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Lt. Col. Wilford R. Pieper, USAF, Ret.

December 5, 1919 ~ April 14, 2022 (age 102)


Lt. Col. Wilfred Robert Pieper, USAF, Ret., age 102 of Winchester, VA passed way Thursday, April 14, 2022, at his residence. 

Affectionately known as Wil, he grew up in a German Lutheran family in Buffalo and Minneapolis, Minnesota. As a young man he began to explore his creative inclinations by studying art and illustration at the Minneapolis College of Art, a talent he would pursue throughout his life along with music as a jazz musician.

Wil frequently identified August 27,1942 as “the best day of his life”. It was that day he received his ‘wings’ from the Army Air Corp, was commissioned as an officer and was married to his high school sweetheart, Lois Mae Melin.

During World War II Wil flew 236 combat missions and totaled over 4,300 flying hours during his flying career. For his service during World War II, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Metal with Two Oak Clusters.  Wil was certified as a pilot from cargo planes in WWII to jet fighters in Korea.  In addition to India, Enewetak, and Korea, Wil served multiple assignments in the United States. Prior to his retirement after 25 years in the Air Force, Will represented the Air Force with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He continued his career with the Federal Aviation Administration and the newly formed Department of Transportation for an additional 20 years.

Wil continually explored his creative talents and his technical and manual skills.  As an artist he worked with numerous art expressions including painting, drawing, carving, sculpting and stained glass, he designed and built his families’ first home, built and flew an experimental airplane, and, with his son, built a record holding Bonneville streamliner race car.

Throughout his busy life, Wil cared deeply for his family.  He was proceeded in death by his loving wife of 67 years, Lois, two brothers and two sisters.  He is survived by two children, Marcia Lacy Melin from Los Osos, California, and Steven Robert Pieper from Strasburg, Virginia, four grandchildren, six great grandchildren and a sister, Betsy Priggie of Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Lt. Col. Wilfred Robert Pieper, USAF, Ret. will be laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

You may sign the guestbook and submit condolences at www.stoverfuneralhome.com. 

Stover Funeral Home and Crematory, Strasburg, Virginia is serving the family of Lt. Col. Wilfred Robert Pieper, USAF, Ret. 

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