WHEELING, W.Va. - John Phillip Stimmel, 77, of Wheeling, W. Va., died Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, at UPMC Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa.
He was born Feb. 28, 1936, in Urbana, Ohio, the son of the late Homer and Irene McClain Stimmel.
John grew up a farmboy in Western Ohio, the oldest of five siblings and the first in his family to go to college. He attended Ohio State University where he served as Student Senate President and was a member of the Alpha Zeta agricultural fraternity. He interrupted his studies to enlist in the U.S. Army where he served in counterintelligence in Berlin when the Berlin wall was erected. He was present at Checkpoint Charlie when the U.S. faced off against the USSR. After three years' service to his country, he returned to OSU and earned a BS in agriculture in 1963. He then graduated from Salmon P. Chase College School of Law in 1967 while working full-time for Proctor & Gamble.
John was a retired member of the Ohio Bar Association and the West Virginia State Bar. He prided himself on being a trial lawyer, having served many years as a personal injury and medical malpractice defense attorney, criminal defense attorney, and two stints as an Ohio County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. When he retired from law practice, he enjoyed teaching paralegal studies and business law at the local colleges and universities.
He was gratified to have recently become a member of Covenant Community Church, Wheeling, W.Va. He was an avid reader and had an enormous library. He was an excellent cook, gardener and woodworker, loved to travel, and learned to love the small dogs and cats who shared his home over the years, Rags, Maddie, Rocky, Sasha, Figaro, Phoenix, Trixie, and Kenzie who loved to sit on his lap. But more importantly, he was enormously proud of his daughter and son and his four grandchildren.
He was a quiet man, believing that "You're not learning anything if you're talking." When someone asked him how he was, his favorite response was "Pretty good, for an old guy." He was a firm believer that "Getting old is not for sissies."
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his two brothers, Jim and Bob.
Surviving are his wife Jo Lynne Nugent-Stimmel of Wheeling, W.Va.; a daughter, Maggie Sorensen and her husband, Scott, of Clarksburg, W. Va., and a son, Andrew Stimmel of Columbus, Ohio; four grandchildren, Elizabeth, Alexander, Caleb and Madeline; two sisters, Becky Harenberg and her husband, Hank, and Martie Stimmel, all of Albuquerque, N.M.; his two sisters-in-law, Jane Stimmel and Rosemary Stimmel, both of Woodstock, Ohio; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Covenant Community Church, 250 Bethany Pike, Wheeling, W.Va., with Mr. Adam Mick officiating. Interment will be held at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Kidney Fund, 11921 Rockville Pike Suite 300, Rockville, MD 20852.
Arrangements by the Kepner Funeral Home, 1308 Chapline St., Wheeling, W.Va., (304-232-5110).
Personal condolences may be offered to the family at www.kepnerfuneral.com.