Photo Credit: National Corvette Museum
They don’t call them the Greatest Generation for nothing.
Even to the end.
Willis Stopler fought every battle in the Pacific aboard the USS Enterprise during World War II, then came home to work as a shipping foreman for a garden implement company. On the side, he often repaired and restored lawn mowers.
His quiet nature made it a surprise when one day he bought a Corvette, a car that brings much attention to its owners.
But Willis was an intelligent man and apparently loved machines of all kinds (he owned an Indian motorcycle and an airplane), so it probably wasn’t really all that surprising that he loved Corvettes.
In fact, in the early 1960s, he became the second owner of a blue 1958 Corvette and joined a Corvette Club to share his enthusiasm for the car with others, often attending local shows later in life.
“He was proud of it and loved to show it off,” brother-in-law Walt Friedemann says.
Willis was so proud of the car, in fact, that he kept it the rest of his life, which only ended in March at the age of 92!
“So many people wanted the car,” Friedemann said, “but he said it should go to the Museum, both to preserve it, and so that no one would be unhappy. He had his memory, and it was great until the end. The family is pleased to honor his wishes. The car belongs at the Museum.”
The Museum was thrilled to get the classic Corvette and said: “Thank you to the Stopler family for entrusting us with Willis’ prized possession. We look forward to sharing his Corvette with many visitors to come!”
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