|Charles E. "Smokie" Stroops, age 87, of Galesburg, Illinois died on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 7:11 P.M. at OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg, Illinois.
He was born on February 20, 1929 in Galesburg, Illinois, the son of Carl V. and Ethel Stambaugh Stroops, Sr. He was raised and educated in Galesburg, Illinois graduating from the Galesburg High in Galesburg, Illinois. He married Wilma Cane. She preceded him in death in 1968.
Surviving are numerous nieces, nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, six brothers, Franklin Stroops, George Stroops, Carl Stroops, Jr., Richard Stroops, Robert Stroops, and Terry Stroops and one sister, Clarice (Stroops) Rogers.
He worked for Rowe Manufacturing until they closed, then went to work for Butler Manufacturing in Galesburg, Illinois until he retired.
He served in the United States Army from May 10, 1943 to February 4, 1946, during World War II. He was with Company L, 315th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Infantry Division "Cross of Lorraine" which received a Presidential Citation. He was captured by the Germans on January 10, 1945, then liberated on April 16, 1945 in Hanover. He served in the Rhineland Campaign and the Southern France Campaign, receiving the European African Middle East Campaign Ribbon; Two Bronze Battle Stars; American Theatre Ribbon; Victory Medal and the Good Conduct Medal with Two Bronze Clasps; POW Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Purple Heart. The Expert Rifle, Machine Gun, Hand Grenade and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Cremation rites will be accorded. Private Graveside Services were held on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at Memorial Park Cemetery, Galesburg, Illinois, with Military Rites conducted by the Ralph M. Noble Ameican Legion Post #285 of Galesburg, Illinois. Memorials may be sent to the VFW Post 2257 of Galesburg, Illinois. The Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Home in Knoxville, Illinois is handling local arrangements. Online condolences and sympathy cards can be made at www.hurd-hendricksfuneralhome.com