Steve Stroud, 76, of Elgin, passed away surrounded by loving family at Advocate Sherman Hospital on April 5, 2019. Steve was born November 23, 1942 in Aurora, IL to his loving parents, James and Eunice Stroud (nee Rudolf).
Steve graduated from East Aurora High School, Class of 1960. He went on to serve his country in the United States Army from 1960 to 1963. He was stationed in Berlin and learned Russian at the USA Language School in California. He earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Berlin), Good Conduct Medal, and Expert (M-14 Rifle) Army of Occupation Medal (Berlin).
Following his military service, Steve graduated from Northern Illinois University with a teaching degree and became a foreign language teacher at Maine East High School and Maine South High School in Park Ridge. Steve was a talented linguist who taught Russian, French and German. He took students on trips abroad to Russia and France; and wrote his own Russian textbook for his students after being dissatisfied with the available textbooks. Steve earn a Master Degree from University of Illinois. Steve retired from Maine Township High School District 207 in 1993 to focus on his first retirement project of restoring his and Laura’s historic home on Douglas Ave.
Steve met the love of his life, Laura, at church, and they had their first date at a German Restaurant in Elgin. The two dated for 12 years before getting married in 1992. Steve was a devoted husband who always put Laura first. He loved Laura’s son, Scott, and daughter, Anne, with all his heart. It was a special moment when Scott asked if he could call Steve “Dad,” because of Steve’s caring influence as a father figure in his life.
After family, Steve’s greatest passion was historic research. He wrote a three volume series, There Used to Be, which chronicled the histories and architectural features of old homes in Elgin. Steve also wrote Silent City: A History of Elgin’s City Cemeteries, giving insight into local attitudes toward the final resting places of Elgin’s citizens, including Channing and Bluff City Cemeteries. He also chronicled many of Elgin’s 2000 historic bungalow homes on www.elginbungalows.com, and was working on a second website to chronicle “Lost Homes of Elgin.”
Steve served as a board member and researcher for the Elgin History Museum and Co-Chaired the Annual Bluff City Cemetery Walk for 11 years with his wife, Laura. For many years, Steve also served on the Design Review Subcommittee for the Elgin Heritage Commission, reviewing applications for building renovations to ensure they upheld historic preservation standards. He was a founding member and past president of A.B.O.D.E., Admirers of Beautiful Old Dwellings in Elgin, a group that offers spark grants to Elgin homeowners for projects to support the historic integrity of their homes.
Loved ones will remember Steve as a gentleman with a calming influence. He was a soft-spoken peacemaker, who always looked for the best in people. Steve was a talented problem-solver and had a natural knack for home repairs.
When he wasn’t working on his research, Steve enjoyed visiting flea markets and auctions to investigate old things, attending plays and musicals, and traveling with Laura to Door County, WI and Europe.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, James and Eunice, brother Michael Stroud, sister Patricia Stroud, and stepdaughter Anne Beauregard.
Steve is survived by his loving wife, Laura; stepson Scott Beauregard; brother Tom (Francine) Stroud; sister-in-law Georgette Neumann; grandchildren Gabriel and Rowan Beauregard, and Jacqueline and Kaitlin Graziano; nieces and nephews Rebecca Smith, Amy Stroud, and Michael Scott Stroud; and countless special friends and colleagues who valued his friendship and dedication to historic research.
Visitation will be 4:00p.m. until time for service at 7:00p.m. Friday, April 12, 2019 at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin, IL 60120. Visitation will continue 10:00a.m. to 11:00am. Saturday, April 13, 2019. Interment with military honors will follow at Bluff City Cemetery, 945 Bluff City Blvd, Elgin, IL 60120. In keeping with Steve’s devotion to Elgin’s History, the funeral procession will be lead by a horse-drawn hearse. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations requested for the Elgin History Museum, in memory of Steven Stroud, 360 Park St., Elgin, to fund Steve’s last project: a memorial marker for unidentified Elgin residents originally buried at Channing Cemetery and later moved to Bluff City Cemetery.
Arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin IL. For more information call 847-741-1128 or visit www.symondsmadisonfuneralhome.org