Melvin Kessler Stoner, 82, son of James Alexander Stoner and Olive Ruth Simmons Stoner, was born May 12, 1922, at Miami, Mo. He died April 14, 2005, at the Missouri Veterans Home at St. James.He graduated from high school at Camdenton and entered the military Oct. 8, 1942. He served as a navigator in the Army Air Force. He flew one tour of duty which included 26 missions over Germany, Central Europe and North France. His separation date was Nov. 22, 1945, continuing with the Air Force Reserves.Mr. Stoner attended UCLA, where he played basketball. He received his education degree Jan. 30, 1949, from the University of Missouri-Columbia.He taught science and mathematics and coached basketball at schools in Iowa.Mr. Stoner was recalled to active duty Oct. 1, 1961, serving until 1965, when he retired as a major.He returned to college and earned his master’s degree Aug. 15, 1970, at Central Missouri State University at Warrensburg. In addition to high school teaching and coaching in Missouri and Iowa, he became a commercial pilot and flight instructor. He retired from the Iowa public schools in 1983.He was of the Baptist faith. Throughout his struggle with Alzheimer’s, he would sing a tune to himself, and his spirit was not defeated.He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Wilma Ciokon and Cynita F. Stoner; and a brother, Harold.Surviving are his daughter, Sylvia Stoner Hawkins of Shawnee, Kan.; former wife, Eleanor Stoner, of Kansas City; and friend, Neva Bryant of Mountain Grove.Graveside services with military honors were April 20 at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery at Springfield under the direction of Evans Funeral Home of Houston. “

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