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Charles Lee Stallings

February 16, 1937 ~ February 20, 2022 (age 85)


Charles Lee Stallings died Feb. 20, 2022, at his home in Ruidoso, NM, after a lengthy illness. He was born on Feb. 16, 1937, in Evansville, Indiana, graduated from Fort Branch High School and the University of Denver, majoring at the latter in Theater and English Literature.

He worked in public relations for the Deltona Corporation in Florida from 1968 to 1975, during which time he promoted the opening of the Marco Beach Hotel and worked with world renown photographers Arnold Newman and Ozzie Sweet. He also staged events at many of the corporation's communities such as Spring Hill, Sunny Hills and Marion Oaks. One celebration, the World Champion Chicken Plucking Contest, received international attention and was featured in the 1977 book, "Playtime; America at Leisure," cited as the nation's top event. It was celebrated for 30 years, ending in 1995.

He took time off to create an amphitheater for the county of Hernando in Florida for the Bicentennial celebration in 1976. He returned to Deltona in 1980, promoted Tierra Verde Resort and nightclub, later forming his own public relations-promotion firm. In 1989, he moved to Ruidoso, NM., where he wrote a column, covered the village council for the Ruidoso News for several years and authored a true crime book "Death in a Red Desert."

Stallings was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Claude Stallings, and his mother, Mary Pauline Nix Stallings.

He is survived by his wife, Dianne de Leon Stallings of Ruidoso, who he married in a civil ceremony in 1963 and in the Catholic Church in 1964; his sister and spouse, Jane and John Karges of Haubstadt, Ind.; his son and wife Aaron Creighton and Kaye Stallings of Ellicott City, Maryland; his daughters Gabrielle Leandra and husband Bob Oldfield of Highland's Ranch, Colo.; and Rachael DeLeon Collins of Monument, Colo., 11 grandchildren and five great grandsons.

No services are planned. Memorials may be sent to the Humane Society of Lincoln County or St. Jude's Hospital.

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