Fred Stemmley, 97, of Sun Lakes, Arizona, formerly of Orion, Illinois, passed away on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at his home in Arizona. A graveside funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at the Lutheran Cemetery in Orion, IL, where military honors will be accorded. Reverend Melva England will officiate. Visitation will be held from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, prior to the graveside service, at Vandemore Funeral Home & Crematory, Geneseo Chapel. Memorials may be left to the Fred Stemmley Memorial Fund.
Fred was born on January 14, 1921, the son of Lawrence and Jennie (Tebo) Stemmley, in Desoto, MO. He married Gladys Jean Soderberg on November 24, 1942. Jean preceded him in death on May 14, 2017. Fred was a master machinist with a 33 year civil service career with the Department of the Army at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama. His work there took him to many foreign countries, including Newfoundland, during WWII. Fred served a brief stint in the US Army and is a veteran of the Korean War. Following the war, he spent many years in the National Guard, obtaining the rank of Master Sergeant. While working at the Anniston Army Depot, Fred earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Jacksonville State College in Jacksonville, AL in 1961. During his career, he created many innovations and earned many awards, including the prestigious Presidential Award and the Presidential Improvement Award, for devising a new procedure that reduced government spending by $2,500,000 over a two year period. After retiring from the Depot, he worked for Hyundai Shipbuilding in Seoul, Korea, and then Taylor Engineering in Palm Springs, CA, where he worked on developing and installing Arcade Shooting Galleries all over the world. He enjoyed making lamps, golfing, reading, woodworking, fixing up his rental houses, and he was a Life Member of the Elks Club.
His memory will be cherished by his two daughters, Mary Tolbert of Reno, NV and Linda Harrison (Rick) of Montevallo, AL, four grandsons, Bryan, Jim, David, Nathan, and eight great-grandchildren, along with several nieces and nephews.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Jennie Stemmley, two brothers, Larry and Frank, and his wife of 74 years, Jean.