Donald F. Stamp

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Donald F. Stamp, 80, of Salem, died in an auto accident Saturday afternoon, Nov. 10, 2018, in Punta Gorda, Fla.

He was born Oct. 23, 1938, in Salem, Ohio, the son of the late J. Floyd and Ruth (Auld) Stamp.

Donald graduated from Salem High School in 1956. He earned his degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1961. He worked at the Electric Furnace Company in Salem in many capacities and traveled the world during his employment. He currently was the owner operator of Grid Industrial Heating Inc. in Salem.

Donald was a member of the Quiet Birdmen (31125), Akron Hanger since 1993 and served as Key Man, The Warbirds of America (21951), the Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 565, in Punta Gorda, and the North American Trainers Association, where he was a senior member and the clinic administrator for all PGD Formation Clinics.

Donald began flying in 1965. Since that time, he has been a flight instructor, pilot for a parachute club, captain for his own Air Charter business, and an airshow regular. He built his own Skybolt biplane, Piper J3 Cub, and rebuilt a 1945 T6 SNJ 5 from the ground up. He and his Skybolt regularly preceded the Salem Jubilee parade down State Street. The T6, a WWII trainer, known as the Pilot Maker, was flown on July 20, 1999, for the first time since 1958. He went on to win the Silver Wrench Award for T6 restoration at Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisc., in 1999, Grand Champion WWII Award at Sun N Fun in Lakeland, Fla., in 2000, and the Preservation Award for the SNJ 5 in 2001 at Airventure.

He was a founding member of the Major Flying Unit which also includes Todd Winemiller, Chuck Marshall, and Danny Springer. The FAA awarded him The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in January of 2016. It is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots, who exhibit professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years. When he wasn’t flying military formations with other NATA members at airshows and military events around the country, he enjoyed traveling and fine dining.

Survivors include his wife, Coralie Ann (Johnson) Stamp, whom he married Jan. 8, 1982; two daughters, Deborah (Kevin) Leffel and Christine (Brian Balduff) Stamp; five grandchildren, Troy Leffel, Sean Leffel, Cassandra Leffel, Magen Damschroder, and Katherine Leffel; one great-grandchild, Isaac Leffel; four stepsons, Randy (Rena) Felger, Bill (Leah) Felger , Jim (Tammy) Felger, Norman Felger and their families; and two brothers, John (Mary) Stamp and Gary (Debra) Stamp.

Besides his parents, a son, J. Douglas Stamp and a brother, Neil Stamp, preceded him in death.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at the First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Meta Cramer officiating.

Calling hours will begin one hour prior to the service. Burial will be held at Grandview Cemetery.

Donations can be made in Donald’s name to Veterans Airlift Command, The VAC provides free air transportation to post 9/11 combat wounded and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots.

Arrangements were handled by Stark Memorial Funeral Home.

Donald’s obituary may be viewed and condolences sent online at


(Paid obituary)