David Winfred Stalnaker, 67, of Elkins, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, at 11:05 a.m., at his home. David had been in declining health, and death was due to heart failure.
David was born March 28, 1947, in Philippi, the eldest son of the late Winfred Woodrow and Gleta Nadine Godwin Stalnaker.
On Nov. 3, 1979, he married Karen E. "Susie" Wilt of Belington, who survives. They would have celebrated 35 years of marriage this year.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Joey David Stalnaker and wife, Julia, of Evans and Daniel Pat Stalnaker and wife, Debbie, of Elkins; three daughters, Tammy Sue Williams and husband, Robby, of Ellamore, Faith Stalnaker and Nikki Stalnaker, both at home; one brother, Donovan Stalnaker and wife, Sandy, of Philippi; one sister, Darlene Stalnaker of Philippi; eight grandchildren, Trista Jordan Allen and husband, Lamar, of Fairmont, Trenten Jordan of Asheville, N.C., Bryan "BJ" Jordan and wife, Melonee, of Aberdeen, N.C.; Shelby Stalnaker and Rebecca Stalnaker, both of Elkins. Isaac Stalnaker and CeCe Stalnaker, both of Morgantown and Cassie Ann Williams of Ellamore; two stepgrandchildren, Jeremy White and wife, Kimmie, of Elkins and Lauren Ferrell of Evans; and two great-grandchildren, Elijah Viola and Malachi Allen, both of
David was an accomplished musician, specializing in the steel guitar. He began his country music career with Bob (Malcolm) and the Porta-Jays, a local Elkins band. Next, he played with Tommy D and the Country Gentlemen. As the steel guitar player for this band, he spent the summer of 1971 in Odessa, Fla., as a member of the opening act on George Jones and Tammy Wynette's plantation, opening for many well-known country stars, including Hank Williams Jr. At the time, his children were very young, and he decided to return home. After returning to West Virginia, he formed his own country band, Dave & the Silent Majority, singing in many local clubs with such noted local musicians as Carl Sommerville, Terry Louk, Howard "Sleepy" Walker, Jim Harris and Brad Gumm, in addition to his brother, Donovan, and son, Joe. David played the steel guitar for the last time at his 66th birthday party in March 2013. He later said it was one of the best days of his life. David was a graduate of Philip Barbour High School with the class of 1964, having been double-promoted. He studied accounting at Parkersburg Community College. David had an entrepreneurial spirit and strove for success in business. He was a well-respected businessman in Elkins who insisted on honesty, integrity and treating his customers like family. He owned Stalnaker Spring Service (formerly Glannon Spring Service) from 1977 to 2004. In 1986, he moved the business from 2 Fifth St. (currently the Randolph County Senior Center parking lot) to Route 33 West, across from J.F. Allen. Although he loved his work, his dream was to return to his former occupation of being an over-the-road truck driver. When he turned 40, he went back on the road. He shared many miles with his brother, Donovan (Butch as he called him), traveling to Texas and back every week for several years. He continued driving, even after a heart attack and quadruple bypass in 2001. His working career came to an end in 2004 after his battle with renal cancer. The job he loved most was being a stay-at-home dad to Faith and Nikki from 2004 until his death. He was proud of all his children and grandchildren and loved his family very much. David never knew a stranger, was kind to everyone and, if you ever met him, you know why he will be forever missed by all who knew him.
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, at Tomblyn Funeral Home of Elkins. A funeral service will be at conducted at 11 a.m. Friday from the funeral home chapel, officiated by Pastor Curlie Ray Jr. of the Beverly Community Church, of which David was a member. Interment will follow in Mount Vernon Cemetery in Philippi. A reception will be hosted immediately following the interment at Crim Memorial United Methodist Church, 200 Pike St. in Philippi.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to David's favorite charity: Feed the Children, 333 N. Meridian, Oklahoma City, OK 73107 or at www.feedthechildren.org. Tomblyn Funeral Home of Elkins is in charge of the arrangements for David W. Stalnaker. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.tomblynfuneralhome.com.