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William Harold Stipe

Died: July 21, 1976

William Harold (Bill) Stipe was born in Kansas City, MO in April of 1944 to Jepthae Carey Stipe and Dorothy Woodman Stipe. He prepared at Baxter Springs High School, Baxter Springs, KS and Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, OK, where he was president of the International Math Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta. Bill had a gift for the sciences, and when he entered Yale in the fall of 1962, he chose biophysics as his major, anticipating a career in medicine. His performance in the sciences at Yale was a continuation of his success at Nathan Hale, and he was named to the Dean’ List ’63-’64, despite mediocre grades in his non-scientific courses. He held the Frederick A. Ward Memorial Scholarship his junior and senior years. Bill was a member of Ezra Stiles College, where he captained the intramural volleyball and squash teams. Upon graduation from Yale, Bill was accepted into the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, along with two other Yale classmates, Guy Leveaux and Lynn Harrison. Bill continued to perform exceptionally in the pre-clinical sciences and was thought to be headed for a career in medical research; however, his experiences in the clinical disciplines during his third and fourth years inclined him toward a clinical path. Bill married Francene R. Kessler in 1969, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1971. Dr. Stipe graduated from medical school in 1970 and chose an internship at Kern County Hospital in Bakersfield, CA, following which he was accepted into the training program in emergency medicine at that institution. Upon finishing his training, he entered practice in Sun City, CA, where he was practicing at the time of his death on July 21, 1976. Bill had become an avid pilot during and following his residency training and was flying solo in a small, private plane from California to Illinois to pick up his brother and fly him to his brother’s planned wedding in Tulsa scheduled for later that week. In low ceiling fog conditions, Bill’s Mooney M20F lost flight speed and crashed, according to the NTSB report. Bill did not survive the crash.