Lyle E. Stouffer age 83, died in Tucson on January 30 2014, after a brief illness. Lyle was born July 2, 1930, in Kansas. His family moved to Illinois where he graduated from Polo High School and attended the University of Illinois
, Galesburg. In June 1951, he enlisted in the Air Force just before he would have been drafted. He proudly began a 22 year military career which ranged from radar mechanics to Lyle's self-proclaimed title as the "World's Best Fighter Pilot!" In December, 1955 Lyle and Mary Jo McGowan Stouffer were married at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Tucson, the beginning of a loving partnership which moved around the world with the Air Force. Tim, Anne, Gregg, and Katy were born in California. Paul his middle son was born in British Columbia, Canada. In 1967-68 Lyle served a tour of duty based in Udorn, Thailand where he flew 130 missions over Southeast Asia in the RF-4 Phantom. During his tour, Lyle was awarded two Silver Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. Lyle and his family of seven spent the next three years in Fuchu Japan, Headquarters 5th Air Force, just outside of Tokyo. His final assignment with the Air Force in 1971 brought Lyle and his family to Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he retired as a Lt. Colonel in February 1973. Lyle and family lived to Colorado Springs for 25 years where Lyle began Pikes Peak Recreational Vehicle. In 1983, Lyle and Mary Jo co-founded Academy Travel and Tours Inc. and were involved in the travel business until they moved to full retirement and finally back to Tucson in 1996. Lyle was a member of Sertoma Club (past president), Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Pima Air and Space Museum and The Retired Officers Association. He was an active member of his parish, St. Frances Cabrini, a member of the choir, one of the founders of his church's Just Coffee project. He is survived by his wife, Mary Jo; his children, Tim (Jackie), Anne Gray (Doug), Paul (Susan), Gregg (Tammy) and Katy Adams (Joe); 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Eileen Johnson (Vern) and two brothers, James (Wanda) and Gene (Nancy). A celebration of Lyle's life will be Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at his very special parish, St. Frances Cabrini, 3201 E. Presidio Road and to be celebrated by his beloved pastor, Fr. Bob Fuller. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Lyle's name to the social ministry projects of St. Frances Cabrini. Arrangements were made by ABBEY FUNERAL CHAPEL.