May 5, 2019

Sam Stausing, first Chairman of the Union R-XI Foundation

Sam Stausing was intricately involved in both the founding of the Union R-XI Foundation as well as leading the organization during its first decade of existence. Sam was the unmistakable face and voice of the Foundation as it grew from a great idea into a constant and loyal financial and moral support system for the school district.

During Stausing’s chairmanship from 1985 until 1995, the Foundation began programs that have lasted and grown to this day – classroom grants for teachers and scholarships for graduating seniors. His tenure as chairman also saw the building of Stierberger Stadium and Track on the campus of the newly-opened Union High School on Independence Drive. This project solidified the Foundation’s extended mission of supporting the district in any way it possibly could into the future.

Sam Stausing’s handing of the gavel to James Borgmann and then Jim Strubberg in the mid-1990s did not diminish his involvement or association with the group. Until Sam passed away in 2019, he was a stalwart member of the board and then the Foundation’s biggest cheerleader from the sidelines. On any given day, he could be seen around Union drumming up support for scholarship funds, mentoring former students-turned-educators, or working with elementary students after school. In short, it is difficult not to have Sam’s face pop into one’s memory when thinking or talking about the early years of the Foundation, but it is equally hard to forget his years of service long after his official duties ended.

Following is an excerpt from Sam’s obituary that gives an even fuller account of his life and work. We reprint this article in Sam’s memory from in thanks for his pioneering work with Union and its schools, the R-XI Foundation, and the youth they serve:

“Sammy Taylor Stausing, 76, Union, passed away Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

“Sammy was born Jan. 12, 1943, in Cape Girardeau. He was raised in Cape Girardeau by his mother and stepfather, Kathryn and John Roberts. Sammy served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, from Jan. 5, 1962, until May 2, 1966. After returning from the service, he attended Southeast Missouri State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education. Sammy was united in marriage to Sharon Vogelsang May 22, 1971, at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Cape Girardeau. The couple moved to Union, where Sammy received a job teaching at the local high school. Sammy quickly became an involved member of his new community and continued to be an active member of his community until his health declined. Sammy eventually left teaching and spent the remainder of his career as an insurance broker. 

“Sammy was a founding member of the Union R-XI Foundation, and served as its first president from 1986 to 1994. He was the head timekeeper for the Union High School track team for over 22 years, member of the Wildcat booster club for over 30 years, served as a member of the ECC advisory board and delivered Meals on Wheels. Sammy was a member of American Legion Post 297 and member of their funeral honor guard. He also was a lifetime member of the V.F.W. and the Moose Lodge in Union. He was a past member of the Union Kiwanis and Rotary. He was a current member of Zion United Church of Christ. Sammy’s accomplishments were many, and because of his charity work, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award and the Long Haul Award by the Union community. He also enjoyed Cardinals baseball, reading and following sports. He loved to sell raffle tickets and fundraising for the organizations close to his heart. In his later years, Sammy worked at Immaculate Conception School as the aftercare teacher.

“Sammy also was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and a friend to all who knew him. He will be missed, and his “one-liners” will live on in all who knew him.

“He is survived by his wife, Sharon Stausing, Union; two sons, Dax Stausing, St. Louis, and Dane Stausing and wife Julie, Scott City; three grandchildren, Xander, Tabor and Zeira Stausing; one sister, Kathy Jo Alderman and husband Russ, Osprey, Fla.; nieces; nephews; other relatives and many friends.

“A funeral service was held Monday, Feb. 18, at 11 a.m. at Oltmann Funeral Home, Union. Burial followed at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis.”

[Hengst, LaDonna. “View Sammy Stausing’s Obituary on and Share Memories.” Sammy Stausing Obituary – Union, MO | The Missourian, Legacy, 2019, Retrieved on May 3, 2019.]

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