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F.C. Stover


1922 - 2009 Obituary Condolences
F.C. Stover Obituary
On Tuesday, May 19, 2009, the angels in Heaven rejoiced as they welcomed a Christian husband, father, cowboy, champion roper and war hero into their fold for eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
F. C. "Smokey" Stover was born Sept. 24, 1922, in Hondo to Allie and Beatrice V. Stover, who, along with his two siblings, sister Mildred Stover Jones and brother Bill Stover, have all preceded him in death. Stover was also preceded in death by an infant son, Carl C. Stover, in 1953 and grandson Ty Wayne Lowery, a murder victim in 1998.
A quiet, humble man whose word was his bond, Stover loved the Western lifestyle of New Mexico into which he was born. It led him to become an accomplished calf and steer roper, competing at numerous regional rodeos.
Stover attended New Mexico State University, where he was a charter member of the first NMSU "Aggie" Rodeo Team in 1942. Stover won two calf roping championships during his time at NMSU, and in 2006 the Aggie Rodeo Society inducted Stover into its NMSU Rodeo Hall of Fame, honoring him with its "Made a Difference" award.
World War II interrupted Stover's initial college days and he enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight for his country. As an infantryman in the infamous Battle of the Bulge, Stover served with valor, being awarded both the prestigious Silver Star and Bronze Star medals, along with a Purple Heart and other campaign medals in recognition of his gallant service above and beyond the call of duty. After more than 100 days in a Paris hospital recovering from his combat wounds, Stover was honorably discharged from the Army and returned to college at NMSU, graduating in 1952.
A rancher by trade, Stover married his beloved "Peaches" more than five decades ago and together they raised daughters Cheryl and Janet, who each survive him. Janet excelled as a high school and collegiate athlete as she followed in her father's footsteps, twice winning collegiate All-Around Cowgirl Championships and going on to earn the Women's Professional Rodeo Association's World Champion Barrel Racer title in 2001. An accomplished athlete and equestrian in her own right, Cheryl is retired from NMSU-PSL and had devoted her time in recent years to helping her mother care for her father at home.
F.C. Stover was also renowned as a fierce "matched" calf roping, particularly hard to beat in 10-head competitions. Stover typically traveled to the north country during the summer, entering rodeos all along the way. Among his credits "on the trail," Stover won calf roping championships at the famed Calgary Stampede three different years, in addition to winning the wild cow milking event at Calgary in 1948.
Although Stover was a very private man, not prone to be braggadocious, he harbored an immense pride in his family and his extended family, which include foster son Billy White and his family, Laura Lee Stover and her family, and his many cowboy friends.
Stover was baptized in the name of Jesus at the Tularosa Community Church. He accepted the Holy Spirit in the cold water of Pastor "Doug" and in the witness, ministry and blessing of pastors Jan and Susan Pate on God's mission from The First Church on the Hill in Rusk, Texas.
A fan of Elvis Presley's rendition of Frank Sinatra's "I Did It My Way," in his last years Stover "did it God's way" until his final ride - just as he had told Peaches so often through the years, "Head 'em up and move 'em out!" And while his soul forever lives in the Kingdom of God, he rests in peace in the Tularosa cemetery following private burial services.
Although most of his old rodeo gang may have gone on before him, F.C. Stover will be deeply missed by all those who had the privilege and opportunity to know him as a lifelong soul mate and partner, a loving father, a true hero, a real cowboy and a great friend.
The Stover family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home to direct the arrangements.

To sign the online guestbook, please visit
www.alamogordofuneralhome.org

Published in Alamogordo Daily News from May 25 to June 8, 2009
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