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Earl Thomas Stamatkin, 55, finished the race of his life Saturday, October 27, 2018 at home surrounded by the love of his family. He is survived by his wife of nearly 25 years, Diane Stamatkin, his daughter, Heather Stamatkin, grandson, London, his sister, Becky (Shelley) Stamatkin, brothers, Louis (Michelle) Stamatkin, Chris (Karen) Stamatkin, Steve (Marcia) Stamatkin and Danny Stamatkin. Born on January 20, 1963, Earl was preceded in death by his parents, Mary Gill Stamatkin and Carl Stamatkin.
Big Earl, as his family and friends all know, didn't get his nickname only because of his size - he had a big personality, big stories, and most of all a big heart full of love, strength and faith. A graduate of George Washington High School, the business owner and Navy Veteran left a legacy of caring, humor and the best food and parties ever. His life was defined by both grand gestures and the little things that make life special. He counted people from all walks of life as friends and treated them equal caring, respect and kindness. Earl’s nickname not only described the physical nature of the man but also the size of his heart and impact on the thousands of people he met through his company, Big Earl’s Catering.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was his second home, and the events in the track suite he hosted were so legendary he was dubbed, “The Mayor of Turn 2”.
The same humor, determination, and fighting spirit characterized his nearly two-year battle with cancer that he fought with the support of his large loving family, led by his wife, partner and caregiver, Diane. The family expressed thankfulness for the dedication and care of the staff at the Community North Cancer Center who provided support and comfort above and beyond throughout Earl’s chemotherapy, surgeries and hospital stays. He left this world on his own terms with a final toast, prayers and the Notre Dame football game on the TV.
Funeral services for Earl are 11am Thursday, November 1, 2018 at the Usher Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Floral Park Cemetery. Friends may call on the family from 3-8pm Wednesday and from 10am until the time of services on Thursday at the funeral home.
The best way to honor Earl is to be kind to each other, talk to each other, laugh with each other, and cherish family and hold them close. Oh, and don’t forget to have a hell of a good time along the way! Now friends and family can be assured heaven has a special checkered flag waving just for Big Earl.
The family requests that memorial contributions in Earl’s memory be made to Community North Health Network Oncology Program. Online condolences may be offered at usherfuneralhome.com