HUDSON - Arthur S. Kuchan, age 91, of Hudson, Ill., passed away at 12:55 a.m. on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at Proctor Hospital in Peoria, Ill.
His funeral service will be 11:30 a.m., Saturday at the Beck Memorial Home, 209 E. Grove St., Bloomington, Ill. The Rev. Danny McCubbins will officiate. Entombment will be at Park Hill Cemetery Mausoleum in Bloomington, Ill., with military rites accorded by the Bloomington-Normal American Legion Honor Guard.
Visitation will be 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at the Beck Memorial Home in Bloomington, Ill., with a Masonic service at 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Meadows Mennonite Retirement Home, where Mrs. Kuchan resided for three years, or the First Baptist Church in Bloomington, Ill. Art was born on Aug. 17, 1921, in Matherville, Ill., to Anton and Caroline Chebohar Kuchan. He married Carrie Mae "Kay" Irwin of Tallula, Ill., on June 30, 1951.
She preceded him in death on Sept. 28, 2004. He was also preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Judy (Dale) Crawford and Francis (Edward) Akin.
Art is survived by one son, Brad Kuchan of Minonk, Ill., and nephews, Mike Akin of Springfield, Ill., and Gary Crawford of Edwards, Ill.
Art graduated from Peoria Manual High School in 1940 and attended Bradley University before joining the Army Air Corps in 1941. His accomplishments were many, but he was particularly proud of his 5 1/2 years in the United States Air Force during WWII, having been promoted through the ranks from master sergeant to warrant officer. He was the recipient of three Battle Stars, one in the anti-submarine campaign in the North Atlantic and two in the Japanese Theatre of War in the South Pacific. Art learned to fly in the Air Force, but actually received his pilot's license in the private sector.
After his military service, Art owned and rebuilt a North American T28 and North American G Model T6G, both military aircraft, and a Cessna 150. He owned a 1963 Studebaker Avanti that he completely restored and enjoyed discussing and demonstrating its fine points with anyone interested enough to show a little curiosity.
Art was a zone manager for International Harvester prior to purchasing a partnership with Earl Kaufman in the International Harvester dealership in Hudson, Ill., in 1951. He retired in 1977.
Art was a generous man, often coming to the aid of those who fell on hard times or whose family needed a helping hand. He was particularly fond of his employees at the Hudson International Harvester Dealership.
Art loved farmland and took great pride in the appearance of his farms. He was a member of the Illinois and Iowa Farm Bureau, lifetime member of the Masonic Lodge Consistory achieving the 32nd Masonic Degree, a member of the Bloomington Mohammed Shrine, the VFW and Elks. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Bloomington.
He was a loving husband. He and his wife of 53 years enjoyed traveling at home and abroad, attending air shows and spending winters in their condo in Arizona. Art was an eternal optimist who considered himself a very fortunate man. He loved life. He will be missed by his many friends, who enjoyed his sincerity as well as his humor.