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Longtime Juneau resident William "Bill" Harley Stalnaker, 80, died May 4, 2005, in the Yukon. He was traveling through Canada to visit friends and family in the Lower 48 and to attend an annual reunion with his fellow World War II shipmates.
He was born Sept. 1, 1924, in Calhoun County, W. Va. He lived the past 40 years in Juneau, where he was a successful commercial fisherman and homebuilder. He was proud to have served his country during World War II in the U.S. Navy aboard the destroyer USS Lang in the South Pacific.
His family said he was a dear friend to those who knew him. He valued and loved his family, friends, country and Alaska. He never missed sending birthday wishes or attending a special occasion, no matter the distance he had to travel. His friends said that he "was a free spirit, a good neighbor, a man of his word, a hard worker and took pride in doing his best."
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fenton and Opal Stalnaker; his brother, Marvin Stalnaker; his sister, Wanda Lee White; and his son, Jeremiah Andrew Stalnaker.
He is survived by his sons, William C. Stalnaker and his wife Donna, Robert F. Stalnaker and his wife Melissa of Akron, Ohio; his daughter, Anita L. White and her husband John of Salem, Ore.; his sisters, Glenna Fleming of West Virginia, Emma Lou Chenoweth and Orma Downs of Ohio; his brother, Paul Stalnaker of West Virginia; his 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; his many nieces and nephews; and his friend, Dee DeMars, and canine companions, Bow and Arrow, of Juneau.
A celebration of his life and memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., June 2, at Northern Light United Church. Following the services, a reception will be at the Juneau Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to local youth organizations.