular during difficult times such as this. We are deeply sorry for your loss.

    Steve Young
    Lt Col, USAF, Ret
    Director, Buckley AFB RAO

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