The Stoy Story

The story of Bill and Millie Stoy begins in Cincinnati, Ohio, the city of their birth. Born in 1927 to Catherine and Frank Stoy, Bill, whose full name was William John Stoy, entered a world shadowed by the Great Depression. Tragically, Bill’s father passed away when he was only three years old. Despite the hardships, Bill’s childhood was filled with simple joys: he loved to tune in to the radio, craft things with his hands, explore train rides, and plunge into the waters of the Ohio River. Times were tough, and Bill, along with his five older siblings—Edward, Frank, Emilda, Clara, and Charles—learned to cope by scavenging coal from passing train cars to heat their home during the harsh Cincinnati winters.

Bill’s educational journey unfolded at St. Rose School, where he encountered Sister Ann Loretta, his cherished mentor and savior during lean times. Sister Loretta, akin to a second mother to Bill, remained a steadfast presence in his life for decades to come, providing nourishment during times of scarcity. With the weight of familial responsibilities on his young shoulders, Bill, like his siblings, entered the workforce early, bidding adieu to formal education after completing the eighth grade. His first foray into employment led him to a machine shop, where he labored over valves destined for use in submarines. Although he found fulfillment in this work, Bill harbored a deeper aspiration—to become a skilled carpenter. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Navy, embarking on a journey that would see him through the crucible of World War II and the Korean War.

Millie Stoy entered the world in 1935, bearing the name Mildred Yvonne Budde, to Margaret and Arthur Budde. Growing up alongside her sole sibling, Shirley, Millie was ingrained with the ethos of hard work and family unity through their joint efforts in running the Budde family grocery store. A passionate soul, Millie found joy in the kitchen, where she wielded culinary magic. She equally enjoyed fashioning creations with fabric and hitting the dance floor, where her spirit found its rhythm. It was at a dance held at Ault Park in Cincinnati, at the age of 16, where destiny intervened, intertwining her path with that of Bill Stoy.

In a whirlwind of romance, the young couple eloped in 1951, their love too fervent to await formalities. Later, upon disclosure to Millie’s parents, a more ceremonious union followed suit. With Bill’s return from military service, their journey as a couple morphed into a shared narrative of parenthood, as they welcomed six children into their fold: Michael, Patrick, John, Karen, Margaret, and Terry.

While Millie adeptly managed the household, nurturing both children and pets, Bill pursued his passion, weaving a career path that included stints at Baldwin Pianos, entrepreneurship in painting, and a three-decade tenure as a dedicated letter carrier.

Driven by his own experiences during the Depression, Bill was resolute in his commitment to ensuring all his children received an education. Together, Bill and Millie inscribed a legacy of love, resilience, and an unwavering devotion to family.

Once all six children had flown the nest and completed their college education, Bill and Millie bid farewell to Cincinnati, setting their sights on Tampa, FL, where their retirement chapter awaited. While the notion of retiring typically invokes visions of leisure, Bill remained steadfast in his resolve to continue working, his passion undiminished. In fact, retirement seemed to fuel his industrious spirit even further. Erecting a workshop adjacent to their new home, Bill stocked it with an array of tools and materials, determined to bring his long-held carpentry aspirations to fruition. Within those workshop walls, he breathed life into a myriad of creations: from furniture to wooden decks, treehouses to canine agility courses, and from wood pens to bowls and sculptures. Yet, perhaps most notably, Bill poured his heart into crafting hundreds of wooden toys for children, each imbued with his dedication and love for the craft. While his creations brought him immense joy, Bill’s generosity knew no bounds, as he frequently donated and gifted his handiwork to those in need, spreading happiness far and wide through his labor of love.

After three decades in Florida, Bill and Millie Stoy embarked on a new chapter in the quaint town of Cochran, GA. There, Bill wasted no time in setting up yet another workshop, driven by an unyielding determination to fashion creations with his own hands. His passion stemmed from a childhood devoid of such simple joys, spurring him to craft airplanes, trains, cars, trucks, doll cribs, swings, rocking horses, and an array of other toys.

Each December, the Stoy’s donated hundreds of handmade toys to underprivileged children through Toys for Tots. Inspired by Bill’s upbringing and his mother Catherine’s struggles, they even established a college scholarship, extending a helping hand to young mothers in need of educational opportunities.

As the years advanced, Bill and Millie remained beacons of warmth and compassion in their community. Even in their nineties, Bill could often be found tending to his trees, nurturing his beloved rose bushes, extending kindness through shared meals with neighbors, and tirelessly crafting toys for Christmas.

At the age of 93, just a fortnight shy of his 94th birthday, Bill bid farewell to this world on August 20, 2021. Millie joined him a year later, on September 22, 2022, at the age of 90. Their remarkable union of 72 years left an indelible mark, survived by their six children, 13 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren—a testament to the enduring legacy of love, compassion, and selflessness they left behind.

The Stoy Foundation is dedicated to perpetuating the cherished legacy of Bill and Millie by extending a helping hand to children and young adults facing adversity. Our mission is to provide toys, essential supplies, and educational opportunities to those in need, ensuring that Bill and Millie’s spirit of generosity and compassion lives on, enriching the lives of future generations.

Stoy Creations

Handcrafted with 🩵 by Bill & Millie

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