Dwight A. Stair
Dwight Alva Stair, 70, a disabled Navy veteran and brother of Joplin resident Michael Stair, died Sept. 28, 2019 at the Truman VA Hospital at Columbia, where he had been an ICU patient for about a month.
Dwight was born Aug. 18, 1949, and grew up on Walnut Street in Rolla. He graduated from Rolla schools, and did achieve some notice in his high school years for an artistic talent, garnering a top award for a Picasso-inspired portrait painting he entered in the local art guild's citywide competition.
He worked at Vern's, a fashionable men's clothing store, while in high school. He tried attending what was then the University of Missouri at Rolla a couple of times, but then enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.
After his time in the military, he worked at a car dealership for several years and then later at the local McDonald's.
Dwight was unwavering in his Christian faith. His minister and devoted friend of many years, Eldon Gourley, said Dwight was a longtime Bible student and had a commendable grasp of scripture. But his most discernible attribute, Eldon said, was his love of people, all people. Dwight once remarked to a family member that simply hearing the voices of others around him was all he really needed in life. The family has seen ample evidence of that love and respect in the outpouring of sympathy it has received.
He also was stubbornly independent. Eldon also was among those who saw in Dwight a compulsion for no-strings-attached freedom, at almost any cost.
Dwight was proud of his perceived IQ, what he said was a photographic memory, and his time in the military. His brother Michael, stealing from Steinbeck, allowed that Dwight could, at times, be a "triumph of insinuation."
With the help of the VA, local physicians, social workers, church groups and untold friends and acquaintances, Dwight survived many a rough sea over the years, but in the end, the disease of alcoholism proved to be his nemesis.
Dwight was preceded in death by his parents, Wilson and Teresa Donahoe Stair, and the grandmother who primarily raised him, Edna "Grammy" Stair.
Survivors include his brother Wilson Stair Jr. and wife Jan, of Las Cruces, New Mexico., brother Michael Stair and wife Paula, of Joplin, and brother Stephen Watmore, of Arlington, Virginia; and two nephews, Tyler Stair, of Seneca, and Zane Stair, of Joplin.
The body has been cremated, and service and burial arrangements will be announced.
Published on October 13, 2019


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