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Richard's Story

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Richard W. Stout, 90, Elkhart, passed away Sunday, Jan. 14, at Elkhart General Hospital.
He was born Oct. 1, 1927, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Richard B. and Flora (Pflugradt) Stout.
Dick married Evelyn "Bami" Smith of Alabama, and there were three children born of their union, Robert of Asheville, North Carolina, Mary Ann (Waits), Earlville, Illinois, and William, South Bend.
Bami died in 1997.
In 2002, Dick married B. Kay "Kayte" Bontrager and blended his family with hers. She has three children, Keith, Carie (Jackson) and Bryan. Together they celebrated 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren and many happy family times.
As a child, Dick loved living and boating on the St. Joseph River. He called himself and his river friends "river rats," eventually raising his family riverside. If he could do anything for pleasure, it often involved being on the river, or beside it, watching how it changed with the seasons and the weather.
Dick earned a bachelor's degree from TriState University, and worked in several metal fabricating companies until 1959 when he formed Stoutco Inc. in Bristol. He often said it was not "his" company, but that of the shareholders and employees. He took great pleasure in helping customers solve problems with creative product adaptations and service. He developed a leadership style which focused on the development of others around him. It gave him great joy to see how others grew into their talents to become leaders and team players. His success in business was built on integrity, perseverance, quality, innovative design and customer service.
He strove always to keep his word. He was known for his sense of humor, and enjoyed trading rapid-fire puns back and forth on any subject. He would play harmless, practical jokes on his friends and colleagues, not only to enjoy their reactions, but to express affection as well.
Dick Stout was our husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, friend, colleague and mentor. He quietly supported many community individuals and organizations, enriching lives, and making Elkhart County a better place to live, work and play. He will be greatly missed.
Friends may visit with the family from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home, Elkhart, and two hours prior to the service at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. Pastor Harold Knight will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Elkhart Salvation Army.
Online condolences may be offered at www.stemmlawsonpeterson.com.
Published on January 17, 2018
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