July 28, 1929 - April 2, 2021
Andrew Douglas Stack, Master Sergeant, United States Air Force (retired), and Bell Telephone/AT&T Lineman (retired), and greatest fisherman of all time (rivaled perhaps by only Jesus himself), was called by the Lord to carry out his heavenly duty. Andy peacefully passed away on a glorious and beautiful Good Friday, the best day to reenlist for his final tour of duty, this time in God’s army to fight the never-ending battle between good and evil. He was surrounded by his multi-generational family. Andy started his life on July 28, 1929 in Columbia, South Carolina, the son of Pearl Hicks Stack, his mother, and James Douglas Stack his father. He was one of seven children, growing up in the tumultuous 1930’s, a time that Andy said mimics much of what we see today. He had a happy childhood despite the hard times and enjoyed his sisters and brothers. He told many a funny story about growing up in his big family. When Andy’s father left the family, his mother Pearl carried on bravely, and raised her seven children on her own. Later, Andy worked as a Sales-clerk at the City Recreation Department in Jacksonville, Florida from 1947 to 1948 before joining the Army Air Corps (which later became the U.S. Air Force) in August of 1948. He completed his training as a Private First Class just 3 years after World War 2 ended. He was first assigned to the 5th Infantry Division, the famous “Red Devils” as a General Clerk and made his way to Japan to serve with the Reconstruction Forces of the United States. On September 8, 1951, the San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed by Japan and 48 other nations. As a result, Japan was deprived of all its territories seized since 1895, including Taiwan, Korea, southern Sakhalin, and subsidiary islands. The United States-Japan Security Treaties, signed two hours after the peace treaty, assured the continued presence of U.S. forces and military bases in Japan which exists today. It was in that political environment that Andy met his future bride Emiko Horiai in Tokyo. Emiko or “Josie” was the love of his life. She had a sense of adventure and humor that gave him the support and strength he needed to survive during the tumultuous times and to present day. Just a few short years after the first and only nuclear weapons were used by the U.S. against Japan, Emiko and her incredibly loving family welcomed Andy, as a U.S. serviceman, into Japan with open arms and loved him dearly. It should be mentioned that it was a testament to the role of the U.S. Military and Andy in particular, who used American principles in winning the hearts and minds of a previous adversary. Despite the peer pressure from both sides, they were married in the American Embassy, Tokyo on December 5th, 1951 and subsequently had their church wedding on December 7th, 1951. From 1951 to November 1971 Andy and Emiko enjoyed a military career and life that involved traveling and living in such places as Okinawa, Korea, Washington, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico and finally settling in California with their 3 children. Their children: Larry, Mike, and Charlie each married and produced a total of 8 children and 4 grandchildren – all of whom loved their Grandpa or “Ogichan” which is Japanese for “Grandpa.” While in the military he earned the Air Force Commendation Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, the Small Arms Expert Marksman ribbon, and many other various service ribbons. When he retired as a Master Sergeant, he was a Logistics Traffic Supervisor responsible for the movement of specialized men and equipment all over the world. Ask one of his kids to tell you the “Libya Story,” or the time he shot ducks at the Emperor of Japan’s private duck pond – it involved the police, diplomatic corps, and all other sorts of exciting organizations which made the story that much funnier (and true). The women in Andy’s life loved him and fish truly feared him. Andy was known as an avid sportsman, a master fly tying expert, slingshot maker, fishing lure inventor and supporter of organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, Ducks Unlimited, and other conservation organizations. He was a staunch conservative and wonderful father who taught his kids, grandkids, and all their school friends self-reliance, the art of fishing, using a divining rod (it really works!), knot tying, camping, and other outdoor skills that most people only learn from YouTube videos. Andy was a friend to animals and developed a love for taking care of the local deer and turkey around his home – although truth be told, he did not care as much for the squirrels who seemed to enjoy destroying his home. However, he would even cut them a break and give them a nut or two. He had names for all the deer who would eat out of his hand, and the Nut Hatches who would fly into his yard and wait for him each morning to come out and give them their share of the walnut treasure. He also loved the dogs in his life and had a fondness for Weimaraner's, Labradors, Cocker Spaniels, and Pit Bulls. Andy loved his southern heritage, and while his military travels removed his southern accent, he still loved southern foods such as ham hocks and beans, grits, banana cream pie, peanut brittle, boiled peanuts, pickled pigs’ feet, and pickled okra along with other items that people on the West Coast do not let other shoppers see them buying. In terms of forward-looking events, Andy told everyone to not put him in a suit when he passed nor a military uniform. He was a fisherman and that is how he wanted to go out, dressed in his simple fishing clothes with his favorite Cabela’s ball cap on. He did not want any fishing gear equipment with him because what good would that do? He would rather his grandkids and great grandkids use the stuff, not bury it. He was practical. He told Emiko not to throw a funeral or anything like that. He said, “If you’re going to be tossing money around at least let the family enjoy it – have a party, enjoy some drinks, let loose some laughs but don’t serve any fish Hors d'oeuvres,” because as much as he enjoyed fishing, he did not like to eat fish! He also wanted to thank all his friends who took care of him and his family and extended every type of kindness throughout the years especially when he retired from the military and transitioned to civilian life. He loved his coffee or playing a game of pinochle or Yahtzee. Speaking of pinochle, his one regret was not convincing any of his kids to take up that card game – it was probably because he would get upset every time you made a dumb bid; it was easier not to play! So, in summary, gone but not forgotten, a true friend, outdoorsman, and father who made a difference in the world, and who will always be loved and live forever in our hearts and minds.
Andrew Douglas Stack, Master Sergeant, United States Air Force (retired), and Bell Telephone/AT&T Lineman (retired), and greatest fisherman of all time (rivaled perhaps by only Jesus himself), was called by the Lord to carry out his heavenly... View Obituary & Service Information
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