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Stetter, Walter James


Walter James “Jim” Stetter, 92, died Friday, July 16, 2021, peacefully in Dallas.  He was born March 13, 1929, to Harriett Troxell Stetter and Arthur James Stetter in S. San Francisco, California.  They moved to Houston, Texas during his school years.  He worked summers on his uncle’s farm in Indiana, teaching him a lifelong work ethic and skills that, combined with his formal engineering academics, produced an invaluable resource for the family and enabled his ability to accomplish many projects and repairs that are scarce today.  This will be missed.   Jim graduated from San Jacinto High School and then The Rice Institute (University) in 1950 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering with Distinction.  He entered the Army in 1950.  After basic training he ultimately entered OCS and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant.  After further training, he served active combat duty in Korea from December 1952 until July 1953.  He attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant and was Battery Commander of C Battery, 189th Field Artillery.  He received a Bronze Star and multiple other commendations.  Jim married B.J. Caldwell in 1954 and they raised two children, Karen, and John.  After beginning a professional career with Cameron Iron Works in Houston, he moved his family to Dallas in the late 1950’s to work for Standard Manufacturing Company, Inc., retiring in 1991 as Vice President of Manufacturing.  During his later work career and in retirement, he and B.J. and other family members travelled extensively, primarily in North America and Europe.  Jim and B. J. were proud of making four European trips in one calendar year during retirement.  They also spent many years getting out of the heat either in the Hill Country or Crested Butte where they were often joined by many family members and friends.  Jim also served the community and his church, The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd where they were members since 1960.  He was a lay reader (Chairman-1964-1968), longtime member of the Men’s Bible Study, ELF, 39 and Holding dinner group, and committees to include Search, Building, and Landscape.  He was a volunteer tutor for DISD, served Meals on Wheels, and was a docent at the Frontiers of Flight Museum until the pandemic curtailed his activities.  Jim and his son, John travelled to Washington, D.C. in 2017 on Honor Flight 34, a program honoring military veterans.  A cherished trip.

Sweet, kind, generous, family, home, Big Band music, anything military or WWII, sweet, thoughtful, thank you notes, logic problems, limericks, detail oriented, brilliant, memory like a steel trap.  All things Jim.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his wife (2011), sister Jane Stetter Durk (Reg), nephews Trey Caldwell, Tom Pagel, Jeff Caldwell, and brother-in-law John I. Caldwell, Jr.  He is survived by children Karen Welder (Jimmy) of Corpus Christi and John Stetter (Susan) of Dallas, grandchildren Kathleen Welder Mollow (David) of Monterey, Mass., Leo James Welder III (Gabby) of Santa Barbara, Ca., Jennifer Stetter Jackett (David) of Dallas, John Campbell Stetter (Chantelle) of Austin, 4 great-grandchildren, sister-in-law Gena Caldwell, and nieces and nephews Cody Caldwell, Cary Caldwell, Laura Temme, Lisa Holley, and Jeff Pagel.

The family would like to express special thanks to Dr. Reuben Elovitz, Lindsay Williams, R.N. and staff, Medical City Rehabilitation, Presbyterian Village North, and T. Boone Pickens Faith Hospice staff for their care and support.  A Memorial Service will be held Monday, July 26, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 11122 Midway Road, Dallas, Texas.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Memorial Fund at Good Shepherd Church or the charity of your choice.

Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.

    Charlotte Robertson
    13 Oct 2022

    The world is truly a better place because Jim was in it.,What a dear and kind man he was. He will be greatly missed.

    Mont Thomas O'Leary
    13 Oct 2022

    I have been a close friend of and admirer of Jim for over 13 years. He was simply the nicest, kindest and most generous person I have ever known. As I have repeatedly told people Jim was truthfully a saint and I know that he now is back with his wife B.J. in heaven.
    Jim and I volunteered at the Frontiers of Flight Museum and Meals on Wheels together for years. We had breakfast and coffee together at 7:30 AM every Thursday at La Madeline cafe. We also enjoyed lunch together almost every Monday after we finished our mornings work at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. He was also a frequent dinner guest at our house and Sandra and I always enjoyed his presence.

    I will always miss Jim but I am glad that expired peacefully. As always he was a complete gentlemen.
    His survivors should be very proud of him!

    Milton and Cazzie Husbands
    13 Oct 2022

    Even though we have been gone from Dallas/Good Shepherd for almost 19yrs., we were saddened to hear of Jim’s passing; polite, kind, inquisitive and engaging–a true gentleman who will be truly missed. missed.

    Dan Garner
    13 Oct 2022

    Mr. Jim Stetter is (without any doubt) the best Mentor and Teacher I ever had. So humble, so kind, so brilliant. He was everyone’s friend, a prince of a gentleman. I admire and respect and appreciate him so.

    Donald J Larsen
    13 Oct 2022

    A true gentleman who served as an example to us all. It was a privilege to know him.

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The Gillilands
The Gillilands[click to read more]
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Dear John,

It was such a nice pleasure to meet you, and what you had planned for my father just took my breath away. It was so special to hear you tell us how he would just come over to talk with you. I think it brought him much comfort. Tha you for putting that Air Force article of him on your website. I am going to have a replica made of the painting of his plane to give you.

Thank you again for all you have done to honor our dad.

Love, The Gillilands


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