Stuart Deal, 85, of Beach Park, Illinois, passed away peacefully at his home Sunday, January 16, 2022, with family in attendance.
He was born in Clinton, Minnesota and raised on his parents' farms, at times living with no running water or electricity.
He married Helen Hublou 3/2/1957 and they lived their entire married life, 59 years, in the Waukegan/Beach Park area of Illinois, raising five children.
He was preceded in death by beloved Helen (who passed in 2016), son Craig, his parents Ed and Mary and siblings Edna, Don, Hal and Robert.
Always fully supported by Helen, Stuart worked tirelessly at three different careers over the years, first founding Atlas Paving in 1961. It doubled as a snow plowing service in winter using the same vehicles.
He also bought several local area homes which he refurbished and rented. Several of these purchases were entirely made via personal
credit, not bank loans, such was his reputation for honesty and dependability.
When son Douglas took over Atlas Paving, Stuart then built up a franchise of Little Caesars Pizza stores which he and Helen ran for several years with their sons Barry and Mark. After selling that franchise, he semi-"retired," but in fact began a new business, buying, selling, collecting and restoring pedal tractors and tractor
models. He became a well-known authority; and he and Helen spent two decades traveling to farm toy shows as prominent and much-loved dealers in the field. He was still selling
and shipping parts to other pedal restorers until only weeks before his passing.
Stuart is survived by sons Mark, Douglas and wife Shelley, Barry; daughter Michelle Wilson and husband Steven; grand children Christina, Nicole, Kevin and Keith; step grandson Matt Wilson and step grand daughter Casey Whittemore; great grand children Payton, Logan, Tucker, Atlas and Caleb.
He never lost his love for farming and gardening, raising various farm animals and fresh fruits and vegetables on his
10 acre Waukegan property. He had a lasting affection for the International Harvester tractors he'd grown up with, and at one time owned a large collection of restored vintage
The Internationals were in regular use, and were very familiar to his grand children, who all lived nearby and whom he saw frequently. Grand daughter Chrissy insisted on riding them whenever possible. Grand daughter Nicole had a different view, dubbing them "icky red tractors."
Private graveside service was held Wednesday January 19, 2022.
We request any donations be made to your local hospice.