“Bill” Kuhns of Chesterton, IN passed away peacefully on the evening of
December 7, 2020 in the comfort of his home and surrounded by his loving
family. Bill was 100 years old.
Bill was born near
Casey, IL, into a farm family that endured many difficult years during his
childhood. The family’s economic challenges forced him to drop out of high
school in 1936 to help provide for his family. He ventured out on his own at
age 18 and supported himself with a variety of odd jobs, primarily as a farm
hand during the Depression years.
In 1938 Bill met
Dorothy M. Ross, the love of his life. Their relationship developed as WWII
approached, and they decided to postpone marriage until he returned home
from WWII. Bill joined the Army in 1942, trained in Utah and shipped out to
the European Theater. Shortly after arriving in England he was assigned to
the Army Air Corps, forerunner of today’s Air Force. Bill saw considerable
action and flew 17 missions on B-17 bombers over various targets in Germany,
primarily as a tail gunner. He was also heavily involved in the D-Day
invasion and in the Battle of the Bulge.
Bill returned home
after the war and married Dorothy in 1946. They moved to Gary, IN and began
their family in their new home. They moved with their three sons to
Chesterton in early 1955, settling into a home on 12th street. Bill was a
member of the Porter VFW Post, and served as Post Commander from 1958 to
1960. Later in life Bill was active in the Masonic Lodge.
Bill worked at U.S.
Steel in Gary, IN, for 36 years, retiring in 1982. He and Dorothy then
headed to Florida and spent over 20 years enjoying retirement life there.
They loved driving all over the country, and were fortunate to be able to
visit nearly all 50 states while venturing down every interesting-looking
road they came across. They relocated back to Chesterton in 2006 to be
closer to family as their ages advanced. He and Dorothy were inseparable
until her passing in 2017.
In his later years
Bill remained informed, humorous and argumentative. Although frequently
wrong about things, Bill was seldom in doubt. He was very proud of the Quilt
of Valor that was presented to him on his 98th birthday by the Chesterton
United Methodist Church and the ale “The Tailgunner” created in recognition
of his service by the Chesterton Brewery.
Bill is survived by
his sons and their wives, Jerry and Betty Ward of Chesterton, IN; Phillip
and Debra Kuhns of Wheatfield, IN, and Donald and Marion Kuhns of Manhattan
include grandchildren, Angela Bernotus; Deborah (David) Marshall; Jacqueline
Kuhns; Kimberly Kuhns; Michael Kuhns; Rhonda Miller; Rob Drlich; Stan
(Linda) Kuhns, and Toby Kuhns. Great-grandchildren include: Alicia Marshall;
Alyana Drlich; Chelsea Kuhns; Collin Miller; Dean (Jessica) Jackson; Jake
Kuhns; Jessica (John) Stalhandske; Joshua Drlich; Kayla Miller; Landon and
Payton Bernotus; great-great grandchildren Sara Yoder and Finnley Jackson.
He was preceded in
death by his parents; wife; brother James Crouch; sisters Helen Rushing and
Betty Lanter, and a great-grandson, Daniel.
services will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Friday, December 11, 2020 at
Markwell Funeral Home with Pastor Grady Jones officiating. Burial will
follow in Casey Cumberland Cemetery, Casey, IL, with graveside military
rites by Casey VFW and Martinsville American Legion.
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obituary, send a condolence message, light a candle or post photos, visit
Markwell Funeral Home of Casey, IL is in charge of the arrangements.