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Willie "Claude" Stoffregen

Willie "Claude" Stoffregen was born April 27, 1928 in Etowa County, Alabama. Claude was the middle son of Canary Maze Stoffregen and Georgia Ethel Stoffregen, nee Ottwell (both deceased). Claude grew up in the Chandler Springs area but always identified Talladega, Alabama, as his hometown. In 1948, at the age of twenty, Claude joined the U.S. Army and served a little over twenty years, retiring in 1968 as a Sergeant First Class (E-7). During his service to the United States, Claude served as a mess sergeant, a drill sergeant and as a combat engineer, with tours of duty in Germany, Korea and Viet Nam, with Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, being his primary duty station for much of his state-side service. Claude was awarded the Bronze Star for his meritorious service in Viet Nam. He was also awarded the National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Viet Nam Service Medal, the Viet Nam Campaign Medal and four separate Good Conduct Medals. While in Viet Nam, he received numerous awards from the Vietnamese government for his role as a Military Advisor. Upon his retirement from the Army, Claude briefly worked at the Main Post Exchange at Fort Leonard Wood and then went to work for the Waynesville School District as an evening janitor at East Elementary School and at the Waynesville Vocational Technical School. During his tenure with the school system, Claude came to know many of the children that are now members of the Waynesville-St. Robert community and he is fondly remembered by many as the janitor who would always talk to them and listen to what they had to say. Claude retired from the Waynesville School District in 1993, and spent the last 26 years of his life fully retired. Although often quiet and withdrawn, Claude was friendly and kind to those he knew. He had the ability to talk with people and to get them to open up and discuss almost anything, often to the embarrassment of any family member within earshot of the conversation. At home, he enjoyed gardening and taking care of his yard. Until his eyesight began to decline due to macular degeneration in his 70's, he enjoyed driving the country roads of Pulaski County and the surrounding area. He enjoyed going to flea markets and buying figurines, nick nacks and had a love of old books. Like many Depression era babies, Claude took pride in finding "bargains" and good deals while at the flea markets and he liked to accumulate things. The last eight years of his life, Claude suffered from Lewy Body Dementia. The disease slowly took from him many of the things he enjoyed doing. Claude had for years predicted he would die in the Fall and indeed passed away of natural causes at his son Michael's home on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 2 p.m. His wife, Elfriede, daughters Renate and Dorothea, and son Michael were with him. His death was peaceful and quiet and befitting a man who enjoyed the tranquility of intentional solitude. Claude is survived by his wife Elfriede, of the home, his son Hans Walter Stoffregen (Mary) of Birmingham, Alabama, his daughters Renate Phillips of Waynesville, Missouri, and Dorothea Sue Chaffin (James) of Waynesville, Missouri, and his son Michael Claude Stoffregen (Diana) of Ozark, Missouri. He is also survived by his grandchildren Huston Roy Ward (Susan) of Bates City, Missouri, Margaret Mercedes Kincaid (Chris) of Overland Park, Kansas, Sarah McKenzie Heine (Jeff) of Overland Park, Kansas, and Savannah Diane Malcolm (Nolan) of Ozark, Missouri. He is also survived by his sister Nell Brewer of Talladega, Alabama, nine great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and extended family members. Claude was preceded in death by his parents, two full brothers, Hoyt and C.M. and two younger sisters, Sue and Lillibel. He was also preceded by five half-brothers (Elliot, Albie, Minor, Elvin, and Lavert) and four half-sisters (Ruth, Grace, Bertie, and Mildred) and a granddaughter, Lisa Stoffregen. Private graveside services with military honors will be held on November 8, 2019, at 1 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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Funeral Home Owner Feb 9 2021 12:00 AM