John Cruikshank

john cruikshank

John Donald Cruikshank, 92, of rural Taylorville died Sunday, March 8, 2009, in Lubbock, Texas, while visiting his daughter.

He was born January 2, 1917, in Elgin, Oregon, the son of Benjamin and Ida Walton Cruikshank. He married Cleo B. DeVore on March 23, 1944, in East St. Louis. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout at 15 years old and graduated from East Side High School in East St. Louis with the Class of 1935. He was a member of both the football team and the wrestling team. His senior year of high school, he was awarded a "Good Citizenship Award" by his high school coach.

He enlisted as a volunteer in the United States Coast Guard on June 15, 1942. He enlisted as a Seaman First Class and was sent to New York for schooling on diesel engines. He was eventually promoted to a Chief Motor Machinist Mate. As a destroyer escort sailor, he did three trips on escort duty between the US and the Mediterranean Sea for over 400 freight and supply ships. In May of 1945, he went to the Pacific. He served in three major campaigns in which he was awarded medals and ribbons for the American Campaign, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign and the Atlantic Pacific Campaign. During World War II, he was on four of the five Philippine Islands. After the war ended, he received an honorable discharge on November 20, 1945. He spent 50 years moving houses in southern and central Illinois and Missouri. He first owned and operated Cruikshank House Moving with his brother and in 1970 purchased DeVore House Moving from his father-in-law. He was a charter member of Evangelical Free Church in Taylorville.

Surviving are his children: Ida (husband Mark) Wilson of Lubbock, TX, Rose (husband Gene) DuVall of O'Fallon, Nora (husband Paul) Swenson of Albany, GA, Jamye (husband David) Sims and Ben (wife Jeanne) Cruikshank, both of Taylorville; foster children: Rhonda (husband Paul) Ray of Springfield and Ronnie Caton of Kansas City, MO; grandchildren: Tres (wife Danna) Hess, Tanner (wife Christi) Hess, Jonathan Sims, Anna (husband Jeff) Hunter, Heather (husband Kevin) Braden, Heather (husband Steve) Schmidt, Jessica (husband Curt) Micenheimer, Jack, David and Will Cruikshank; step-grandchildren: Lisa (husband Mike) Hemann, Gregg DuVall, Karen (husband Rob) Simon, Karen (husband Web) Tallon, Bret (wife Cheryl) Swenson, Nick and James Wesley, Colton and Georgie Ray; great-grandchildren: Ty, Shay, Amanda and Jacob Hess, Luke, Bryce and Madison Braden, Kathryn and Ellianna Hunter; step-great-grandchildren: Melissa Hemann, Scott Simon and Caroline Swenson, Kayleigh Widdows, Breahna Lange; and siblings: Irene Kaufman of Fairview Heights and Flora Tauchert of Tennessee. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; three sisters; and one brother.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 13, in Evangelical Free Church, Taylorville, with Pastor Jim Wolfe officiating. Burial will be in Old Stonington Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in the church and for one hour prior to services Friday.

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