Enid News and Eagle
William “Bill” Stengle, a man with an innate sense of adventure who was devoted to his family and had a talent for invention, passed away Friday, January 11, 2013, in Enid, Okla., following a stroke after a great run of 95 years. Service is 2 p.m. Tuesday at Henninger-Hinson Funeral Home Chapel in Enid.
Born June 23, 1917, in Morrison, Okla., to Theo and Emma (Vasek) Stengle, he grew up working in his father’s garage and blacksmith machine shop. Always creative and ambitious, he built a working model steam engine at age 6, and at 13 created his own hay-mowing business by converting a Model T into a mower. In high school, he displayed his fearlessness by completing a popular high school rite of passage: climbing to the top of the town’s water tower to emblazon it with his name. As an adult, his projects included converting a truck into a cab-over dump bed truck and a riding lawn mower into a snowplow.
With the outbreak of World War II, Bill volunteered for U.S. Army Air Corps. As a second lieutenant, he flew planes, including B-25s and B-26s, among others, as he trained in the U.S. for war. The war ended just weeks before he was to be sent to fight in the Pacific.
It was during World War II he met his future wife while visiting his sister in Wichita, Kan. Pearl Paris had left the family farm in Dacoma, Okla., to attend business school and was working as a secretary to the police chief when her roommate’s brother came for a visit. Bill and Pearl were married Nov. 24, 1946.
After the war, Bill began work as a machinist at George E. Failing Company in Enid. He quickly became tool room supervisor, known for his ability to create any mechanism needed. He retired after a 45-year career. During those years, he built and raced midget racers, enjoyed Harley and Indian motorcycles and started a family. For extra income, he began drilling water wells with a rig he built himself.
He was always the go-to guy for family and friends for solid, honest advice. He also had the enthusiasm to constantly learn new things and keep up with technology. He would help anyone, anytime. He loved nothing more than being with his family, from drinking Pepsi floats on his front porch with his grandchildren to piling everyone in his motor home for vacations. He especially loved visiting the mountains of Colorado.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Pearl, who died in 1990 after a fight with cancer. He was also preceded in death by siblings Bernice Peck and Howard Stengle.
He is lovingly survived by son Jim Stengle and his wife Dixie of Oklahoma City and their daughters Jamie Stengle of Dallas, Julie Stengle of Kansas City and Jennifer Chambers and husband Chris Chambers of Overland Park, Kan.; daughter Judy Mitchell and husband Don of Stillwater and their sons Taylor and Austin Mitchell; son Joe Stengle of Enid, his son Chad Stengle and wife Stephanie of Comanche and Joe’s daughter Hilary Stengle and Travis Cue of Waukomis. He is also survived by his family’s newest additions: great-grandchildren Logan Stengle, Kaylee Stengle, Eric Chambers and Teegan Cue. He is also survived by his sister, Geneva Landsdowne of Wichita.
Condolences at www.enidwecare.com.
(Submitted by family)