Maurice F. Stauder of Witt passed away peacefully Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, at Montgomery Nursing and Rehab Facility in Taylor Springs, where he was rehabilitating from recent surgery. He was 96.
Maurice's impact as an engineer, businessman, educator and father was felt by many across Illinois.
Born April 10, 1920, to Frank and Frances (Mast) Stauder of Witt, Maurice attended Witt schools, graduating in 1937. He earned an engineering degree in metallurgy from the University of Notre Dame in 1941. Assigned to war effort research in the metals laboratory at Electromotive in Chicago, he helped produce reliable engines for the landing craft used by Allied forces on D-Day.
He returned to Witt after his father's death in 1945 to join Stauder & Hoehn hardware. He spent the next 25 years building the family business and expanding Stauder's Inc. beyond hardware and furniture by also starting Stauder Gas Company to supply propane to Montgomery County residents and businesses.
In the early sixties, he obtained a master's degree and teaching certificate from Eastern Illinois University and embarked on another career as an educator. Moving to Danville, Ill., in 1965, he taught science at Danville Junior College, served as chair of the science department and Dean of Faculty, and retired as president of DJC in 1981.
Returning to Witt - and business - he converted the hardware building into the workshop for Floats N More, creating parade floats for the annual festivals in many towns between Decatur and St. Louis for more than two decades. In addition to the float business, he served his community by maintaining Witt's city water system and St. Barbara's cemetery during his 70s and 80s.
He was an active member of the Witt Lions Club and both St. Barbara's parish in Witt and St. Paul's parish in Danville.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Dorothy Jean (Baker); son Mark Stauder of North Riverside, Ill.; and five siblings, Lawrence, Sister Mary Frances Borgia, Regina, Louise (Hughes) and Rosemary (Ehrlich).
Survivors include four sons, Greg Stauder of Galena, Phillip Stauder (Cynthia) of Madison, Tenn., Dr. Michael (Mick) Stauder (Marie) of Decatur and Paul Stauder (April) of Carmel, Ind. Grandchildren include Angela (Reber), Andrea (Panner), Gretchen (Gow), Kurt (Lindsay), Jack, Lisa (Falconer) Holly (Stacey), Melissa (Coomer), Matthew (Heather), Marian, Maureen, Alison, Lauren (Joyce) and Derek; great grand-children Nicholas, Lily, Jackson, Sarah, Sally, Briley, Jaren, Olive, Louis; and Gabriel, and former daughter-in-law Joanna Zupanci of Galena
Services are pending. Maurice will be buried in St. Barbara's Cemetery in Witt. Memorials may be made in the form of donations to the St. Barbara Cemetery Fund, c/o Jim Miller at the Security National Bank of Witt.
McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana is assisting the family: www.mdfh.com
Published on October 21, 2016