Colonel Augustus Francis Stuhldreher, III|
Augustus Francis "Gus" Stuhldreher, after having received the consolation of the sacraments, was called home by The Lord from this world on May 31, 2014.
He was a native of Barberton, Ohio, born on June 30, 1921. He moved to Akron, Ohio in 1935 where he spent most of his adult life prior to moving to Laurel Lake Retirement Community in Hudson, Ohio in 1997. Gus attended St. Augustine School in Barberton and St. Vincent High School in Akron, prior to enrollment at the University of Notre Dame in September 1939, where he majored in Accounting, and was an active member of the university community, playing clarinet in the University Marching Band, and participating in the Commerce Club and Fencing Team. His time at Notre Dame was cut short due to the Second World War. He left Notre Dame at the end of his third year to participate in a special program for the U.S. Army at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He majored in Industrial Administration (IA) receiving his IA degree from Harvard in May 1943. He was granted a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Harvard in February 1947 and his LLB ("Legum Baccalaureus") Law Degree from Harvard Law School in June 1949.
Gus said he reluctantly left Notre Dame when he was given the chance to attend Harvard Business School. But for Gus, his time at Notre Dame was embedded in his soul. He always said that not getting his degree from Notre Dame was one of his life's biggest regrets. So after family members and Mary Tapman, Spiritual Coordinator at Laurel Lake, petitioned the University of Notre Dame, the University awarded Gus with an honorary Bachelor's Degree in Commerce in a graduation ceremony held in his honor at Laurel Lake Community Center as part of his 90th birthday celebration. It was a dream fulfilled for him.
He served in the Army on active duty from April 1943 through June 1946, and then in the U.S. Army Reserve until July 1976, rising to the rank of Colonel. He was awarded the Legion of Merit among other prestigious awards.
From July to November 1944 he went through Quartermaster OCS at Camp Lee, Virginia, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. During the period from December 1944 through April 1945 he prepared climatological maps and compiled climate field data at Washington, D.C. and at the Climate Research Laboratory in Lawrence, Massachusetts for the Military Planning Division of the Quartermaster General's Office. During May and June 1945 he was stationed overseas, and from July 1945 to May 1946 was assigned as supply and procurement officer for the Department Exchange Office in Headquarters, Alaska Department of the U.S. Army.
As a reserve officer, he graduated in 1957 from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, a graduate school for U.S. armed forces and foreign military leaders, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Recognizing his extraordinary education and experience, the U.S. Army Reserves nominated Gus to be Commander of the U.S. Army Reserve School in Cleveland where he spent the next four decades educating the next generation of leaders. He was "Army Proud" to the end.
Gus spent nearly 31 years working in Akron for Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in various management positions before retiring in April 1980.
He had lived his Catholic faith by sharing his time, talent and treasure in the service of the Lord. He served on the Board of St. Edward's. He had been actively involved as a member of St. Sebastian Parish, Akron, St. Hilary Parish, Fairlawn, St. Mary, Hudson, and in his later years at Mother of Sorrows Parish, Peninsula, where he often served as lector at the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass. He was a 3rd Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, #10936 Council, Hudson-Stow.
Gus was married to the one true love of his life, Eleanor Marie (neé Oberlin) Stuhldreher, and enjoyed more than 61 happy years of marriage with her. He always touchingly described the day in 1943 when he proposed in the Log Chapel to the girl who would become his wife. It was in his third year at Notre Dame, before his junior prom:
"The two of us went down to the log chapel on campus, we kneeled at the communion rail, I took her hand and put the ring on her finger." After a slightly dramatic pause, he would say, "She didn't take it off, so I presumed we were engaged and, ever since that day, every day of my life, I have been thanking God for that wonderful lady." Gus is now re-united with his bride of more than 61 years in Heaven.
He is also survived by his five children, Augustus IV (married to Aleda), Regina, Justin (married to Mary K), Christopher, and Gregory; two grandsons, Peter (married to Sarah), and Scott); seven granddaughters, Heather, Heidi (married to John Polidiri), Angela (married to Brian Arnold), Katie (married to Chris Barnes), Amelia, Jennifer and Alma; three great-grandsons (Rory, Asher Augustus and Harry "Ryan"); three great-granddaughters (Julia, Grace and Faith). In addition, Gus always considered the French exchange student who lived with the Stuhldreher family her senior year in high school, Solange Coupleux (married to Bernard Casiez), as his "French daughter," and an important part of our family.
He was truly a wonderful and faithful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. To everyone who knew him, his faith always came first, but he lived his faith in how he always treated others with kindness, respect and generosity. He was also a strong believer in the value of education and instilled a great respect for knowledge and learning in his children and grandchildren, whom he constantly supported in their schooling and careers. He always told everyone in the family to get as much education as you can, as that is the one thing that no one can take away from you. He took his own advice as he never stopped learning, being an avid reader and educating himself on all manner of topics. He participated in many discussion groups at Laurel Lake.
He used to tell everyone that he may seem like a "cranky, crabby, crusty, cantankerous, curmudgeon", but underneath that tough exterior everyone knew him as an "S.O.B." which stood for "Sweet Ol' Boy." He will be sorely missed by everyone. Young and old alike have been given an example of how to live life fully now and forever by a genuine love of God, family and country. We have been blessed to have been inspired by a true Catholic Gentleman. Now Gus belongs to the ages. Requiem in pacem dear Gus.
Family and friends may call on Thursday, June 5th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Ciriello & Carr Funeral Home, 39 S. Miller Rd., FAIRLAWN, OH 44333 to pay their respects. The visitation will continue from 10:30 to 12:30 on Friday, June 6th, at Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, 6034 South Locust Street, Peninsula, Ohio 44264, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 12:30. Burial with military honors will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, 100 E. Waterloo Rd., Akron, OH 44319.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to The Laurel Lake Foundation, 200 Laurel Lake Dr., Hudson, OH 44236 or to Gus' parish, Mother of Sorrows Church, 6034 South Locust Street, Peninsula, Ohio 44264.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal from June 4 to June 5, 2014