Lloyd E. Stiffler
Lloyd E. Stiffler
  • May 13, 1930 - January 20, 2018
  • North Carolina

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"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." II Timothy 4:7

Lloyd Elwood Stiffler, 87, whose kind, outgoing personality made him a friend to many, passed peacefully at the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home in Winston-Salem on Saturday, after a brief battle with cancer.

A talented trombonist, public school music teacher and church choir director, Lloyd was a lifelong student of music and the Bible. A native of Hendersonville, N.C., his early aptitude for music earned him a scholarship to Brevard College. After his freshman year, his education there was interrupted by the Korean Conflict. Knowing he would soon be drafted, Lloyd elected to join the U.S. Navy because of the Naval School of Music, then located in Washington, D.C. After a few months of study, he was assigned to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, to play in a band on the rear admiral's ship. He had the opportunity to visit 13 European countries during his 18 months there before completing the rest of his four years of service in Norfolk, Va.

Lloyd then enrolled at High Point College (now University) to complete his bachelor's degree in music. It was there he met fellow music major Mary Elizabeth Murray, who would become his beloved wife of 57 years. Soon after their marriage the couple moved to Charlotte to become two of the first music teachers hired in the Mecklenburg County public schools. Lloyd later earned a master's degree in music from Appalachian State University.

During his 21 years with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Lloyd taught band and chorus at the elementary through high school levels, including at West Mecklenburg High School and Wilson Junior High School. Lloyd then made a second career out of another longtime talent in electronics, becoming a licensed electrician for Retreading Equipment, Inc. and Lance, Inc.

During his career and after his retirement, Lloyd often held part-time jobs as a church choir director, including seven years at Thomasboro Baptist and a total of 19 years, in two different stints, at Covenant United Methodist. After the death of his wife, Lloyd moved to Winston-Salem, where he joined the choir of First Baptist Church. A beloved resident of Creekside Terrace, he led weekly sing-alongs and helped plan Sunday morning chapel services, sometimes singing a solo or delivering the sermon. He was a lifetime member of the V.F.W. and a member of the American Legion.

Lloyd is survived by daughter Rachel Barron (Richard) of Winston-Salem; sisters Suzanne Higgins (Fred) of Hendersonville, Margaret Falls of Charlotte, and Patricia Thomas (Jack) of Wilmington; and brother Gary Stiffler (Lee Anne) of Winston-Salem; one nephew and three nieces.

A celebration of Lloyd's life, during which family and friends will sing hymns and hear scripture that he selected, will be held at 2:30 PM on Thursday, January 25, at First Baptist Church, 501 West 5th St., Winston-Salem, with the Rev. Emily Hull McGee officiating. The family will receive friends after the service.

A family visitation will be Friday, January 26, at Forest Lawn West Funeral Home at 2pm. The graveside service will begin at 3pm in the Forest Lawn West Cemetery in Charlotte. Memorial gifts may be made to the building fund of First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, or to the charity of the donor's choice.