Captain Francis Howard “Howie” Stoodley died in the City of Falls Church on February 17 2020. He was 84 years old.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, the former Janice Powers Newman of Arlington, VA; son Scott Stoodley; daughter Elizabeth Stoodley; step-daughter Adrienne Newman; step-son Craig Newman; granddaughter Griffyn Stoodley; and sister Amy Lou Tozzi.
Capt. Stoodley was born in New York City to Howard F. and Mary Lou Brown Stoodley. He grew up in Brookfield, Connecticut and attended Danbury High School, where he played football and ran track. He was a Life Scout and volunteer firefighter.
In June 1957, he graduated from the US Naval Academy as a member of the Third Company. At the Academy he was a battalion sub-commander and received the James Sturgis Willis and Military Order of the World War prizes for academic achievement.
Upon graduation from Annapolis, he entered flight training at Pensacola, Florida and became a Naval aviator in Corpus Christi, Texas in January 1959. He served in VP 44 for two tours of duty, was the commanding officer of VP 50 and VX 1, and was the program manager for the Tactical Support Center at the Naval Air Test Center. He was pilot on nine world record flights in the P3C Orion including distance, altitude, time-to-climb, and speed records.
His military awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal. He was a member of the Quiet Birdmen, the Military Order of Daedalions and the Silver Wings.
After retirement from Naval service, he was an engineering program manager and director for Harris Corporation. He was a safety counselor for the Federal Aviation Administration and a 50-year flight instructor. He earned a professional engineering degree in electrical engineering from GWU, where he taught engineering management for many years. As an almost 30-year resident of the City of Falls Church he served on the Board of Zoning Appeals for 17 years. His neighbors lovingly called him the mayor of Bishops Court.
Howard was an avid runner for many years, completing numerous marathons and triathlons. His family and friends will always remember his dynamic personality, his cheerful countenance and his readiness to help others. They remember him with the utmost love and admiration.
Howard’s family gives a special thanks to Noelia Sejas and Celina Monroy for the abundant love and care they gave Howard during the last year of his life. Funeral services and burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a future date.