Leroy "Roy" StretchJuly 28, 1923 ~ March 8, 2017 (age 93)
Leroy L. “Roy” Stretch, age 93 passed on March 8, 2017 at Superior Residences in Niceville, Florida. Roy was born on July 28, 1923 at the family farm house in Cohansey, New Jersey to parents Isaac Stretch and Erma Smith Stretch. He graduated from Bridgeton High School in New Jersey at the age of l6. Roy, youngest child of 7, lost his Dad in a farming accident when he was only seven months old. He worked for Owens Corning for two years before enlisting in the United States Navy. He was awarded his gold wings before serving as a carrier pilot in a F4U Corsair the latter months of WWII. He soon became acting co officer of a transport squadron. Through his leadership the squadron advanced from last place to 1st place rating in the Naval Reserve. He completed 25 years of service retiring as a 06 Navy Captain. A career with Eastern airlines began in 1947. In his 36 years of flying he became type rated in 14 transport aircraft. The DC3, DC4, DC6, DC7, DC8, DC9, Martin 202, 404, Constellation, Lockheed Electra L-188, Boeing 727,707,720, and Lockheed U’O11. After retiring, Roy continued his love of flying by doing flight instruction on instrument training on multi engine aircraft. He provided Air Taxi and corporate flying services until he was 85 years old. On his 90th birthday he flew with a QB friend in a Cherokee 6. He logged over 40,000 hours in 93 different planes making the total number of landings and equal number of take offs. The FAA awarded him The Wright Brother’s Master Pilot Award for completing fifty years of safe flying. He also participated in the Emerald Coast Honor Flight in May, 2010, and he was a member of the Quiet Birdmen and the Airline Pilots Association. He owned a Piper Colt, Stearman, Beechcraft a Mooney and a Bonanza during his 74 years of flying. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 69 years, Vera Dilks Stretch, who passed away in January, 2016. He was also preceded by 6 siblings: Reeves Stretch, Hannah Stretch Bostwick, Walter Stretch, Mildred Stretch Pettit, Thelma Stretch Krause and Wilmer Stretch. Roy is survived by daughter, Carol Wilson (John) of Salisbury, Maryland; daughter, Elaine Green (Jim), of Severna Park, Maryland; daughter, Suzanne Struble (Michael) of Wantage, New Jersey; son, Thomas Stretch (Nancy), of Branchville, New Jersey; and son, Bob Stretch (Debbie), of Niceville, Florida. Roy and Vera had 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Roy spoke of them all as, “healthy, smart and beautiful.” The family lived in Levittown, NY, Glen Head, NY, Exeter, New Hampshire, Severna Park, Maryland, Branchville, New Jersey, Homosassa, Florida and resided in Niceville, Florida for the last 32 years. A Memorial service is scheduled for April 15 beginning at 10am at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Niceville, of which Roy and Vera were members. The family would like to thank Emerald Coast Hospice. Donations can be sent to Emerald Coast Hospice of Crestview, St Paul’s Lutheran Church of Niceville, or to the Wounded Warriors.