Thomas J Stolz M.D., 77, West Lafayette, passed away Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017 at St. Vincent Impatient Hospice Center.
He was born Sept. 16, 1939 in Jay County.
Dr. Stolz endured and thrived through numerous cancers, the most recent being a brain tumor in 2013 and ultimately with pancreatic cancer in 2017.
Dr. Stolz was the first of three children born to humble dairy farmers, Charles and Eleanor Talbert Stolz. His parents taught him a strong work ethic and to value relationships. With this background, he left the farm to be the first in his family to pursue a higher education. He graduated from Purdue University in Electrical Engineering and Indiana University with a Doctorate in Medicine. He emulated his mother’s care, compassion, generosity for others and his love for rural life as clearly seen through his 50 years as a Family Doctor in Otterbein. Dr. Stolz followed his father’s love for aviation as a private pilot himself and put that love into his practice. He became an Aviation Medical Examiner for pilots that would came from surrounding states for their FAA license physicals. Dr. Stolz had a subtle wit and a love for story telling. He held a special appreciation for Veterans and enjoyed preserving and collecting their stories, vehicles and artifacts especially the ones that went BOOM. He was an Air Force Airman 2nd class in his youth and retired as a Major in the Indiana National Guard Reserve-Medical Corps. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 38. A long time member of Federated Church where he served on numerous boards including endowments and trustees. He will be remembered most for his unexpected acts of kindness towards his family, friends, colleagues, patients and even strangers. His greatest achievement in the end was his dedication to family and community.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 43 years, Melinda Suzanne Memering Stolz; four children, Barbara Stolz, Bob (Kristin) Stolz, Debbie (Bill) Hibbard, and Sandie (Reg) McBreairty; siblings, Judy Meyer and Jim (Judy) Stolz; nine grandchildren, Joshua Stolz, Don and David Stolz, Lauryn, Jordan and Kendra Hubbard and Thomas, Megan and Ben McBreairty; three great-grandchildren, Ayden and Cody Menges and Katarina Hibbard; his mother-in-law, Bonne Memering; and a sister-in-law, Kathy Truelson.
Dr. Stolz was preceded in death by both of his loving and proud parents.
A celebration of life service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at Federated Church of West Lafayette with Pastor John Williams officiating. Family and friends may pay their respects from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at Federated Church. After visitation, the family invites friends, family, former patients and colleagues to share stories and memories in the church fellowship hall. There will be a private burial at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18.
Memorial donations may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of St. Louis in support of Dr. Stolz’s grandson, David Stolz, who was borth with and contributes to fund raising efforts. The family wishes to thank his care providers at, Clarian Arnett Hospital, St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis and St.Vincent Inpatient Hospice Center.
Memorial donations may be made at www.familyandfriendsfh.com.