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Obituary for Robert W. "Bob" LaSurs
Illustrious Robert W. "Bob" LaSurs, 33rd degree, Active Emeritus, age 89, of Collinsville, Illinois passed away Thursday, April 2, 2015 at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Illinois. He was born March 26, 1926 in Collinsville, IL to the late Charles E. and Garnetta F. (nee Killinger) LaSurs. Besides his parents he is preceded in death by one brother, Kenneth E. LaSurs and one sister, Earline E. LaSurs. Bob attended public school and graduated from Collinsville Township High School in 1944. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, as a Sonarman 2/C, aboard the U.S.S. Erben, D.D. 631. He saw service throughout the South Pacific, and was present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. On November 17, 1948 he married Audrey M. (nee Haig) LaSurs, his childhood sweetheart. She survives in Collinsville, IL. He is also survived by three children, Kristine (Dr. John) Beatty of Collinsville, IL, Robin (John) Guse of Troy, IL and R. Bruce LaSurs (Andrea Vent) of Webster Groves, MO, and four grandchildren, Emily Heslop of Belleville, IL, Megan (Dan) Daly of Festus, MO, Rachel (Erik) VanHyfte of Peoria, IL, and Laura (Ben) Michael of Troy, IL. Bob was a self-employed, third generation Painting Contractor. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Collinsville, IL and served for many years in various capacities, including, Lay Leader, Chairman of Finance, Chairman of the Administrative Board, Usher, Liturgist and President of the Board of Trustees. He began his Masonic career, as did his father and grandfather, in Collinsville Lodge No. 712, A.F. & A.M., on April 18, 1964 and served as Worshipful Master in 1970. He is an Honorary Member of Highland Lodge # 583, Marine Lodge # 355, East Lodge #504 and Gothic Lodge #852. He served the Grand Lodge of Illinois as District Deputy Grand Master of the 5th Southern District for four years, Grand Representative to Chili and Chairman of the Committee on Lodge Officers' Training Seminars in 1988. He was awarded the Grand Master's Illinois Lodge Builders Award and the Gold Honor Award from the York Rite Grand Council. Mr. LaSurs joined United Chapter No. 182, Order of Royal Arch Masons in 1970, where he was a Past High Priest, Collinsville Council No. 101, Royal and Select Masters; and Emmanual Commandery No. 81, K.T., in 1973. He served as an advisor to Ascalon Chapter, Order of DeMolay, and received the Honorary Legion of Honor in 1983. He also represented the DeMolay in Illinois as Director of Masonic Relations. Brother LaSurs joined Scottish Rite Valley of Southern Illinois on October 17, 1964, serving as the Thrice Potent Master of St. Clair Lodge of Perfection in 1985. He was twice elected to the Board of Directors of the Valley of Southern Illinois and directed several Scottish Rite Degrees as well as taking various parts in portraying the rituals. He was director of a degree team which provided speakers and was available for conferring Symbolic Lodge Degrees, Memorial Services and Installation of Officers. While serving as Membership Chairman, he helped develop a slide program for membership promotion, which served as a pilot program that was used throughout Illinois. He was a Chairman of the Illinois Council of Deliberation Committee for Reception and Introduction of Distinguished Guests; and served two terms as Director of the Illinois Scottish Rite Fund. On September 25, 1979, he was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33rd degree, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council in Chicago, IL. He was elected an Active member of the Supreme Council on September 25, 1986 in Cincinnati, OH, serving in this role for 25 years. He assumed Active Emeritus Member status in August 2011. He was a member of Ainad Temple, A.A.O.N.J.M.S., in East St. Louis, IL, where he played in the marching and concert bands and was an Ambassador to the Temple. Bob was a former member of the Boards of Directors of Collinsville Union Savings and Loan Association, Belleville Memorial Hospital, Collinsville Chamber of Commerce and Collinsville Lion's Club. From the Chamber of Commerce, he received an award for Meritorious Service to the community. He served on the Board of Directors of Madison County Federal Savings and Loan Association, 34 year member of the Board of Directors at Anderson Hospital, where he also received member Emeritus status, and the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society, where he also served as Vice-President, and member of the Central States Archaeological Society. Visitation will be held on Monday, April 6, 2015 from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. with a Masonic Service at 7:00 p. m. at the First United Methodist Church, 207 West Church Street, Collinsville, IL. Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a. m. at the church. Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church with Pastor Mark Horn officiating. Burial will be in St. John's Cemetery, Collinsville, IL, with military honors. Memorials are requested to the First United Methodist Church in Collinsville, the Children's Dyslexia Center in Belleville or to the charity of one's choice.