William Stanley “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 farmhand 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 Beach, CA.
Other survivors 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.
Private funeral 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.
To view the full obituary, send a condolence message, light a candle or post photos, visit www.markwellfuneralhome.com. Markwell Funeral Home of Casey, IL is in charge of the arrangements.
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