John H. Stansfield passed away at age 92 at Liberty Manor, Colorado Springs, on August 30, 2013. He was born in Worcester, MA, May 13, 1921, to Jane Hicks Stansfield and Dr. Oliver H. Stansfield. On January 26, 1946, in Worcester, he married Sally H. Crimmins, his wife for 65 years.
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John grew up spending lots of time outdoors, playing in fields and ponds and hiking in woods near home. He and his family spent summers sailing and swimming at their rustic cabin on Cape Rosier, Penobscot Bay, Maine. In the Boy Scouts, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and participated in the national Boy Scout Jamboree held at Washington, D.C. In 1937.
During World War II, John enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force, achieving the rank of first lieutenant. He served as a navigator on B-17s with the 385th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, completing 29 combat and two humanitarian missions. On January 2, 1945, he and his crew successfully parachuted from their disabled plane into liberated France and soon returned to combat.
In 1947, John graduated from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, followed by a career with several insurance companies in Massachusetts and Texas. He retired as senior home office underwriter for Lone Star Life Insurance Co., Dallas, TX in 1988.
After retirement, John and his wife settled in Paradise, CA, becoming active members of Saint Thomas More Catholic Church. For many years, including six as president, he worked with the St. Vincent dePaul Society, providing a variety of social services for the community. From childhood, John was a devoted gardener, with yards filled with fruit trees, colorful flowers, and vegetable beds. His friends called him a true gentleman.
He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, John and Carol Stansfield of Larkspur, CO, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, his sister, Ruth S. Peterson, and brother, Oliver H. Stansfield, Jr.
John's life will be celebrated with a funeral mass on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 11:00 am at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 3122 Poinsetta Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80907. A reception follows at 12:30 pm at MacKenzie Place, 1605 Elm Creek View, Colorado Springs.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Pikes Peak Group of Sierra Club, 522 N. Royer, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 or the National Museum of World War II Aviation, 755 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80916.
Published in The Gazette on Sept. 8, 2013