Walter Stampley Jr
April 2, 1925 – Jan. 27, 2014
VIDALIA — Services for Walter L. “Coach” Stampley Jr., 88, of Vidalia, who died Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, at Natchez Regional Medical Center, will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, at Vidalia Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Clyde Ray Webber officiating.
Visitation will be from 11:30 a.m. until service time Thursday at the church.
Mr. Stampley was born April 2, 1925, in Utica.
Mr. Stampley deeply loved his family, had faith in his God, and enjoyed the company of his many friends.
He proudly served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II as part of “The Greatest Generation.” He made many trips “flying the hump” across the Himalaya Mountains between India and China.
After leaving the military, he attended the University of Wyoming, Copiah-Lincoln Junior College and graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in physical education.
Among his athletic accomplishments were High School Football Player of the year in Mississippi in 1943, Athletic Hall of Fame at Copiah-Lincoln, and the Distinguished American Award from the National Foundation and Hall of Fame.
Coach Stampley coached the first football team in the history of Vidalia High School in 1952 and coached football, basketball and baseball until becoming principal in 1957. He served as Vidalia High Principal from 1957 until 1978.
Mr. Stampley’s legacy will not be in wins and losses as a coach, but rather in the positive impact he had on the thousands of students and the many teachers who were influenced by his values and by the steadfast commitment he had to his wife of 63 years, Lamathelle Stampley and his entire family.
Widely know and respected for his honesty, integrity and strength of character, he brought leadership that raised the quality of education and pride at Vidalia High School and indeed the City of Vidalia.
Mr. Stampley believed strongly in the value of education and of the added benefits of an athletic program in the lives of the participants, the school, and the community and he was always “elated” to hear of an achievement by a former student.
Counted among his former students who kept in touch with him through the years are doctors, lawyers, businessmen, many military personnel, pilots and engineers.
He was a member of the Vidalia Presbyterian Church, where he taught Sunday School for 55 years and served as an Elder for many of those years.
He served as director for the Vidalia Recreation District for 50 years and on the Concordia Parish School Board for 14 years. Mr. Stampley was vital to the development of the City of Vidalia as it is today and was always proud of its progress.
He will be missed by his family, friends, Council on Aging and his colleagues at the McDonoughs Breakfast Club. A conversation with Coach Stampley made shortly before his passing is available on DVD.
Mr. Stampley was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; and two sons, Joseph Stampley and John Stampley.
Survivors include his daughter, Mary Evelyn Stampley Cupit; one grandson, Eric Stampley; four granddaughters, Stacy Heflin, Kristen Cupit, Jodi Coleman, Danielle Stampley; and six great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers will be Benny Milligan, Virgil Jackson, Allen Wingfield, Bill McDonough, Julius Huhn, Henry Sugg, Jimmy Myers, Leo Landry and Dee Faircloth.