William “John” Stoddart
William “John” Stoddart, 70, of Ely, NV, a great man, lost his battle with metastatic melanoma on December 8, 2015. He was born in East Ely, NV on May 14, 1945 to the late Gene and “Susie” Stoddart. He is survived by his wife Donna of 48 years, daughter Stephanie, son Brett (Teshura) and granddaughters Ariyana and Alaina. Also surviving are his sister Jane of Henderson, NV; his aunt Nora of Ely, NV; his nieces Lisa, Susan and Tracy and several cousins. John was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to all.
John graduated from White Pine County High School in 1963 and then the University of Nevada in 1968. Upon his college graduation, he went into the army, where he served as an officer for 28 years, retiring as a full colonel. He was a decorated veteran of two wars, Vietnam and Desert Storm. During his storied military career, he served as Abrams Tank Test Officer, Aide and Executive Officer to two Commanding Generals of the Tank Automotive Command. He was selected to Command the Detroit Army Tank Plant where the M60 and the M1 Abrams tanks were manufactured. During that time, he was sent to El Salvador to develop an armored vehicle to assist in countering the San Salvador insurgency. He was then selected to attend the prestigious Army War College. Upon that graduation, he was assigned to the Defense Acquisition University, the Pentagon and then back to the Tank Automotive Command to develop a new generation of tactical vehicles for the U.S. Army. Desert Storm broke out during this time upon which, he was assigned a special mission to ascertain the capability of heavy vehicle operations in the desert conditions and consequently led a mobility experts team into that theater of operation for development of safe lines of passage for our troops.
Upon his military retirement in 1995, John joined Oshkosh Truck Corporation where he became an Executive Vice President and President of Defense, there he oversaw the development of many military vehicles that protect our troops in wartime conditions. During this time, he also expanded Oshkosh Truck’s defense business by winning programs in the U.S., U.K., Egypt and other areas throughout the world.
John sat on the Board of the National Defense Industrial Association, the Defense Ethics Committee and is a former chair of the Industrial Committee on Test and Evaluation. He was an active member in the Association of the United States Army, served on the Wisconsin Procurement Institute Board of Directors and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Chancellor’s Board of Directors. He also served on several other educational boards as well as national and state industry boards. John received the U.S. National Guard Patrick Henry Award and was inducted into the United States Army Ordinance Hall of Fame in 2006.
He retired from Oshkosh in 2009 and returned to Nevada, to the Las Vegas area. John was a connisseur of the world. He loved to travel, meet people and learn new things. He saw a potential friend in all and all saw that friend back in him. He was deeply loved and will be missed.
A full military memorial service will be held at a future date at the Veteran’s Cemetary in Boulder City, NV. Also, the family would like to extend special thanks to Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas for their loving care and support.
Donations may be sent to:
The Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project
P.O. Box 758517
Topeka, Kansas 66675
Or visit: https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org
The Fisher House
Fisher House Foundation
P.O. Box 97229
Washington, DC 20077-7804
Or visit: https://donate.fisherhouse.org