Local Army Veteran Robert Lester Reuss, 90, of Sycamore, Illinois passed away October 1, in Sandwich while living at the Willow Crest Nursing Pavilion. Last Friday the Funeral Home Director put out the word that Robert had no immediate family and that no one would be at his service. Robert had served in the US Army during the Korean War.
DeKalb County Online posted this story on Saturday and was seeking support from DeKalb County citizens, Veterans, First Responders and concerned people to attend the funeral services of this US Army Veteran. No veteran can be buried without comrades at his side.
Visitation was to start at 11:00 AM and before the doors open about 25 people had already arrived. The service was to start at 11:30 AM and by the beginning of the service the Funeral Director had to sit out additional chairs. Greeting visitors at the door were members of the “Illinois Patriot Guard”, each holding American Flags. This is a group of both Veterans and civilians that ride motorcycles and perform lead vehicle escort for veterans and first responders.
As the audience grew, people from all walks of life filled the room. There were Police officers from Sycamore and DeKalb. Also in the audience were members of the Sycamore Fire Department. There were military veterans from Genoa, Sycamore, Warrenville and DeKalb. Part of the military veteran groups were members of the Sycamore and Dekalb American Legion. Also a local US Army Sgt. home on leave attended to pay his respects to a fellow Army veteran.
In the audience was retired DeKalb businessman George Stratton. “I am here to pay respect” said Stratton. Local DeKalb Business owner Paul Meyer of CSR Bobcat came to say goodbye having known Robert Reuss years ago. Local social worker Morgan Wolfe arrived and placed a small bouquet of flowers on a table next to the coffin. “Bringing flowers is the right thing to do”, said Ms. Wolfe.
Funeral Home Director Steve Burnette was pleasantly surprised at the turnout of almost 150 people for Robert Lester Reuss funeral. “What I thought would maybe be a couple of people turned out to be a special send-off for Mr. Reuss.” said Burnette. “Even more exciting was to see the number of media people in attendance, The Daily Chronicle, WLBK, Channel 23-TV-Rockford, and DeKalb County Online.”
The procession from the Funeral Home was extremely impressive with Sycamore Police and Fire Vehicles, 12 motorcycles “Patriot Guard” riders, and about 30 cars. The hearse was met by two US Army military officers, full Honor Guard from the Sycamore Amerian Legions and a Bugler from the DeKalb American Legion. The “Patriot Guard” members served as paul-bearers for Veteran Peuss. Also at the gravesite were members from the NIU ROTC military staff. The folding of the flag from atop of the coffin, three vollies and the playing of Taps was a fitting send-off to this American Veteran who had served is country.
Robert Lester Reuss was the son of Walter and Luella (Kunze) Reuss, Robert was born on December 8, 1928, in Marissa, Illinois. Robert worked for Falls Products in Genoa. Preceding him in death are his parents; sister, Peggy Hageman; and brother, William Reuss. Rest in Peace Robert, you are in God’s Army now.