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Eric Staats

September 23, 1967 May 12, 2023
Eric Staats
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Obituary for Eric Staats

Eric Michael Staats, 55, of Naples, FL, died unexpectedly at his home on Friday, May 12, 2023, from heart issues.

Eric was born on Sept. 23, 1967, in Peoria, IL. He attended Holy Family Grade School and graduated from Academy of Our Lady/Spalding Institute (AOL/SI) in 1985. At Indiana University, Eric studied history and journalism and was editor of The Indiana Daily Student.

After graduating from college in 1989, Eric moved to Florida for a reporting job at the Naples Daily News, where he won frequent awards for his coverage of environmental issues. He was kind-hearted, gracious, and especially generous to new reporters.

Incisively funny, yet seldom cynical, he always found a way for his humor to land with kindness. There was room for everyone at Eric's table and at his desk.

After a 33-year career at the paper, Eric left his most recent position as editor in November 2022 and was enjoying the freedom of a life with no deadlines.

Although he embraced his Florida life, Eric cherished his regular trips back to the Midwest to see family and friends. Equally important to him were adventures “up North” to Canada to fish and enjoy the outdoors. He hoped to do more of both soon, as well as continue supporting his very beloved Chicago Cubs.

Eric will be deeply missed by his parents Michael and Patricia (Wainman) Staats, as well as sisters Michele (Terry) Feldmann and Teresa (Mark) Sager, and the nieces and nephews he was so proud of: Ryan Feldmann of St. Louis, MO; Meghan and Natalie Feldmann of Washington, IL; and Jack, Mitch, and Charlie Sager of Peoria, IL. Grandparents Gerald and Roberta Wainman and H.W. and Margaret Staats preceded him in death.

Eric’s love and laughter also live on in the countless friends who loved him like family and valued his wit, his calm, and his reassuring presence.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, May 25, 2023 from 5–7 p.m. at Wright & Salmon Mortuary in Peoria. The Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, May 26, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church in Peoria, with a half hour prior visitation, followed by burial at Resurrection Cemetery.

Family and friends will gather at a later date in Naples to celebrate Eric’s life. An announcement will be made when details are finalized.

In remembrance of Eric, donations may be made to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida or the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate.

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Previous Events





5:00 PM 5/25/2023 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 5/25/2023 7:00:00 PM
Wright & Salmon Mortuary

2416 N North St
Peoria, IL 61604

Wright & Salmon Mortuary
2416 N North St Peoria 61604 IL
United States

Funeral Mass




11:00 AM 5/26/2023 11:00:00 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church

3720 N Sterling Ave
Peoria, IL 61615

Visitation half hour prior to mass.

Holy Family Catholic Church
3720 N Sterling Ave Peoria 61615 IL
United States

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