In Memory

Richard (Ric) Stapleton

Richard (Ric) Stapleton

 February 3, 1941 - November 1, 2016 

Resided in Gastonia, NC

Donald Richard "Ric" Stapleton, 75, passed away on November 1, 2016 at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston- Salem after a year long battle with cancer.

Ric was a native of Gastonia, son of the late Robert Leighton and Myrtle Erwin Craig Stapleton. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brother, Robert L. Stapleton and wife Melba, father and mother-in-law, Clarence and Catherine Whitesides, and brother-in-law Raymond Whitesides.

Ric was a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and spent 13 years on active duty in the US Navy as a Lieutenant JG attached to the USS Proteus in Guam, Mariana Islands. He continued serving for 14 years in the active reserves retiring as Commander. On his return from active duty he taught school at Hunter Huss High and York Chester Middle School. Ric was a very active member of Southminster Presbyterian Church, serving as a Deacon and choir member. He was the Dean of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina School for Laity; he was also involved in the Breakfast with Champions Mentor program at Grier Middle School. Ric enjoyed camping, traveling, vacations with family, music, and scouting where he attained the rank of Eagle, and served on the staff of Piedmont Boy Scout Camp in Tryon, NC. He loved his family and truly adored his granddaughter. Ric was a very gentle, loving, and kind person who will be dearly missed.

Survivors include his loving wife of 53 years, Linda Whitesides Stapleton; children, Donald Reid Stapleton, Craig Alan Stapleton, Amy Stapleton Gilbert and husband Joel; granddaughter, Hanna Grace Gilbert; sister, Dr. Susan McLaurin and husband Dr. Pac McLaurin; brothers-in-law, Robert Whitesides and wife Brenda, Charles Whitesides and wife Susan, and much loved nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held 2:30 pm, Sunday, November 6, 2016, at Southminster Presbyterian Church with Pastor Dan Oedy officiating. The family will receive friends following the service in the Fellowship Hall.

Memorials may be made to: Southminster Presbyterian Church, 1401 Hoffman Rd., Gastonia, NC 28054 or SECU Family House, 1970 Baldwin Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103. 

Condolence messages may be sent to

McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the Stapleton family.