Obituary of Delbert Lougene Stolley
Delbert Lougene Stolley, a husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather of our family, peacefully passed away on July 23, 2023, at the age of 94. His brave battle with cancer demonstrated his resilience and strength, even in his final days. His legacy of wisdom, stubbornness, and love will continue to inspire us, and he will be profoundly missed.
George A. Stolley and Lillian M. Stolley (Dlouhy) brought Del into this world on April 24, 1929. Del was the second son and older brother to one sister. He was raised during the Depression with very few luxuries; forced to tinker with anything he could get his hands on. This led to a life of continued curiosity about anything mechanical.
Delbert was in the early days of car racing in the 1940s. Stock cars and dirt tracks were just the canvas Del needed to paint his mark on the racing world. His first notable contribution to the racing community was the flat-head fuel injector, which is on display at the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed in Lincoln Nebraska. At the age of 16, this was the beginning of a lifelong journey of innovation. While he was too young to start racing, that did not stop him from making himself valuable on the track. He taught himself how to weld which allowed him to customize any car there was. His first project car was a ‘36 Ford.
While fans cheered him from the hillside of Englewood Speedway, his most important fan was Wanda “Sue” Tanner. Fittingly they met at a racetrack. Del and Sue were introduced by a childhood friend, Jack Spicer. During this time, he designed and built a fiberglass sports car in his garage. He continued to weld on midget cars, sprint cars, speed boats, and anything else that needed repaired. While he enjoyed working on and driving cars, little money was to be made in the early days of racing. His racing career ended in the 1960s when his attention pivoted to family life. Del and Sue married in 1956 and enjoyed 67 years of marriage. Del and Sue moved to Berthoud, Colorado, and later to Johnstown, to raise their four children; Delberta “Susi” (John) Gida, Christine (Bob) Faust, David (Laurie) Stolley, and Geneva (Robert) Morford. .
Del was hired at Kodak Film Company as a welder. The skills he learned from his time in his garage propelled him through a life-long career at Kodak. He spent his retirement years endlessly tinkering and improving anything he could get his hands on. His lifelong connections in the racing community would bring him to the Bonneville Salt Flats in the 80’s with a team trying to set the land speed record on a car he helped build in the late 1950’s, The car was The Stiletto.
He passed his love of learning to his four children, nine grandchildren – Krista (Kade) Davison, Andrew (Summer) Anderson, Katy (Joshua) Washburn, Elle Faust, Tanner Faust, Sam Stolley, Ben Stolley, Mack Morford and Alex Morford, and seven great-grandchildren. He believed if you did not know how to fix something, you could easily learn with some guidance. His memory will be celebrated through a cherished family and an endless sea of innovation, passion, and love.
Del donated his body to science so others may continue to learn. If you wish to share a memory of Del, a card can be sent to Sue Stolley, 22700 County Road 15, Johnstown, CO 80534 A private service will be held at a later date. Condolences may be shared at AdamsonCares.com.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Delbert Stolley, please visit Tribute Store