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Friday, June 6th, 2014
Dwight L. Custer
Dwight L. "Hoolie" Custer, 100, of Rockford, died at 5:20 p.m. June 1, 2014, at the Laurels of Shane Hill, where he had been a resident for a short time.
He was born May 22, 1914, in Rockford, to Franklin Perry and Della Mae Shock Custer.
Surviving are his sister-in-law, Jayne E. Custer; nephews, Tom and Steve Custer and Jack Carter; nieces, Cindy Minnich, Cheryl Arnold, Sandra Brown, Paula Carter Grosz and Kathleen Patterson Hommel; and their families.
Preceding him in death were two brothers, James O. "Jim" and Donald "Dutch" Custer, and three sisters, Pauline Custer, Irene Carter and Loraine Patterson.
He graduated from Rockford High School and excelled in sports, where he played football, basketball, baseball and boxing. Toward the end of the Great Depression, he served two tours of duty with the Civilian Conservation Corp, traveling as far as California. He enjoyed his first tour so much that he illegally signed up for his second tour under his brother Dutch's name. He served five years as a staff seargent in the 37th Infantry Division, Medical Corp during World War II. After returning from his duties in the South Pacific, he worked several years as a custodian at Rockford High School and later worked for the Rockford Post Office for 25 years, retiring in 1972.
He was an avid golfer, playing up until a few years ago at Deerfield Golf Course, where he was honored with a lifetime membership. He was an avid reader, historian and storyteller and wrote/recited poetry his entire life. He also enjoyed and excelled as a bowler and hunter/fisherman, including many trips into northern Michigan, Pennsylvania and Canada. An avid traveler, he covered most of the United States many times. Accompanying him on many of his trips were his mother, nephews and nieces. He wintered in Texas and Florida, spending much of his time mastering the local fishing and culture, while welcoming and entertaining many of his family members and friends from back home.
At his 100th birthday party, with family and close friends gathered around him, he recited a short poem about a young baby born 100 years ago in Rockford and what a good life he had. He then went on to talk about his philosophy of how to live a good life - to work hard, live cleanly and to have close personal control. He always had a friendly smile and hello for everyone he met.
Honoring his request, there will be no service.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Rockford Carnegie Library or to the donor's choice.
Condolences may be sent to ketchamripley.com.
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