Rev. Duane L. Stidham
April 14, 1936 – January 31, 2019
Rev. Duane L. Stidham, aged 82 of Fremont, Indiana, passed away on Thursday, January 31, 2019 at his home.
Pastor Stidham was born on April 14, 1936 in Spartanburg, Indiana to T. Ford and Vivian A. (Mikesell) Stidham. He grew up on the family farm, surrounded by a large extended family and friends. He attended school at Spartanburg High School, home of the Tomcats. Upon graduation, Duane worked for a year before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. After discharge, Duane was called to the ministry. He attended Manchester College, where he met his future wife when she stole his seat at a Methodist Youth gathering on his first day at college. After dating for four years, they were married in 1962. Duane and Fran then moved to Dallas, TX, where he spent three years at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. The couple then returned to Indiana to serve in the North Indiana United Methodist Conference and start a family. Over the years, Duane served at churches in Hanfield, Wabash, South Bend, Highland, Geneva, Lapel, Munster, and Elwood. Upon retiring in 1999, Duane waited six weeks before becoming as a supply pastor. He then accepted the pastorate in Orland and Nevada Mills, where he continued to serve for fourteen years until his final retirement. Besides his numerous duties as a church pastor, Duane was also very involved in the church softball and bowling leagues, sponsored the youth group at his churches, coached local youth sports, and attended every sporting event that he could fit into his schedule. He greatly enjoyed golfing, spending time with his family and reading.
In 1991, Duane realized his long-held dream to build a home on the land that he and Fran had purchased in 1974. They lived at Walnut Hill for twenty-five years, spending their days gardening and involved in their local community. They cared for numerous pets, and were known for spoiling their pet dogs terribly. He was devoted to his grandchildren, leaving them with warm memories of sledding, Grandpa pushing them on the swing he hung for them, and “helping” him build fires for hot dog roasts.
When Fran was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2012, Duane spent his days caring for her and making it possible for her to live at home as long as possible. Once she moved to a nursing home, Duane’s daily schedule revolved around spending time with her. Duane was a loving son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather. Fran’s death in October, 2018, took the light out of his world, and he never recovered from her loss. They had been married for fifty-six years.
Duane is survived by his daughter, Sheryl (Mark Gebert) Stidham-Gebert, three grandchildren (Nathan, Katrina, and Sofia), his two sisters (Melba Fleck and Cheryl Young). He was preceded in death by his wife (Fran), his son (Marc Duane), his brother (Mark), and his parents as well as brothers-in-low (Henry and Bob). Special thanks from Duane’s family to his dear friends at The Great Wall Buffet in Angola (especially Peggy), his neighbors (Julie and Jim), and his caregiver (Heidi).
Funeral Services for Rev. Stidham will be held at 11 am Saturday, February 9, 2019 at Beams Funeral Home, Fremont, Indiana, with Pastor Craig Johnson officiating. Military Honors will also be conducted by members of the Fremont American Cassel Post # 257 Color Guard.
Calling hours will be held prior to the services from 9 am until 11 am Saturday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Graveside Committal Services will follow that day in Spartanburg, Indiana, at the Spartanburg Cemetery, Randolph County, Indiana at 4 pm Saturday, February 9, 2019, with Pastor Ray Ellis officiating.
Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County
P.O. Box 204, Angola, Indiana 46703
- Alzheimer's Association
- Visitation Saturday, February 9, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, February 9, 2019
- Gravside Service Saturday, February 9, 2019
Rev. Duane L. Stidham
Mary Jane Miller
February 5, 2019
My brother Joe Peach said it perfectly. I also want to add how important the Stidham family were to us especially after our Mother’s death. Duane was a wonderful person. Many fond memories & Duane was great example to look up to. Many prayers to the Stidham family. Mary Jane(Peach) Miller. PS: So sorry I cannot be with the family but all will be in my thoughts.
February 5, 2019
To Sheryl & family, Melba & Cheryl
When a " great" story has been told...
we keep It alive in our hearts.
With sincere sympathy,
February 5, 2019
Duane was in my husband's (Eddie Kenworthy) class at Spartanburg High School and they played all sports together. Duane was a very talented athlete along with being a very good friend. I was so happy to hear that Duane went into the ministry and when my husband passed away, Duane was kind enough to speak at his funeral in 1987. I couldn't imagine the grief that Duane & Fran went through losing their son until I lost mine. I have many good memories of knowing Duane and his family. We all grew up in the Spartanburg Community and enjoyed time together. Thoughts and Prayers to the family.
February 4, 2019
Melba was my college roomie so we met Duane and I always found him to be a genuine person. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who mourn his passing--especially Melba.
February 2, 2019
THE STIDHAM FAMILY PLAYED A BIG ROLE WITH US, ESPECIALLY AFTER MOTHER DIED! DUANE PERSONALLY, SORT OF TOOK ME UNDER “HIS WING” AND HE BECAME A VERY COMFORTING, ENCOURAGING, SUPPORTING MENTOR FOR ME. HE SPENT ALOT TIME TEACHING ME AND COACHING ME TECHNIQUES WITH BOTH BASEBALL AND BASKETBALL AND ALWAYS MOTIVATED ME TO DO BETTER AND “TO PRACTICE”! I ALWAYS LOOKED TO HIM AS A MENTOR, “A STABALIZER” AGAINST THE HARDSHIPS ( AND ALL OF THE CONFUSION THAT TOM ALWAYS CREATED) AFTER MOTHER DIED AS DID VIVIAN ALSO. I AM NOT SURE WHAT MY LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE FIRST FEW YEARS AFTER MOTHER DIED HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE STIDHAMS AND ESPECIALLY DUANE!