NORMAN — LCDR Louis Charl de Stwolinski USN (retired) passed away Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Norman.
Louis was born to Louis C. and Maida (Bass) de Stwolinska in Fort Scott, Kan., on Jan. 31, 1915. After graduating from Fort Scott High School in 1932, he attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1941, receiving his pilot training at Pensacola Flight School in Florida, and initially served at Alameda Station in San Francisco Bay, Calif., where he qualified in the PBY5A airplane. He flew anti-submarine missions in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean and later commanded a ground approach radar facility on Guam in the Pacific. He received the Air Medal, among other decorations. His patrol squadron VP-84 was the U.S. Navy’s top-scoring anti-submarine squadron of WWII and later received the Presidential Unit Citation.
Louis moved to Norman in 1947 to attend the University of Oklahoma. He married Gail Rounce Boyd, a member of the OU Music Department, in 1951. They were the first couple married in the chapel of First Presbyterian Church of Norman. He taught accounting to undergraduates at OU and Oklahoma City University while pursuing graduate studies. He was awarded a Master of Business Administration by OU in 1952.
Louis worked as an accountant for Briscoe Oil, then forTinker Air Force Base for more than 20 years. He also served as a director of First State Bank of Noble from 1953 to 2003. He served on the Norman Planning Commission from 1962 to 1970, where he was a strong advocate for building sidewalks and underground utilities. He was a founding member of the OU Federal Credit Union.
First licensed as an amateur radio operator in 1930, Louis remained an active, licensed ham operator for 81 years until his death. His call sign was W5UZD. He was a founding member of the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society. His other interests included Sierra Club, National Wildlife Conservancy, Common Cause, Heifer Foundation and the Democratic Party.