Today, the Cloudbusters got word that Stu Weckerly passed away on the 18th of April. To my knowledge, there was no obituary. Stu was a quiet man and he lived alone, without family, so details are scarce. Here are some of the personal details that we do know.
Stuart Paul Weckerly
01 January 1926 – 18 April 2017 – 91 years old
Was in the Army in WWII, went to Europe, but was too late to see any action.
Purdue University BSEE 1950 (knew Neil Armstrong)
In 2000, Retired from Ford after 29 years
I don’t remember when I first met Stu – I am sure it was while competing in the Cleveland FAC contests in the early ’90s. He and Dave Livesay and Paul Boyanowski were Cloudbuster regulars at the Cleveland events. At some point he recognized my last name and asked if George Bredehoft was my father. I responded that was my grandfather. It seems Stu and my grandfather’s family went to the same church in Toledo in the ’40s. He remembered my grandfather and my aunt Edith. My dad, who was in grade school at the time remembers someone named “Weckerly” giving a talk on model airplanes at church (I am sure that Stu was a life-long modeler). So Stu and I became friends. He always had a friendly word for me and Jack and my wife, Patricia, too.
It was always a pleasure to see Stu at the flying field. In the ’90s, he was a dedicated modeler and his planes flew and he won. I particularly remember his Jumbo Found Centennial on floats, a red and orange Waco cabin on floats, his Yokosuka Judy combat plane, his Stout 2-AT, a General Aircraft Skyfarer, and a Buster Goodyear Racer. His planes all flew well and he often won, probably because he was a master at building lightly.
By the time I returned to the hobby in 2012, Stu was an old man and had slowed down a great deal. He would still show up, with the same rickety folding table and briefcase full of equipment and notes, but he flew fewer and fewer events. Eventually, his appearances became fewer and fewer. As far as I can remember, the last contest he attended was one year ago, in April 2016. He didn’t fly, just sat and watched all the rest of us Cloudbusters flying our models.
Here are some modeling highlights:
– 1948 2nd Plymouth Motor Corp. International Invitational Model Airplane Contest (540 world participants) – 2nd in Class D FF Gas
– 411 total FAC Kanones
– last kanone 20 Sept 2015
– last contest 17 April 2016 from the contest report: “As Ralph Keunz and Stu Weckerly sat and watched the fun, Ralph was overheard saying “this is just a perfect day”.
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