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  • Megann Horstead

Visitation, funeral service held in memory of Sycamore veteran who no longer has family


Sycamore resident Robert Lester Reuss no longer has family, but he did not have to worry about leaving this world alone.

“It’s pretty amazing pulling into the parking lot to see somebody, who didn’t have family, and everybody showing up to honor him for his service,” said Cindy Nicholls, a nurse for Journey Care Hospice. “It is pretty overwhelming to see them all outside. It’s well-deserved by him.”

A visitation and a funeral service were held Monday in memory of Reuss, 90, who was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War.

Morgan Wolfe, a social worker for Journey Care Hospice, said she had the pleasure of working with Reuss. She said that seeing the community turnout for the visitation and funeral service means a lot.

“This is his family, and it’s amazing to see the support from the community to celebrate him and honor him in his final moments,” she said.

After the program, a procession led those in attendance to Reuss’ burial site in Elmwood Cemetery where his body was laid to rest.

Among those participating in the program included the Patriot Guard Riders, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Warriors Watch Riders, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post, Sycamore Fire Department and Sycamore Police Department.

“I’m extremely proud of what they have done to honor him,” said Kelly Becker, a team manager for Journey Care Hospice. “I can’t stop beaming seeing all this honor guard, the motorcycles and the turnout that is here. It’s just so amazing. I am so proud of all that they did.”

Becker gave credit to the staff at the hospice center for doing their part to make sure the life of Reuss was remembered honorably.

“It is hard to get this all together,” she said.

Reuss died Oct. 1 at Willow Crest Nursing Pavilion in Sandwich. He was born Dec. 8, 1928 in Marissa, Illinois, and grew up with two sisters and a brother, all of whom preceded him in death.

The visitation and funeral service, held at Olson Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Sycamore, was officiated by Journey Care Hospice chaplain Dee Clark.

Wolfe said she and many others shared information about the visitation and funeral by way of Facebook to find an overwhelming community response.

Nicholls agreed.

“It’s been well-shared in the community,” she said. Nicholls added that seeing the community turn out for the visitation and funeral service makes sense.

“He was just a quiet, humble guy,” she said.

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