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Charles ‘Chuck’ Stillings Jr. Passes

Published: November 14, 2018 10:27 am ET

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Charles M. ‘Chuck’ Stillings Jr., 66, of DeLeon Springs, Florida, and formerly of Indianapolis, Indiana, passed away on October 6.

On October 12, 1951, Chuck 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, OH, and Grayson, KY, and moved to Galion, OH to play football when he was a sophomore. Chuck graduated from Galion High School in 1970.

Inheriting a love for horses from his father, Chuck began working with horses while still in high school. In the early 1970s, Chuck worked with Terry Holton, one of Ohio’s leading horse drivers and one of its most colourful and liked racing personalities. During Chuck’s nearly 50 years in horse racing, he bred, owned, and trained over 100 horses whose combined earnings totalled 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 Chuck the 2018 Ohio Breeder’s Cup Championship at the Delaware County fair in September.

In addition to racing horses, Chuck also worked as an air traffic controller for 20 years. He trained in Oklahoma City then began his career in Longmont, Colorado, where he handled all types of high-altitude, en-route traffic. He relocated to the Indianapolis Center and worked with en-route air traffic for the remainder of his career. After his retirement in 2003, he started wintering in DeLeon Springs, Florida, and became 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, Chuck 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, Chuck 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.

Chuck also loved to eat at restaurants and wished he had stock in two of his favourites: Outback Steakhouse and the Bonefish Grill. Chuck 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, Nevada, Sue Powelson of New Bloomington, OH; and Barbara (Ritchie) Kuba of Marion, OH; step-siblings Barbara (Jerry) Butterfield, St Augustine, FL; Marilyn(David) Boyd, Westerville, OH; Ken (JoEllen) Ruehle, Port Clinton, OH as well as numerous nieces and nephews and countless friends.

Including his parents, Chuck was preceded in death by step-mother Vera Stillings, brother-in-law Ronald Powelson, and nephews Stevie Powelson and Steve Butterfield. Services honouring Chuck’s life will be observed privately by his family.

Memorial contributions may be made to any diabetes or heart association, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honoured to serve Chuck’s family. Your favourite memories and condolences may be shared with them via

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Charles Stillings Jr.


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