Clarence (Clay) Richard Stapel succumbed on January 22, 2014 at his home in Valencia, California with his loving wife Phyllis in attendance after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Clay was born is Los Angeles, CA on November 13, 1925 to Charles A. Stapel and Olga Anna Wuertz. He attended Thomas Star King Jr. High and Brown Military Academy in San Diego until the age of 17 when he joined the Navy during WWII. Clay was a torpedo-man's mate on Mios Wendi. He also served on the USS Brown DD546 during the Korean conflict. In 1946 Clay was hired by the Los Angeles City Fire Dept. He retired after 32 years of service, his last 20 years as an engineer at LAX Station 80. Clay is survived by his wife Phyllis; his sons Duane and Kurt (Carol); step-daughters Julia Ross and Janet Sambar (Steve); step-son Tim Ross (Peggy); three grandsons Kai, Simon and Max; five step-grandchildren Kellie Everidge (Tommie), Jeffrey Sambar (LAFD), Tim Sambar, Danielle Ross and James Ross, his great grandson Lucas Stapel and a step-great-granddaughter Allison Everidge. Clay was preceded in death by his parents, his son Bruce, brother Howard, sister Francis Smiley and a step-great-granddaughter Karen Ross-Rodriquez. Clay enjoyed spending time with family & friends, camping, traveling, fishing and hunting. He taught his children and grandchildren to love the outdoors, sharing many fond stories around the campfire. Clay was a life member of the Los Angeles Fireman's Relief Association; Retired Fire and Police Association; LAF Historical Museum; CSFA; the NRA; California Rifle & Pistol Assoc.; PT Boats; USS Brown; SCV Elks Lodge #2378; VFW; and the Mint Canyon Moose Lodge.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 23, 2014