Carl E. Staley, Jr., 77, died Saturday, January 21, 2017 at Western Plains Medical Complex, Dodge City.
He was born May 1, 1939…and that was when the world changed. He’d go on to raise hell and overall shenanigans that would endear him to everyone he ever met. Robbing a bank as a kid, joining the military when he was barely old enough to drive, seeing war in Korea and coming home a man. He’d own a bar where Dolly Parton would sing. He’d call Jimmy Hoffa, Boss as a Union man. He’d show Randy Savage how to do a real poker face and he’d drive truck, three trailers long, across the ice roads of Alaska for 40 years. Only to come home and jump on the back of a big black bike, looking like a hooligan with that long hair and goatee, not a care in the world as to what people thought, racing all across the United States. He traveled the world and lived overseas for a time. He settled in Michigan for awhile, where he’d raise a family with two kids. After watching them grow, he eventually found his way to Dodge City, where he bought land and retired, but he wasn’t done yet. Not by a long shot.
During his travels, he met and fell in love with Antoinette, his soul mate, and gained a few kids in the process. He was a family man first and foremost, always good at lending a sympathetic ear and providing comic and sarcastic relief. Whenever you felt down, you could count on Poppa to bust out singing “I’m so pretty” off-key, with a hand on his hip and a smile on his face. Poppa always had a story to tell when you needed to get away from the pressures of the world. He’d tell you about the foods and exotic marketplaces in India. He’d tell about the bars and lovely ladies of Mexico, (pre-Antoinette, of course.) He was a living example of a hard work ethic, but he knew how to enjoy life too. Give him a fishing pole, some bait and cold Coke any day.
The world won’t be the same without Poppa and he’s left a hole in the heart of everyone who loved him. While it’s heartbreaking and sad, he wanted people to remember him fondly and think of the good times and share laughter instead of tears. He will be dearly missed, more than words can express.
There will be a celebration of Poppa on Saturday, January 28th, at 4pm at the Staley residence. There will be food, drinks and lots of stories. No tears.