David Meyer Stein, 92, passed away Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at the VA Hospital in Tucson, Ariz., after a lengthy illness. He was born Aug. 4, 1920, in North Wales, Pa., to Samuel and Rebecca Stein.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years Dorothy Stidham Stein, and their son Daniel Nathan Stein. Also preceding him in death were his parents; his brothers, Heimert and Abraham Stein; and his sister Rachel Stein Lipman.
He is survived by his brother Harry Stein (Rose), of Boynton Beach, Fla.; his three daughters, Rebecca Stein Lockenbach (Richard), of Tallahassee, Fla.; Lt. Col. (ret.) Vicki Stein, of Washington D.C., and Susan Stein Shofner (Steven), of Las Vegas; Nev.; three sons, Michael Stein, of Roswell, Murray Stein (Pati), of Tucson, and Brian Stein (D’An), of Tucson; grandchildren, Staff Sgt. Rachel Stein Sine (Michael), of Kirkland AFB, Albuquerque, Risa Lockenbach Epstein (Brad), of Atlanta, Stephanie Shofner, of Las Vegas, Whitney Shofner Michalskey (Daniel), of Las Vegas, and Daniel Micah Lockenbach, of Tallahassee; a great-granddaughter Jade Bryan, of Albuquerque; and several nephews, nieces, and grandnephews and grandnieces.
He will be laid to rest in a graveside service at South Park Cemetery on Monday, March 11, 2013, at 2 p.m.
David attended business school in Charleston, W.Va., prior to enlisting in the Army in 1939. He reached the rank of technical sergeant and applied for Officer Candidate School and flight training. After graduating from the Aviation Cadet Program at San Marcos Army Air Force Base, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. He flew 41 combat missions in B-17s before he was shot down over Memingen, Germany, on July 18, 1944. He was interned for the last year of the war as a POW in Stalag Luft 1. He had many assignments after the war, including a tour of duty in Army Counter Intelligence. After graduating from the first U.S. Air Force class of triple-rated flying officers in at Mather Air Force Base in 1948, he was transferred to the 509th Bomb Group at Walker Air Force Base as an operations officer. At the time, Roswell was the home of the only Atomic Bomb Unit and was the primary unit for the fledgling Strategic Air Command. David was transferred to England in 1952 as the Air Force attaché for the London Embassy. At the request of Col. W.K. Martin, commander of the 6th Bomb Wing, he was recalled to participate in the organization of the reactivated unit with the new B-36 intercontinental bomber. He retired as a major in the Air Force in 1959, after receiving training in the B-52 and the B-58 Hustler supersonic bomber. He was a rated senior pilot and senior navigator, with more than 10,000 flying hours in various aircraft. He was awarded the following decorations in combat: Purple Heart with 1 oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, European-African, Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 battle stars, WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters and the Prisoner of War Medal. He went on to work with General Dynamics as a lead engineer on the Atlas Missile program. He later worked as an engineer for Boeing on various projects, including the Saturn V project, which was the launch vehicle for the Apollo Space Program.
Roswell was his home for more than 50 years, where he raised his family, participated in the Jewish community, served in various leadership roles at Temple B’Nai Israel and on the Roswell Ministerial Association, and was an active member and officer in both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the International Organization of Foresters.
Condolences may be offered online at lagronefuneralchapels.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the professionals at LaGrone Funeral Chapel.