John Francis Stehle
John Francis Stehle passed away on Friday, May 19, 2017, after a long illness. Son of Raymond D. and J. Sheila Stehle (both deceased); devoted husband of Alice (Tillman) Stehle for 40 years; beloved brother of David (Yvonne), James (Phyllis), Thomas, and Vincent (Patricia) Stehle and Mary (Curtis) McQueen; proud and loving father of Katherine (Robert), John (Pamela), and Gregory (Rebecca); dearly-loved grandfather of Madelynn.
He attended St. Fidelis Seminary and graduated from Gannon University with a Bachelor‘s degree in Social Work. Worked as a systems analyst in Pittsburgh at The Techs for 24 years.
Avid outdoorsman, trail builder, hiker, birdwatcher, crossfit enthusiast, and dedicated volunteer. Former president of both the Butler Chapter of the North Country Trail Association and Butler Outdoors Club. Active member of his parish and baritone in the choir. John was a special man: generous, selfless, patient, loving, funny, determined, brave, and will be dearly missed.
Family and friends of John Francis Stehle, who died Friday, May 19, 2017, will be received from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at Geibel Funeral Home, 201 East Cunningham Street, Butler. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, 128 N. McKean Street, Butler.
In Lieu of Flowers, contributions may be sent to the North Country Trail Association.
From Vincent Stehle, John's brother:
John was one of the most decent and thoughtful people you could meet. He was, among all our siblings the one who inherited from our father the deepest love of nature, the unquenchable desire to be in nature and the calm patience to appreciate its complex beauty. Where others might see only a muddy trail, he would reach down and pluck up a sprig of Teaberry as bright and aromatic as the stick of gum from our youth. He loved to watch the birds and peer into the night sky to contemplate the stars, and took care to get the best lens to do both.
He was generous with his time, tending the trails as a volunteer on the North Country Trail, keeping the way clear and safe for countless hikers who would probably not even know that he and his colleagues were doing it.
The night before he passed away, I was fortunate to hear a concert of Mahler's 3rd Symphony and I really think he would have loved it, with parts marked, "What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me" and another called "What the Animals in the Forest Tell Me."
And the words, from Nietzsche, rang true for me that night:
O Man! Take heed!
What says the deep midnight?
"I slept, I slept—,
from a deep dream have I awoken:—
the world is deep,
and deeper than the day has thought.
Deep is its pain—,
joy—deeper still than heartache.
Pain says: Pass away!
But all joy
—seeks deep, deep eternity!"
Friends and Family
"Beautifully said, Vince. It's obvious you feel fortunate to have had John in your life. There's no question he was lucky to have you, as well! Your brother John was a true gentleman. Though we only had a short time of fellowship together last year, Aimee and I could tell he was one of a kind. Truth be told, you and your entire family are some of the warmest and open-hearted people my family have had the opportunity to meet. It's rare to find the love you all share as brothers and sisters; a love with conviction. You are a special bunch, indeed. Sending much love from The Russell family in Atlanta all the way up to you and your siblings in PA along with our deepest condolences."
--Toby, Aimee, Olivia Ann and Lucy Jayne Russell