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John Robert Stauffer (Johnny Bob to his friends and family) was born June 28, 1929 in North Manchester, Indiana, to Robert and Irene Stauffer. He had two sisters, Barbara and Anne. John was a small-town guy, an athlete who loved basketball and baseball (his mother kept statistics and newspaper clippings from every game he ever participated in his youth). But, most of all, John loved to be surrounded by friends and family. He was kind and generous to everyone he met.
John attended DePauw University in 1951 and was a four-year starter on the DePauw University basketball team where he was named to the Indiana All Star Team. He was very loyal to DePauw and his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, and kept in touch with friends and teammates throughout the years.
John went on to spend his life as a math teacher and as a basketball and golf coach at both Warsaw High School and North Side High School in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. John was a coach to hundreds of young athletes and took great pride in their development. He coached several championship teams at North Side High School. John retired from a lifetime of coaching and teaching in 1991 and spent the rest of his days traveling, enjoying his family and friends, and reading vociferously.
John married Joyce Lipp in 1955. They were married for over 52 years before Joyce died in 2008. John and Joyce loved travelling and spent decades exploring the United States and Europe with their companions and good friends, Dave and Dana Platt. John unselfishly took great care of his wife, Joyce, when she fell ill with skin cancer.
John was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. John valued family most and made time for all of his family members. He is survived by children: Lisa Blackwell, Robert Stauffer, and Diana Stauffer and their spouses, six grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. He enjoyed tennis, fishing, and boating, and always made time for friends and family. Nightly strolls to the end of the pier with grandchildren in tow to catch fish will be one of his family’s fondest memories.
John married Marilynne Curtis on July 7, 2011 in Winona Lake, Indiana. They enjoyed living near water at Chapman Lake, Winona Lake, and Jensen Beach Florida. Marilynne provided love and companionship for a wonderful decade. Marilynne’s daughters Stephanie Kehoe and Katrina Archer and their spouses and children also became an important part of John’s expanded family.
There are very few people in the world like John Stauffer. He was humble, kind to all, caring to his family, and selfless to Joyce and Marilynne. He was a man of high standards, morals, and integrity. He was a bit of a Renaissance Man and loved art, travel, gardening, fishing, tennis, and, of course, Dilly Bars from the Dairy Queen. His days began fishing at sunrise and ended fishing at sunset.
John loved Winona Lake most of all. He lived on Court Street every summer since 1937 and was happiest being near water, taking his grandchildren and sons-in-law fishing and reading and conversing with family and friends on the patio. He had a bet with the old willow tree in his front patio at Winona Lake. He always wondered who would outlive the other. The family knows that they both expired at exactly the same time. John died of natural causes on May 17, 2022 at the home he loved most next to his willow tree and the water.
A memorial service is in the planning stages for July; service dates and times will be announced later. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorial gifts to one of the following: The Watershed Foundation, PO Box 55, North Webster, IN 46555; Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams, 1 Lancer Way Dr Winona Lake 46590 or Kosciusko County Community Foundation, 102 East Market Street, Warsaw, IN 46580.
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