Don Wesley Stalker, 87, passed away peacefully at home on August 6, 2012 with his loving wife of 65 years, Minniebelle, and family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Dorothy and his only sibling, Norma Rae Reynolds. He was born on November 25, 1924, to Ray Parmely Stalker and Dorothy Dawn (Burgar) Stalker in Helper, Utah. His family traced back to Scotland, and both his father’s and his mother’s families came to the United States on the Mayflower.
He lived in Southern California before moving to Lompoc, CA, in 1932 where his father was the first J.C. Penney manager. While attending Lompoc High School, Don took part in football, basketball, track, orchestra and band. He attended American Legion Boys State in 1941, graduated in 1942 and then attended the U.C. Berkeley School of Engineering.
Drafted into the United States Army in April, 1943, at Presidio of Monterey, CA, he was assigned to Battery C, 119th AA Battalion at Camp Haan, CA, and then to the Army Specialized Training Program (A.S.T.P.) Engineering Program at Loyola University of Los Angeles.
In 1944, when the A.S.T.P. was discontinued, Don was assigned to the 89th Infantry Division at Hunter Liggett, CA. After training at Camp Butner, North Carolina, he was assigned to Cannon Company 353rd Infantry Regiment 89th Infantry Division and was designated as the Captain’s driver. Don saw combat in Germany with the Third Army from Trier to the Czechoslovakian border. He crossed the Mosel River at Bullay and the Rhine River at Oberweisel. He was awarded a Bronze Star, combat infantry badges, two battle stars and was credited with saving his Captain’s life in combat. After the war was over, Don attended Shrivenham American University in England. He was discharged from the Army in March, 1946, and graduated from U.C. Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Economics in 1949.
Don married Minniebelle Hoover on December 19, 1947. They have two children, Stephen Don Stalker, and Deborah Lynne Walker, four grandchildren, Eric Stalker, Lauren Stalker, Nathan Walker, and Jennie Walker, and a great granddaughter, Geneva Walker.
He was a partner in Stalker’s Men’s & Ladies Apparel in downtown Lompoc from 1950 until it closed in 1976. After taking a couple of years off, he worked for Lompoc Lumber, was a substitute teacher in Lompoc schools, and retired from The Department of Social Services for the County of Santa Barbara. Don served on the Board of Directors of the Lompoc Chamber of Commerce, the Lompoc High School Alumni Association, Lompoc Valley Historical Association, and Santa Barbara County Schools Committee on Organization, Lompoc Cemetery District, the Santa Barbara County Retirees Association, and the Lompoc Oil Development Company.
Don belonged to the American Legion, Elks, UC Life Alumni, UCSB Life Alumni, N.R.A., Lompoc Valley Club, and the Presbyterian Church. He enjoyed yearly hunting and fishing trips with his son, camping at Lake Tahoe with family and friends, traveling (especially any road trip and the great outdoors), genealogy, Lompoc High School sports, visiting family in Idaho and Utah, and being with family and friends.
Our family is proud that we had such a wonderful, responsible son, dad, grandfather and friend in our lives. We will miss him and forever hold our fond memories of his life and our time together.
Please consider a donation in Don’s name to the Lompoc High School Alumni Association Scholarship Committee, 515 West College Avenue, Lompoc, CA. 93436.
Memorial services and Inurnment will be held at the Lompoc cemetery on Monday, August 20 at 1pm. A celebration of life reception will be held from 2-4pm at the Dick DeWees Community and Senior Center, 1120 Ocean Avenue, Lompoc. Arrangements are in the care of Starbuck-Lind Mortuary.