George A. Stapleton passed away at 9AM on Tuesday June 1, 2021 at the Marion Veterans Administration Community Living Center with his wife, Helen and son Marvin at his bedside. Mr. Stapleton had been in declining health in recent months and was admitted to the CLC five days prior to his passing.
George Archie Stapleton was born June 10, 1929 to Lewis and Chloe Stapleton of rural Simpson, Illinois. He married Helen Homer in March 21, 1958 in Marion, Illinois and they recently celebrated 63 years of love and commitment to each other.
Survivors include wife Helen; son Marv (wife Lisa); one granddaughter Shannon Nicole (husband Larry Janke) of McHenry, Illinois; three great-grandchildren (Gabby 22, Luke 11, and Lily 7) and one sister Laura LaHanes of Hebron, Indiana. Mr. Stapleton was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis (1954) and Chloe (1977); seven brothers (L.C., Russell, Bob, Bill, Harvey, Carl, and Dennis); six sisters (Adelia, Vida, Geneva, Dorothy, Mary, and a twin sister at birth).
George Stapleton was a member of Marion First Baptist Church. He professed his faith in Christ at age 14 in October, 1943 at Cedar Grove Social Brethren Church in Pope County Illinois. His faith resulted in leading and teaching numerous Sunday School classes (adults and children), and serving as deacon at Cana Baptist Church, Creal Springs, Illinois and Marion Third Baptist Church.
Mr. Stapleton served as a medic in the Korean War (7th Division, 3rd Battalion, 17th Medical Company, 3rd Platoon) and was awarded the bronze star for meritorious service rescuing the wounded under fire.
George Stapleton’s love of the outdoors extended from his boyhood all the way past his retirement in 1990 after a 30+ year career with the U.S. Government. At the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, he supported both the wildlife and farm management functions. His weekly flights to collect sample population data were critical key components in managing the Canada Goose population in the United States Mississippi Flyway. In 1980, amidst two summer windstorms, Mr. Stapleton was instrumental in identifying, monitoring, and protecting endangered bald eagles at the refuge, receiving national and local media coverage. His love of the outdoors was clearly demonstrated in his two most-loved hobbies of hunting and horseback riding. George and his English Setters appeared on many Wildlife Refuge brochures in the 1970s and beyond.
Funeral services will be at 1PM on Friday June 4, 2021 at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home 800 N. Market in Marion with Dr. Bob Dickerson officiating. Burial will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery. Military rites will be presented by members of the Marion VFW Post #1301, American Legion Post #147 and National Guard Flag Detail Unit. Visitation will be from 11 AM until the time of service at the funeral home.
For those who prefer memorials may be made to Marion First Baptist Church. Envelopes will be available and accepted at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home, PO Box 39, Marion, Illinois 62959.