In Memory

Wayne Staecker

Wayne Staecker

After graduating from Annapolis and marrying our classmate, Sherry Graham, Wayne died on May 17th, 1968, in a very unusual and unexpected way during a training exercise when his Navy A7 corsair jet collided with another similar plane over Sultane, CA.  Although Wayne safely ejected from his plane, his parachute failed to fully open and he was killed on impact.  

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05/23/11 02:52 PM #1    

John Buchanan

What an incredible guy he was.  Many of you will remember him as the guy our class voted as the most likely to succeed.  Sharp as a tack, super friendly to everyone, and Sherry's soulmate.  We missed him at the 10th reunion and we will miss him at the 50th as well.  If anyone knows how to reach Sherry, please ask her to contact us through this website.  Thanks,  John Buchanan (5/23/11)

PS:  With the help of Gary DeWalt and Bill Gruben (class of '61), I was able to locate Sherry.  She is still an active member of the workforce at the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas.  I talked with her briefly in early June and look forward to her signing in on our website and bringing us all up to date  on where she has been since we saw her at the 30th reunion. (6/10/11)

05/25/11 11:18 AM #2    

Gary (Aka Weston) DeWalt

 The last I heard Sherry was working with Bill Gruben (RHS, 1961) at the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas.

05/30/11 08:54 AM #3    

Janet Biggs (Molpus)

I am pretty sure that Wayne died in 1969. For me, it remains one of those "Do you remember where you were when-----?" moments.

Mike (Anderson-class of '61)and I were stationed at a remote ADC base (USAF)near San Jose,California at the time. I remember I was ironing and watching the mid-day news when I heard Wayne's name. I was not expecting to hear a familiar name when I was so far from home and it snapped me to attention immediately. I think Wayne was flying out of Alameda Air Station which was just down the road, out of Oakland. It could having been a training flight out of San Diego, though. Details are fuzzy, but not the event. So sad and such a loss!

06/13/11 11:38 PM #4    

Nancy Tooley (Young)

Janet, it was May of '68.  I am sure of the year (but give or take on the month). Jim and I married in March of '68 and moved to New Mexico the following week.  Not to long after that move, my Mother sent a newspaper clipping about Wayne's death and I remember reading it with such sadness.

02/21/12 07:14 PM #5    

Nancy Smith (Barnes)

Wayne was a sweetheart!  Handsome on the outside & good on the inside.  I was so happy when he & Sherry started dating & then married. They were undoubtly "Our Favorites" at RHS.  It was difficult for all of us to hear of his tragic death.

Roger Rice & I had a going away party for Wayne when he left for the Naval Academy.  We were all so proud of him!  And, the party was a blast!

05/05/12 03:04 PM #6    

Douglas L. Hicks

Wayne Staecker was one of my closest friends.  He was without a doubt the finest, most honest, and caring guy I have known for most of my life.

I'll never forget the trip Wayne and I took to Padre Island with classmates Ronnie Vaughn, and Holland Evans.  It was the first road trip Wayne had ever taken.  Wayne's wonderful parents were nervous, but did let us use their car.  It was the summer  between our Junior and Senior year at RHS.  We spent two weeks sleeping in pup tents on the beach.  We ate sand, slept in sand, sand in our eyes, ears, etc.  It was the most fun 4 young guys can have, and still be miserably sick of our environment.  I'm searching for the pictures of us flying through the air playing "King of the Sand Dunes". I'll post the old B & W photos if I find them.  The trip revealed the same great guy Wayne always was, and proved he could have fun and be as adventurous as anyone.

Those of us who knew and loved Wayne will always remember him, and the high standards he stood for.  


08/17/15 05:21 PM #7    

Judy Braby (Kurtz)

I remember my mother handing me the mail--the terrible announcement of Wayne's death.  I was unable to talk, just handed the letter to Mother and left the room.  I don't know that he even knew who I was, but he was such a shining presence.  

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