|Willard D. Staggs, age 82, of Yates City, Illinois died on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 11:48 A.M. at Proctor Hospital in Peoria, Illinois. He was born on August 26, 1927 in Galesburg, Illinois, the son of Claude and Ruth Simkins Staggs. He married Eloise Thompson on September 19, 1948 in Galesburg, Illinois. She survives of Yates City, Illinois.
Also surviving are:
Sons: Willard (Plearn) Staggs II of Yates City, Illinois
Mark Staggs of Galesburg, Illinois
Lowell (Joy) Staggs of Maquon, Illinois
Daughters: Claudia (David) Emken of Yates City, Illinois
Rebecca (Rob) Mentzer of Bloomington, Illinois
Eleven Grandchildren and Fifteen Great Grandchildren and Six Great Great Grandchildren
Brother: Tom (Jo-Ann) Staggs of Douglas, Illinois
Preceded in death by his parents; four brothers and one sister
He was raised and educated in country schools in the Douglas, Illinois area graduating from Yates City High School in 1945. He attended flight school and received his commercial pilot's license. He attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois where he received training in insurance. He served in the United States Army Air Force from October 30, 1944 until February 5, 1947 during World War II. He received the Victory Medal and Army of Occupation Medal-Germany and the Lapel Button with One Overseas Bar. He farmed in the Yates City, Illinois area for several years. He worked as a claims adjuster for Country Companies, and claims supervisor for INA and Rockford Mutual Insurance Companies.
He was a member of the Faith United Presbyterian Church in Yates City, Illinois where he served as an elder and was treasurer for 40 years. He was a member of the Harvest Home Park Board in Yates City, Illinois and the Knox County Rural Improvement Foundation in Yates City, Illinois where he served as treasurer. During the Yates City Centennial, he won the Grand Prize in the beard contest and during the Yates City Quasquicentennial, he won the prize for the whitest beard. He was a member of the Yates City Masonic Lodge # 448, AF & AM of Yates City, Illinois since 1954 and served as Worshipful Master in 1960 and 1991; Eureka Chapter #98, Royal Arch Masons since 1954 and served as Excellent High Priest in 1966 and Grand Chaplain in 2001; Illinois Council #1, Cryptic Masons since 1965 and served as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1969 and 2004 and was named Cryptic Mason of the Year in 2006; Galesburg Commandry #8, Knights Templar since 1969 and served as Eminent Commander in 1971, 1983 and 1995; Central Illinois York Rite College #42 since 1975 and served as governor in 1993-1994 and received the Order of the Purple Cross in 1981; Red Cross of Constantine since 1988 and served as Sovereign in 2002; Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite since 1976; Shrine Allied Masonic Degrees since 1988; Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priest since 2001; Yates City Chapter #256, Order of the Eastern Star since 1955 and served as Worthy Patron in 1963, 1972, 1974, 1987, 1991, 1995, 2001, 2004 and 2009, served as Grand Representative of Puerto Rico in Illinois in 2001. He loved M&M's and enjoyed making latchhook rugs and making designs on the computer.
Cremation Rites will be accorded. Memorial Services will be held on Monday, November 2, 2009 at 10:30 A.M. at the Faith United Presbyterian Church in Yates City, Illinois. Rev, Mary Babcock officiating. Visitation will be held on Sunday, November 1, 2009 from 4:00 until 7:00 P.M. at the Hurd Hendricks Funeral Home and Crematory in Knoxville, Illinois with Masonic Services at 7:00 P.M. by the Yates City Lodge #448 of Yates City, Illinois. Inurnment will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the Faith United Presbyterian Church in Yates City, Illinois.
On-line condolences may be made at www.hurd-hendricksfuneralhome.com