US Navy

Benjamin F. Sturm

June 8, 1919 ~ May 10, 2020 (age 100)


Benjamin Sturm, of Kokomo, passed away on May 10, 2020, just shy of his 101st birthday, at Ascension St Vincent Hospital in Kokomo.  Ben was born June 8, 1919 in Peoria, Illinois, the son of William John and Mina Earsley (Whitfield) Sturm.  He graduated from Mishawaka High School on June 9, 1937.  He attended Butler University where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.  It was at Butler that Ben met Betty J Conn.  They were married in Corpus Christi, Texas on July 7, 1942.  The wedding took place on the same day that Ben wore the uniform and gold wings of an ensign in the United States Naval Air Corps for the first time as a graduate of Aviation School.  He was assigned to bomber patrol duty and was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia.  He would go onto flying various missions as a PBY Pilot in World War II.  When Ben completed his service in the Navy in 1945, he and Betty moved to New York, where they were blessed with a daughter, Cynthia Anne Sturm on July 7, 1943.  They would later return to the hometown of Betty, Walton, Indiana, to own and operate an insurance agency, Conn-Sturm Agency for several years.  Betty (Conn) Sturm preceded him in death on July 7, 1988.

Ben moved to Green Acres Golf Course, in Kokomo, after his marriage to Darby Ellis-Sturm on June 28, 1997, at Shiloh United Methodist Church.  Ben was able to spend the majority of his time playing golf, reading, visiting family members in Arizona, and playing acey deucey.  Ben and Darby were residing at Waterford Health Campus when Darby passed on June 15, 2019.  Ben stayed there until he was transported to the hospital on May 1, 2020.

Ben is survived by his daughter, Cinny (Sturm) Houston, and her children, JB Houston, Kim (Steve) Stout, Deborah Houston, and Julie (Kevin) Cunningham.  He also has three great-grandchildren, Tony Hudson, Ashley Stout, and Caleb Cunningham.  Ben is also survived by his sister, Sue Ann (John) Wallick; nephews, Chris Sturm and Mark (Susan) Davis; and nieces, Rebecca (Troy) Greer and Cathy (Jim) Johnson.  There are multiple great nieces and nephews as well.

Through his marriage to Darby, Ben is survived by step-children, Darby “Dee” (David) Wolf, Philip Ellis Jr. (Donna Gore), Deborah (Charles) Mueller, Marjorie (Jerry) Fiete, and John (Lisa) Ellis. There are 20 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews as well.

Ben was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, John Sturm and Roland Sturm; his first wife, Betty J (Conn) Sturm; second wife, Darby Ellis-Sturm; sister-in-law, Mary Jeanne (Conn) Davis; and brother-in-law, Merle Davis.

In keeping with Ben’s wishes, no public services will be held.  Cremation has been entrusted to Stout & Son Funeral Home in Russiaville.  Contributions may be made in Ben’s memory to Shiloh United Methodist Church.  Messages of condolence may be left online at

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