Arthur B. DeRousse, 97, of Swansea, Ill., born May 31, 1919, in Kaskaskia, Ill., passed away Aug. 4, 2016, at Rosewood Care Center in Swansea, Ill.
He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and uncle who will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Arthur worked for a short time at Glen L. Martin Aircraft Co. in Baltimore, Md., prior to starting a career in 1941 with McDonnell Aircraft Co. in St. Louis, Mo., as the 475th person to be hired by this up and coming company. He served from 1943-1945 in the U.S. Army Air Corps in WWII as an aerial gunner in a B-24 bomber in the China, Burma, India Theatre. During his years of service, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Seven stars for the seven different combat areas, the US. Presidential Citation, the Chinese War Memorial Medal and a Heart Medal present by the Chinese Air Force. Following an honorable discharge from the service, he returned to McDonnell Aircraft. After a distinguished career there, which in 1967 became the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Co., he retired in 1985 as director of operations at the Tulsa, Okla., plant. He was a life member and former commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3944 in Overland, Mo., past member of the Swansea, Ill., Chamber of Commerce, past member of the Swansea Lions Club and charter member of the American Legion Post 2007, Dept. of Illinois, in Swansea. While in the Swansea Chamber of Commerce, he served as a strategic member on the Light Rail Committee responsible for successfully getting the light rail into St. Clair County, IL.
Lovingly known as "Curley", he married Irma Theresa Roth of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., in 1942 who preceded him in death after 33 years of marriage in 1975. His second wife of 30 years, Olive Webster of Swansea, Ill., passed on April 25, 2015. Also preceding him in death were his parents, Minnie and Bernard DeRousse; brothers, Leo L. Buatte, James M. Buatte, and Donald C. DeRousse; and sisters, Ada A. Pitt and Lorene M. Kriete.
Surviving are his daughters, Jeanne (Charlie) Simpson of St. Charles, Mo., Patricia (Mike) Moritz of Boone, N.C., June (Kevin) Downer of San Antonio, Texas, and Arlene (Dave) Schwab of Columbia. Mo.; grandchildren, Tim J. Vierling and Scott Vierling of St. Charles, Mo., Tyler Schwab, Daniel Schwab and Kayla Schwab of Columbia, Mo.; great-grandchildren, Tim Vierling, Brionna Holman, Jakob and Tayler Wilkerson of St. Charles, Mo., and Harper and Brooklyn Schwab of Columbia, Mo.; brother, Robert DeRousse of Belleville, Ill.; sisters, Mae Klein of Perryville, Mo., and Georgia Junghans of St. Louis, Mo.; his stepchildren, Sandra Wold of Leesburg, Fla., Lana Kempf of Lakeland, Fla., Deanna Hilbert of Swansea, Ill., Vernon Webster of Belleville, Ill., and Craig Webster of Swansea, Ill.; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorial donations be made to the VFW. Condolences may also be expressed online at www.baslerfuneralhome.com
Funeral: A rosary service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at the Church of Ste. Genevieve with Rev. Gregory Klump officiating. Interment will follow at Valle Spring Cemetery, Ste. Genevieve, Mo. Military honors will be performed by VFW Post 2210.
BASLER FUNERAL HOME, Ste. Genevieve, Mo.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Aug. 6, 2016