Richard Stanford, the pilot and doctor who experienced engine failure and crashed along a stretch of grass near I-235 and I-44 in August, died on Dec. 23, according to his family.
Stanford survived the initial crash and spent recent months in a hospital surrounded by family and friends. He became well enough to talk again, which was an unexpected gift to those who knew him. “It was absolutely priceless,” said his wife, Laurie Stanford.
In addition to his passion for flying, Stanford spent many decades as a pediatrician in the Oklahoma City metro. He was also involved with several charitable efforts, including Special Olympics and Angel Flight. “And when my dad actually woke up he told us all that he was going to fly again,” said his son, Luke Stanford.
His family said there wasn’t one day since the crash that Stanford had not been surrounded by a steady line of visitors. “That really stands out to us as well,” his daughter Jessica Tucker said.
While in the hospital, Richard and Laurie also celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary.
To commemorate his life, Stanford’s family is starting an aviation scholarship in his memory. The scholarship, which the family has named “The Sky is the Limit,” will award $1,000 each year to a student pilot.
Donations can be made at Watermark Bank located at 6501 N Classen Blvd, Suite 300 in Oklahoma City.