Effingham Daily News
---- — Robert Lee Stutesman, 83, of Casey, passed away at 12:39 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, at Indianapolis, surrounded by his loving family.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Markwell Funeral Home with the Rev. Keith Wallace and the Rev. Ivan Bennett officiating. Burial will be in Clarksville Cemetery with graveside military rites by the Casey VFW and the Hazel Dell American Legion. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home, with Masonic Rites at 7 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Robert L. Stutesman Memorial, c/o Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 2001 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Online condolences may be left to the family at www.markwellfuneralhome.com.
He was born on April 13, 1930, in Clarksville, the son of Everett Russel and Rosa Edith (Clapp) Stutesman who preceded him in death. While serving in the Army and stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, he had a weekend leave to Abilene. He went to a skating rink and met Viola Zurfluh. Before he left for Korea, to become a member of the Rakkasans 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team as a paratrooper, he asked her to marry him, and on Aug. 18, 1953, they were married. After pushing her in a wheel barrow down Main Street, Abilene, Kansas in their wedding attire, they returned to Illinois and spent their honeymoon putting up hay for his parents. Viola worked side by side with Robert as they started farming and raising their family. They moved 10 miles south of Casey and started a business, Stutesman’s Garage, along with used car sales, salvage yard and a wrecker service.
They were blessed with three sons, Ronald, Benny and Robert “Bobby” Stutesman, who also worked side by side with their father in the family business. Robert and Viola were members of the Island Grove Baptist Church as well as being active in several organizations. They were married for close to 59 years until Viola’s death on July 17, 2012.
Robert was a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, and earned the Meritorious Service Award and was a Sovereign Prince of the Walter A. Stevens Council Princes of Jerusalem Line as member of the Danville Scottish Rite. He was a Past Master of the Casey Masonic Lodge and a dual member of the Westfield Masonic Lodge, Past District Deputy Grand Master, Past Patron of Areta Chapter 79 Order of the Eastern Star, an Ambassador of Ainad Shrine Temple in East St. Louis. Bob was a Past President of the Clark County Shrine Club and participated in the Triple “C” Hobo Clown and 10-70 Patrol Shrine Units. He was a Past Commander of the Casey VFW, an Honorary Kentucky Colonel, a member of the York Rite, Gao Grotto, White Shrine, Hazel Dell American Legion, and the Casey Lions Club. He managed and raced at the Charleston Speedway for several years and was the 4-H leader for the Moriah area when the boys were young.
Survivors include his brother, Don Stutesman of Crystal Lake; sons, Ronald E. Stutesman and wife Rebecca Ring Stutesman of Casey, Benny A. Stutesman and wife Cathy Hollingsworth Stutesman of Oblong, and Robert E. “Bobby” Stutesman and wife Melinda Durnal Stutesman of Casey; grandchildren, Andrew M. Stutesman and wife Johnna Tanner Stutesman of Martinsville, Alexander L. Stutesman of Westfield, Brian A. Stutesman of Oblong, Amanda Stutesman of Indianapolis, Ind., Cassandra M. Alexander and husband Mike of Casey, Ashley N. Miller and husband Zach of Charleston, Sasha Coco of Neoga, Nicholas E. Stutesman, Ryan L. Stutesman, Hunter D. Stutesman, Jake T. Stutesman, Landery C. Stutesman, Rosalena Stutesman and Aliona Stutesman, all of Casey; great-grandchildren, Madyson J. Stutesman, Andrew (Drew) Stutesman, Mashayla M. Besch, Jaxson R. Miller, Aiden L. Woolley, Emery K. Moore, Kiershtn Alexander, Kinzie Alexander and Cali Alexander; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
On May 25, 2013, he married Diane Hanners in Casey. She survives, along with her children, Tracy Vernon and husband Russell, Bobbie Jo Nichols, Tammy Coleman and husband Ian, Carrie Ruholl and husband Bradley, Joni Fritts and husband Jared, and Jonathan Hanners, and several stepgrandchildren.
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