Fred Stockdale | 1933-2018

Published Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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Fred Stockdale

Fred Stockdale, 84, of Bridgeport, died Wednesday, June 6, 2018, in Bridgeport.

A memorial will be held at 1:30 p.m. June 29, in the Chisholm Trail Suites at the Decatur Civic Center in Decatur. A private family luncheon will be held at noon.

Stockdale was born in 1933 in Fort Worth to Ernest Frederick Stockdale Sr, an attorney, and Alice Eitelman Stockdale, a teacher and artist. He graduated high school in Morton and earned bachelors and masters degrees in music from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M. He married Jo Armstrong of Clovis, N.M., in 1953.

Stockdale was the band director at Bridgeport High School from 1976 to 1983. While he was at Bridgeport, the band program grew to a high of 140 members and re-established a tradition of sweepstakes-winning bands. Twice during his tenure, the Mighty Marching Maroon went to the state marching finals in Austin. Band students who graduated in 1983 never played in a band that made less than a first division in high school competitions.

Previous to Bridgeport, Stockdale was band director at Olton, Lubbock Monterey and Pampa. His Pampa bands achieved notoriety on three occasions. In January 1965, the band hosted two nights of concerts featuring the acclaimed trumpeter Carl “Doc” Severinsen, who would later become leader of the band for NBC’s The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. The “Rodeo Band,” a subset of the full band, was invited to play for the 1964 Rodeo Cowboys Association championship at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, Calif. The Pride of Pampa marching band also performed at halftime of a Dallas Cowboys football game in the Cotton Bowl in 1962.

Stockdale was elected to the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity in 1960. He was active in the Texas Music Educators Association, and in 1984, he served as president of the Texas Bandmasters Association. He retired in 1998 as Director of Fine Arts for the Azle ISD. His professional career culminated in 2001, when he was honored with election to the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame.

Following his first wife’s death, he married Donna Wagoner in 1997. They moved to Tulsa, Okla. After the death of his second wife, Stockdale married Juanise Ableson in Tulsa. She died in 2017.

For the past few years, Stockdale lived with increasing symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. He died at the Bridgeport Medical Lodge.

He is survived by brother John Stockdale of Albany; sister Linda Sikes of Snohomish, Wash.; sons Steve Albuquerque, N.M. and Freddy and wife, Kay, of Gilbert, Ariz.; daughter Lizann Bridges and husband, Tom, of Bridgeport; four grandchildren; and expanded family totaling 10 children, 13 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

Donations may be made towards research to discover treatments and cures for scleroderma or Alzheimer’s disease.

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