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Chuck Stillings Jr. dies at age 66

November 13, 2018

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Charles M. "Chuck" Stillings Jr., of DeLeon Springs, Fla., and formerly of Indianapolis, Ind., died on Oct. 6. He was 66.
On Oct. 12, 1951, Mr. Stillings was born in Marion, Ohio, the second child of four and only son of the late Charles M. Stillings Sr. and V. Maxine (Pickett) Petry. He grew up in Bucyrus, Ohio, and Grayson, Ky., moving to Galion, Ohio to play football when he was a sophomore. He graduated from Galion High School in 1970.
Inheriting a love for horses from his father, Mr. Stillings began working with horses while still in high school. In the early 1970s, he worked with Terry Holton, one of Ohio's leading horse drivers and one of its most colorful and liked racing personalities. During Mr. Stillings' nearly 50 years in horse racing, he bred, owned, and trained over 100 horses whose combined earnings totaled over $2.5 million. The first official horse he owned was Ascendant though he was also known for Fast Freddie Mojo, Postmark, Battle Axe, Battle Mage, Radar Contact, and his most recent prize winner Cumberland Gap. Cumberland Gap earned Mr. Stillings the 2018 Ohio Breeders Championship at the Delaware County fair in September.

In addition to racing horses, Mr. Stillings also worked as an air traffic controller for 20 years. He trained in Oklahoma City then began his career in Longmont, Col., handling all types of high altitude en route traffic. He relocated to the Indianapolis Center working with en route air traffic for the remainder of his career. After his retirement in 2003, he started wintering in DeLeon Springs, becoming a resident in 2010. His life continued to revolve around horses even as he struggled with health issues the past seven years.

An avid reader, Mr. Stillings read nearly a book a day for years. He had an amazing ability to retain most everything he read and could recount those readings years later. Through his readings, Mr. Stillings nourished his interest in non-traditional medical practices for both humans and horses. He often shared his acquired knowledge with people who discussed their ailments with him.

Mr. Stillings also loved to eat at restaurants and wished he had stock in two of his favorites: Outback Steakhouse and the Bonefish Grill. He had special locations for each restaurant where he met and made many wonderful friends.

Left to cherish his memory are his three sisters: Kathleen (Travis) Ivey in Pahrump, Nev., Sue Powelson of New Bloomington, Ohio; and Barbara (Ritchie) Kuba of Marion, Ohio; step-siblings Barbara (Jerry) Butterfield, St Augustine, Fla.; Marilyn(David) Boyd, Westerville, Ohio; Ken (JoEllen) Ruehle, Port Clinton, Ohio, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and countless friends.

Including his parents, he was preceded in death by step-mother Vera Stillings, brother-in-law Ronald Powelson, and nephews Stevie Powelson and Steve Butterfield.
Memorial contributions may be made to any diabetes or heart association, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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