Joseph Anthony Stetz, Jr., M.D.
The Guest Book is expired.
Joseph Anthony Stetz, Jr., M.D. was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 30, 1930. He died Sunday, September 16, 2012.
Dr. Stetz was in private practice in anatomical and clinical pathology for 33 years at Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, as well as director of laboratory and medical director of respiratory therapy. He was chief of staff three different times during his career. Upon his retirement, a new category of staff membership was established (active staff member with voting privileges).
Dr. Stetz was an active member of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and at one time was president of the Parish Council.
Dr. Stetz was a courtesy staff member at Ukiah General Hospital in Ukiah, and Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg. He also served as director of laboratory at Mendocino Community Hospital and interim Mendocino County public health officer.
At one time Dr. Stetz was the longest-serving member of the Mendocino County Air Quality Board, having been a member for over 20 years. Other memberships included the American Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the American Legion.
He attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduating in 1954 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and languages. That was followed by an MD degree at National Autonomous University of Guadalajara Faculty of Medicine in 1963. A rotating internship and residency in anatomical and clinical pathology was completed in 1968 at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego. Two years of private practice in pathology at Chula Vista Hospital was followed by his move to Willits and a new practice at Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital.
The military career of Joseph A. Stetz, Jr., began by being drafted into the service in 1955. After basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he was transferred to the East Coast, where he underwent training in counter-intelligence. When asked what kind of duties he had, he would only say it was interesting.
Following this service, he carried out active duty assignments as a reserve officer in the U.S. Navy with full retirement with rank of captain, USN. He holds the U.S. Navy Commendation Medal with Star. He retired from the Navy on July 1, 1990.
During his active duty, he was assigned on several occasions to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C.
During an externship in 1959, Dr. Stetz fell in love with a registered nurse Jane Ann Niggemann. They married a year later and had two wonderful children: Mary Helen (Stetz) Bowers (Terry) and Joseph A. Stetz, III. Jane preceded him in death from a genetic heart problem in 1997.
He also is survived by grandchildren Katherine (Charlie); James and Nicholas, sisters Teresa Spiegel (Joseph) and Frances Piekielek, as well as in-laws Kitty and Mike Robbins and Elaine Niggemann, M.D., all of Scottsdale, Arizona. Among his many friends a special mention is made of Dr. Sam DeFrancesco and Kathy Boomer-Grupp.
Joseph enjoyed caring for and improving his property on Sherwood Road. He loved showing off his "million dollar view" from the sunroom and bay window. Many days and evenings were spent on the deck with his wife, Jane, looking at the stars.
Prior to Jane's demise, she and Joseph enjoyed hosting the annual Christmas party. His house and yard were turned into a Christmas fairyland. At times it was stated that here in Willits the Christmas season hadn't begun until the Stetz's Christmas party.
Joseph and Jane also enjoyed traveling in both the USA and abroad. They were awestruck with the grandeur of this country of ours.
A visitation will be held at Anker-Lucier Mortuary in Willits on Monday September 24, from 2 to 8 p.m.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church on Tuesday September 25, at 11 a.m.
95 W. Commercial Street Willits, CA 95490
Published in Willits News from Sept. 21 to Oct. 20, 2012