Claude “Smokey” Stokdyk, 84, of Peru, IN, passed away at 2:48 PM, Thursday, July 12, 2012 at St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, IN. He was born in Cedar Grove, WI on January 26, 1928 the son of Harold and Sadie Weinrich Stokdyk. He married Grace Ohlendorf in Kirksville, MO on March 27, 1954 and she preceded him in death on September 11, 1997.
Smokey was a graduate of Port Washington High School in Port Washington, WI and served in the US Military for more than 23 years, retiring from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant in 1973.
His military decorations include the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the Air Force Medal, the Air Force Longevity Service Award, the Viet Nam Service Award and the Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Medal. Returning to civilian life he was an employee of Miami Beverage Company and served as secretary of the Peru Elks Lodge for many years.
Smokey was an avid Green Bay Packers fan and participated in the traveling bowling leagues of the Elks, Moose and VFW Lodges. He was manager of the Peru Merchants Softball team in the 1970’s. Smokey was a familiar face in Peru as he walked the town for 10 miles every day, while reading the newspaper.
He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, a life member and former Q uartermaster of Miami County VFW Post 2067, a member of the Larimore, ND American Legion, Peru Elks Lodge, Literary Aide and the Peru Maennerchor.
He is survived by his children Diane Hahn and her husband Michael of Riverside, CA, Linda Stokdyk of Phoenix, AZ, Kathy McAteer and her husband Gene of Henderson, NV, Terry LeVier and his wife Alisha of Peru, Gary Dowe and his wife Val of Grafton, WI; a daughter-in-law Cindy Stokdyk of Delphi, IN; 22 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Grace, a son Bruce Stokdyk, a brother Hugo Stokdyk and a sister Jane Schulze.
A service celebrating the life of Claude “Smokey” Stokdyk will be held at 10:00 AM, Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at the First Presbyterian Church, 101 West Main Street, Peru with Rev. Stephen Quinlan officiating. Burial will be in the Marion National Cemetery, Marion, IN. With graveside services provided by the Miami County Military Rites Unit. Family and friends will gather 3:00-5:00 PM and 7:00-9:00 PM, Tuesday at the Eikenberry-Eddy Funeral Home, 84 West Main Street, Peru.
Memorial donation may be made through the funeral home to the First Presbyterian Church.