PARIS, IL —
Robert Earl Staley I, 78, of rural Paris, passed away at 9:19 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at his residence. He was retired after 32 years as a mathematics, drafting, and industrial arts teacher at Plaza Park Junior High School of Evansville, Ind., and Paris High School. He also worked throughout his life in grain and livestock farming, specializing in custom-baled hay. He was born Jan. 9, 1935, in Paris, the son of the late Claud Alexander and Helen “Eileen” (Cockcroft) Staley. He married Ruby O. Smock on July 22, 1954, at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Paris, and she survives.
Other survivors include a son, Robert E. (Amy) Staley II of Paris; three daughters, Dr. Debra Kay (Michael) Howe of Lowell, Ind., Linda Sue Staley of Evansville, and Cheri Lea (Scott) Gibson of Mount Pleasant, N.C.; a sister, Shirley Joan Moore of Millstadt, Ill.; 11 grandchildren, Stephen M. (Jennifer) Howe, Bryanne M. Howe, Daniel J. (Breanne) Fern, Kirsten Lorelei Fern, Lucas S. Gibson, Joshua (Lucy) Staley, Robert E. Staley III, Jonathan R. Staley, Olivia M. Staley, Jacob M. Staley, and Kylie E. Gess; four great-grandchildren, Addison C. Howe, Easton B. Howe, Zoey J. Fern, and Sara L. Staley; and several nieces and nephews. He also was preceded in death by three brothers-in-law, Gilbert Moore, Max Smock, and Charles Deem.
Mr. Staley’s life was marked by a lifelong commitment to education and an awareness of and devotion to the needs of others. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1955, and earned his master’s degree in Industrial Education from Indiana State University. He was a devoted member of New Providence Presbyterian Church, where he served in numerous capacities including Elder, Trustee, Sunday School Teacher and Superintendent, Cemetery Trustee, and “self-appointed Greeter.” He was a member and three-time Past Master of Stratton Lodge 408 Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, AASR Valley of Danville, American Legion Post 211, Edgar County Farm Bureau, and Town and Country Square Dance Club. He also had served his community as an Elbridge Township Trustee, a Trustee for Elbridge Township Cemeteries, a volunteer for Faith in Action of Edgar County, and as an Elbridge 4-H Leader for many years. He worked diligently to imbue in his family his commitment to education, ensuring that his wife and four children earned their college degrees. He was also a creative and talented craftsman, working in wood, metal, and stained glass. He loved all aspects of farming and the outdoors, especially operating and driving farm equipment, usually at a fast pace. He also especially enjoyed western films and reading.
For those who wish, memorials may be made to Edgar County Community Foundation to be used for a Vocational Facilities classroom in Bob’s name in the new Paris Cooperative High School.
Services celebrating his life will be conducted at 10 a.m. CST Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Elbridge Township with the Rev. Monte Reichenberg officiating. Burial will follow in New Providence Cemetery with military rites by American Legion Post 211 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3601. Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Templeton Funeral Home, 600 E. Court St., in Paris. Masonic rites will be conducted at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home, by Stratton Lodge 408 A.F. & A.M.