Cover photo for Harold "Shop" Lee Stutler's Obituary
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1946 Harold "Shop" Lee Stutler 2023

Harold "Shop" Lee Stutler

April 23, 1946 — December 27, 2023

rural Williamsport, IN


Harold Lee Stutler, known by most as “Shop”, quietly passed away at 2:40am on December 27, 2023. He was born April 23, 1946, the youngest child of Floyd and Helen (Sproules) Stutler.  Shop spent his youth running up and down the hills and hollers of Coal Branch and around Vermillion County, Indiana, his favorite place on Earth. He was a 1964 graduate of Perrysville High School. After graduation, he worked at Harrison Steel Casting Company until being drafted into the United States Army, proudly serving his country as an Army medic until his honorable discharge in 1971 while stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. His years in the service were his proudest. Following the Army, Shop immediately went to work holding two jobs most of his life: farming by day, the manufacturing industry by night.  He retired from Fairfield Manufacturing in 2008 but continued his true calling, farming and tending to his livestock, until the very day his health no longer allowed. 

Shop was a simple man, with a simple life. He never got angry, complained, or said an ill word toward anyone. He worked hard, but it was never about the money earned; it is just what an honest man does. One of his favorite coined sayings was, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you do with it after you make it”. He was conservative, known to not get out of bed until the sun was up to save energy. Shop was a private person who mostly kept to himself; a childhood memory shared by his sister was that each time their parents hosted a family gathering, he would escape out of his bedroom window to enjoy the quiet company of nature. That outlook carried into his adult life. Shop was always up for a day trip to Turkey Run State Park to walk Trail 4 or Shades State Park to cross The Devil’s Backbone. If you wanted to know anything about a tree species, you could just ask Shop; he could identify any native to the area.  He walked hundreds of miles looking for a deer antler in the winter, coyote hunting until spring, and squirrel hunting in the summer and fall with his Marlin 39A and Trevor Johnson by his side; but again, it was never about the prize he might bring home, it was the lessons learned and time spent outdoors that mattered. Shop’s idea of a getaway was driving all day, exploring the backroads and covered bridges of Parke County with his map and handwritten directions close by. He might have even splurged on a beef manhattan and some black licorice to fuel himself for the day.  Upon retirement he stayed busy with projects around his farm, but he was never too busy to sit down and have a drink of diet Mountain Dew with his best friend of 45+ years, Dave Johnson, whom he called “High Speed”. Over the years those two accomplished many goals, but we aren’t sure if they ever actually solved a problem.  They conquered many projects together, none too big or too small.  Shop could often be found tinkering with his tractors and farm equipment. He spent countless hours in his workshop reloading bullets, sharpening his chainsaws, and self-engineering a solution to whatever obstacle he faced.  His daily schedule always revolved around the sunrise, sunset, and weather forecast. If you were to have asked him about his plans for the day, he would have likely said, “Well, it depends on the weather”.  He was a resident of Warren County since 1968 but home was always Vermillion County; he loved spending time clearing the woods and fighting his ongoing battle with thorn trees, at the family farm he was so proud to own near Gessie, Indiana. In his later years he dreamed of moving “back home” and although we would have hated to see him go, we wish that dream had come true for him. 

Harold Lee Stutler is survived by his eldest brother, Larry Stutler; sister, Christine Stutler; sister-in-law, Sue Stutler; nephew, AJ (Gretchen) Stutler; great niece and nephew, Daisy Stutler and Bobby Stutler.  Although they were not related biologically, he was considered a member of the Johnson family and is survived by his best friends Dave (Lisa) Johnson and Trevor (Leann) Johnson as well as their children Kynlie, Addisyn, and Hollis. He was proceeded in death by his parents and brother, James Stutler.

Graveside services will be on January 2, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at Hicks Cemetery in Perrysville, IN and are entrusted to Grady Funeral Home.

We would like to thank Franciscan Hospice Care and the palliative care nurses of 3 North at Franciscan Hospital for the respect given and unparalleled services provided in Shop’s final days.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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