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Billy Don Staggs

Place of Service
Barnes and Rice Funeral Home

Time of Service
Friday, August 31, 2012 11:00AM

Place of Visitation
Barnes and Rice Funeral Home

Time of Visitation
Thursday, August 31, 2012
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Memory Garden Cemetery

Billy Don Staggs

Jul. 12, 1936 - Aug. 22, 2012

Indiana University basketball lost one of its biggest cheerleaders last week when Bill Staggs, 76, died while on vacation in Hawaii with his wife of 29 years, Arlene. 

A life long resident of Parke County, Staggs was famous for his ability to wear cream and crimson to any event, no matter how formal or relaxed, even sporting the IU logo on his back when playing Santa Claus for the children he loved so much.

Staggs was an avid sports fan who was the star athlete of the Bloomingdale High School Bulldogs class of 1954. After graduation, he married Wanda Kelsheimer in 1956 and settled down to raise a family, having one daughter, Debbie, and  one son, Brad. They were together until her death in 1981. 

If Staggs could not be a professional athlete for his St. Louis Cardinals, he would pass his knowledge of the game and, more importantly, sportsmanship to the next generation by becoming a Little League baseball coach, high school basketball referee, and 4-H Club leader in the 1970s. 

In 1983, Staggs found love again, marrying the Marshall, Ind., postmaster Arlene Kesner. Together, the two would fulfill his dreams of travel, becoming regulars in his favorite state of Hawaii. 

Even in retirement, Staggs' energy would not be quelled. He spent 18 years delivering meals to the elderly for the Nutrition Center in Rockville and working with his sheep on the farm in Marshall, his other great passion. 

He will be missed by those who love him.  Bill is survived by his wife, Arlene; daughter, Debbie Scott and her husband Andy; son, Brad Staggs and his wife Angela;  step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews including 2 special boys, Draigh and Alex Miller.  He was proceeded in death by his parents William and Nola Staggs, sisters Betty Garrard, Myrtle Cuvelier, Patricia Staggs and Venita Lewis, brother James Sowers.

Visitation will be Thursday, August 30, 2012 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Barnes and Rice Funeral Home in Rockville, Indiana.  Funeral Services will be Friday, August 31, 2012 at 11:00 AM at the Funeral Home with Reverend Bill Dawson officiating, burial will follow at Memory Garden Cemetery in Rockville.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Marshall Baptist Church, PO Box 178, Marshall, IN 47859

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Condolences  [PDF]

  • Millynha
    Sep. 29, 2012

    I would choose funreals over a wedding.  Weddings are a joyous occastion and also very stressful. From that point on the couple will face many things, some good, some bad.  If a funeral all of those things are over and HEAVEN is what's to come.  I attended the funeral of a good friend Sally Piper just a week or so ago and it was a celebration not only of her life but of the fact she was with her Father in Heaven and not suffering anymore.  While weddings are fun I think I would have to choose a funeral.  This was a great post and interesting to see everyones opinions.  Have a Great Day!Stach

  • Lanny Harmon
    Sep. 6, 2012

    I was just one of an entire small town of boys that Coach Staggs helped raise in the 1960's. Whether coaching our LIttle League team, taking us to auto races or major league games, taking us swimming to celebrate a big win, or just spending time with us playing, he was living proof that time spent with a child is never wasted as he had a tremendously positive impact on dozens of us.  Luckily, I had a nice phone visit with him only a few months ago and he was glad to hear my daughter saw IU beat Kentucky AND Ohio State in person! Condolences to all. He was a special man.It saddened me to miss his calling and funeral to keep a commitment to try to help two young boys in Court, but I know he is happy with my decision.

  • Doug Heiwig
    Aug. 30, 2012

    I am sinceely sorry for your loss.  I know that no words fill the void and only time helps with the healing process.  You will be in my thoughts and prayers. 

  • Sallie Wills
    Aug. 30, 2012

    Losing a parent at any age is a life-altering event. After my mother died, my brother exclaimed, "We're orphans!" It was a daunting thought in that a parent would no longer be there for counsel or sharing. I hope you were able to share much with your dad while he was alive and be comforted by those memories. 

  • Phyllis Renzetti
    Aug. 29, 2012

    Arlene, We are sorry to hear of your loss. Jeanne is in Washington. Her step-brother is not doing well, but she did get your message  and called me.

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