Samuel “Dean” Piatt 78 of Gifford, formerly of Armstrong left his earthly home on December 27, 2020 after a 16 year battle with Parkinson’s Disease, at home with his family at his side.
Dean was born on July 19, 1942, the son of Carl D. and Ruth Lindley Piatt. They both preceded him in death. He married Jane Walsh on March 8, 1964. She survives him. Also surviving are his 2 daughters, Lisa Edenburn and her husband, Buddy, of Penfield, IL and Lori Langholz and her husband, Mark, of Cedarburg, WI; four grandchildren, Bailey and her husband, Cody Conrady, of Armstrong, IL, Miranda and her husband, Tyler Wright, of Royal, IL, William and Andrew Langholz of Cedarburg, WI. His first great grandchild, Baby Conrady, is due in January of 2021. Also surviving are his sister, Jeanne Rademacher and her husband, Norman of Gifford, IL. His brothers and sisters in law, John and Jan Walsh of Carmel, IN, Julie and Jim Peck of Mequon, WI and Jim and Angie Walsh of Potomac, IL along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Dean graduated from Armstrong High School with the class of ‘60. Dean was a life-long grain and livestock farmer. He loved the land and loved to farm and it showed. He took great pride in being a farmer and exemplified the best of farming – he was a good steward of the land; he was a conscientious caretaker of his livestock and he took care of his community of fellow farmers. He lived on his farm at Armstrong for 75 years before passing it to the next generations just a few weeks ago.
He was a Seed Dealer for over 40 years. First for Dekalb (Trojan) and then for Beck’s Hybrids. He always enjoyed his customers and was highly valued for his knowledge and service.
He was always busy and had “working” hobbies, including woodworking, welding, and restoring antique tractors. He particularly enjoyed making oak pieces for family, friends and organizations he loved. If you have been in his church or the I & I grounds or in the homes of many family members or friends you will have likely seen his handiwork. He also enjoyed restoring antique tractors and the activities that surrounded it – he had many fond memories of driving those tractors and the fellowship of his fellow farmers and tractor enthusiasts as part of the I&I Tractor Club. He mostly drove and restored John Deere tractors. He did deviate from John Deere for a few special tractors, particularly his Oliver, Minneapolis-Moline and Allis-Chalmers. In later years, he loved to take visitors to his tractor shed and start up the Oliver to listen to the VERY loud roar of the engine and laugh at the reactions.
He was very involved in the community and was a member of the Middlefork United Methodist Church, I & I Antique Tractor & Gas Engine Club and Vermilion County Farm Bureau. He was formerly on the Partlow Cemetery Board, the Vermilion County Extension Board and a member of the Vermilion County Pork Producers.
Dean was someone who didn’t tell you how he felt about you – he showed you. He was always ready with a helping hand, to lend a piece of equipment or a tool, or just come help do the job himself. He had a wonderful easy smile (that made its way all the way to his very blue eyes) and usually a story to tell. Hopefully you either learned something or laughed whenever you were with him. In lieu of flowers the family has a request: If Dean ever did something good for you – pay it forward and do a good deed for someone else in Dean’s memory – and do it with a smile.
The family would like to specifically thank Comforted Care and owner, Carey Jacobs, for the exceptional care she provided to Dean in the last several months, enabling us to keep him at home with people who loved him.
Given current health guidelines, there will be a Private Family Service. Memorials may be made to Middlefork United Methodist Church, I & I Antique Tractor Club, Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or a charity of your choice.
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