In Memory of



Obituary for Truman Lander

Truman Lander

Truman Franklin Wynsel Lander, 97, of Rockford passed away Saturday, July 30, 2022, surrounded by family. A Rockford native, Truman was born March 20, 1925, in Rockford, the son of Laurens S. and Beatrice (Johnson) Lander. He attended Harlem Consolidated Schools and then worked at the Machesney Airport prior to World War II. As one of The Greatest Generation, Truman bravely served as an Army sergeant in Belgium and Germany during the war, where he was assigned to the 496th Heavy Automotive Maintenance Division, transporting POWs and delivering fuel, food, and ammunition to the front lines. During his service, he met the Gonthier family in Drogenbos, Belgium, forming a friendship that would span decades and continents. After returning home from the war, Truman attended Rockford Business College, where he met the love of his life, Lois Mae Aukes. They were married on June 4, 1949, at Grace Methodist Church. Truman always displayed his unselfish love for Lois and his family. A true original, he had a unique sense of humor and love for life, attributing his longevity to a daily bowl of oatmeal and his keen curiosity. He was a voracious reader with a passionate interest in planes and trains, and he owned a collection of clocks. Sharing a love for history and travel, Truman and Lois took their children on road trips across the entire lower 48 states and to Europe in 1968. Throughout their lives, they traveled frequently to Europe and also visited Australia and New Zealand. In 1973, they hosted an AFS French foreign exchange student, Jean Guay, who became a member of the family. Throughout his career, Truman worked as a credit manager, purchasing manager, and human resources manager at various businesses in Rockford. He also worked for Todd Transit until his “retirement” at the age of 82. In his later years, he served as a consultant for the restoration of the Aeronca Chief aircraft (previously owned by Fred Machesney) and historian at the Vintage Wings and Wheels Museum of Poplar Grove, IL. He was also an active volunteer and member at Court Street United Methodist Church in Rockford, where he and Lois recently celebrated 50 years of membership. Survivors include his wife, Lois; children, Kimberly (Dennis Dillie) Lander of Lafayette, Colorado, Bart (Cindy) Lander of Sedro-Woolley, Washington, Starr (Greg Gallina) Lander of Mundelein, Illinois, and Jean (Pascale) Guay of Tours, France; 6 grandchildren, Lauren (Ian) Lang, Taylor Arno, Erin Grigoletti, Blair Grigoletti, Elisse Grigoletti, and Rosalie Lander; and 2 great-grandchildren, Charlotte Lang and Luke Grigoletti-Kurokawa. Predeceased by his parents; brother, Laurens Reed Lander; and father-in-law, Raymond Aukes.

Service at 11 a.m. Thursday, August 4, 2022, in Court Street United Methodist Church, 215 North Court Street, Rockford, with visitation from 9:30 a.m. to service time. Burial in Greenwood Cemetery. The family requests everyone to wear masks and practice social distancing. Due to COVID, no luncheon will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials Court Street United Methodist Church. Arrangements by Delehanty Funeral Home, Loves Park, IL.