Robert Lee Stamper
September 22, 1931-May 18, 2020
Robert Lee Stamper was born September 22, 1931 in Coalwood, West Virginia to Ina Pauline Cook and Lee Mack Stamper. He graduated from Big Creek High School in Coalwood in 1949. He attended Marshal University in Huntington, West Virginia…for a couple years before he decided to enlist in the Navy in 1951. He served four years active duty on the USS Lake Champlain during the Korean War as an airplane mechanic……and four years in the reserves before he was honorably discharged in 1960.
In 1951 on a train to Cincinnati…on his way to boot camp, he met a sixteen year old Peggy Ann Pope…who would become the love of his life for 64 years. He always said it was love at first sight…and knew that someday he would marry her. Mom wasn’t quite having those mutual feelings at the time. Dad being the romantic…..wrote her letters every single day that he was away from her. She still loves and cherishes those letters.
On September 17, 1955, Bob and Peggy were married in Oxford, Alabama. They moved to Florida in 1956 and lived in a tiny apartment on Livingston Street in Downtown Orlando. Mom worked at First National Bank…and dad worked at Florida National Bank just down the block on Orange Avenue. They would make that short drive to work together every morning…but dad would pick mom up from work every afternoon…because he got off earlier. Mom loved that. So did dad.
They loved Orlando…and knew they were there to stay. On March 23, 1957, Daniel Eugene Stamper was born. That same year, they bought the house at 438 Romano Avenue. Thank goodness…because over the next 6 years, Steven Craig, Robert Lee Jr., and David Allen Stamper were born. Dad also landed a great government job at the Navy Orlando Training Center as foreman of the print shop.
In the years to follow, Bob and Peggy and the boys became the Stamper Brothers Quartet. Dad was the sound guy and bus driver, mom was the pianist and musical director. With Dan on guitar, Craig on bass, the 4 boys sang crystal clear 4 part harmonies to all the Southern Gospel favorites…and toured the state of Florida and other parts of the Southeast. They recorded 4 record albums and shared the stage with the Oak Ridge Boys, The Statesmen, The Inspirations…and many other great gospel quartets. When dad was not fixing broken microphones or speaker cables, he was serving as a deacon and singing in the choir and teaching Sunday school at their home church, Temple Baptist. If you know dad, you know that he loved to talk and make new friends. Mom often had to pull him away from very long conversations with strangers…saying “Bob, we have to go.” Mom loved that. Dad not so much.
In 1986, after successfully raising all 4 of their sons, dad retired from his job of almost 30 years at the print shop. Bob and Peggy bought a second, tiny home in Toccoa Falls Georgia where they would spend many wonderful weeks and months in the mountains.
Bob loved working with his hands. He was the best shade tree mechanic. He loved woodwork…and built many of the beautiful pieces of furniture that still decorate the home at 438 Romano Ave. He loved spending time with his 5 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren…and taking care of the 9 feral cats in their back yard.
Most of all, Dad loved Jesus. He said the best (but sometimes too long) blessings before meals.
Dad was a fighter….till the very end. He fought every day until his final breath to stay alive.
Dad had the softest, biggest, strongest heart. His heart was so strong that it didn’t want to stop beating.
In a way…. it hasn’t.
We will forever hold you in our hearts.
To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.