Donald Edward “Buck” Shoultz, lifelong resident of Delavan, Illinois, passed away peacefully on November 17, 2021. He was born November 24, 1929 to Marie Shivlar and Julius “Shorty” Shoultz.
Buck Shoultz is survived by his wife of 71 years, Dona (Zorn) Shoultz, and their three children: Jackie (Jack) Steger, Pekin, IL, Julie (Dan) Knight, East Peoria, IL, and Donn “Randy” (Claudia) Shoultz, Roaring Gap, NC. He also is survived by eight grandchildren: Bryan (Megan) Steger, Pekin, IL, Beth (Ryne) Ludke, Wheaton, IL, Abbey (Josh) Tilstra, Pekin, IL, Amy (Creston) Wren, Chicago, IL, Jason (Jill) Lusher, New Braunfels, TX, Jeremy (Andrea) Lusher, Chillicothe, IL, Dawn (Ryan) Opel, Haslett, MI, and Mark Shoultz, Anthem, AZ and ten (soon to be thirteen) great-grandchildren. Janet Shoultz, sister-in-law, also survives. His parents and his brother, Robert Shoultz, preceded him in death.
Buck Shoultz was defined by the love of his family, his dedication to his country, and perfection in his work and many hobbies.
Buck met Dona Zorn at Delavan High School where they began their life together. They graduated in the class of 1947 and married on April 8, 1950. A new home on Elm Street awaited the newlyweds. A consummate planner, Buck built the small, cinderblock starter home in advance of their marriage.
Not long after setting up house, Buck’s Army National Guard unit was called to active duty in Korea in 1952. Eight months pregnant, Dona accompanied Buck while he attended officer candidate training at Ft. Benning, GA, where they added a son to their family. Weeks later, 2nd Lieutenant Donald E. Shoultz shipped off to Korea where he earned the Combat Infantry Badge for his service. Dona returned to Delavan to await his return.
Buck was a home builder, but would take on projects of all sizes. He started out as a masonry contractor before moving into general contracting. During Delavan’s growth years, Buck and his crews built the bowling alley, both firehouses, the former Tazewell County National Bank, as well as many homes in the Heritage subdivision on the east side. He was known as a tireless worker during his 30-plus years as a contractor before opening a craft shop on Main Street next to the library where he built cabinets and perfected his skills as a wood carver.
When it came to his hobbies, Buck wouldn’t stop until he mastered his craft. Approaching retirement, he became a well-known and respected wood carver. The Pekin Daily Times featured an article on his accomplishments in 1990, with reporters coming to Delavan to interview him. Other carvers frequently sought Buck’s advice. Dona and Buck traveled the U.S. attending art shows, where his carvings of ducks and other wildlife often took top honors.
Buck will be forever missed by his wife and family, and his presence in the community will also be long remembered. He was a member of the American Legion and the Delavan Rotary where he served as a past president. He was an active member of the Delavan Restoration Society, receiving recognition for his contributions. He enjoyed the comradery of his golfing buddies during the years he played in a senior league at Pekin Parkview Golf Course.
Visitation is scheduled at Davis-Oswald Funeral Home in Delavan at 121 W. 3rd Street on Saturday, November 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., followed immediately by a funeral service at the same location. Memorials can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation or the charity of your choice.
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