Thursday, April 10, 2008

Funeral Set for Des Moines Army Officer Killed in Iraq

For the second day in a row, Iowans will say goodbye to another soldier with Iowa ties. Maj. Stuart Wolfer, 36, who served in Des Moines from May 1994 to November 1996 with the Army Reserve’s 19th Theatre Army Area Command of Fort Des Moines, was killed Sunday in Baghdad, Iraq.

The U.S. Department of Defense said Wolfer, who was deployed to Iraq in Dec. 2007, died of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with indirect fire. He was assigned to the 11th Battalion, 104th Division of Boise, Idaho. Also killed in the attack was Col. Stephen Scott, 54, of New Market, Ala.

Funeral services, which are open to the community, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Beth El Jacob Synagogue in Des Moines. Graveside services will directly follow at Glendale Cemetery in the Jewish section.

Wolfer is survived by his wife, Lee Ann, who he met while stationed in Iowa in 1995 and their three daughters: Lillian Wade, 5; Melissa Lacey-Marie, 3; and Isadora Ruth, 1. The Wolfers currently reside in the Emmett, Idaho area

"He was a very loving and amazing father," Lee Anne said in a written statement. "He called his children beautiful, because he said they looked like their mother. He held his family foremost in his life. Stuart was an amazing man and will continue to live on in the hearts of those he touched forever."

Moreover, his wife said that her husband was straightforward, ethical and he stuck to the law. “Stuart was an amazing man and will continue to live on in the hearts of those he touched forever,” Lee Anne said.

An hour before Sunday’s rocket attack on the Green Zone in Baghdad, the Idaho Statesman reports that Wolfer sent an e-mail message back to his manager at Thomson North American Legal in Boise, where Wolfer was employed as a trial lawyer.

"Stu forged strong relationships with just about everyone he encountered," Peter Warwick, president and chief executive officer of Thomson Legal, told the Idaho Statesman Tuesday. "Stu was a wonderful person.”

When he heard the news of Wolfer's death, Warwick sent a message to company employees. In it, he included one of many e-mails Wolfer sent to co-workers:

"The last few weeks have been incredible," Wolfer wrote. "I spent a day visiting the Iraqi Military Academy at Rustamiyah. The flight over started off with me sitting across from a fellow Reuters camera man from Baghdad. We embraced and said hello and then I explained to him that we were on the same team. He let me take a photo with his camera at about 1,000 feet."

Wolfer’s family has requested that donations be made to the “Stuart Wolfer Memorial Fund” at any Wells Fargo bank. The fund has been set up as a college fund for his children.

Wolfer was the 67th person with Iowa ties to die in Iraq and Afghanistan since March 2003.

Map of Iowa's fallen soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2003:

View Larger Map for easier navigation

Originally posted on "Iowa Independent"


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