Donald L. “Skeeter” Stiriz, 80, of Fayette, Ohio, died April 9, 2017, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Maumee, Ohio.
Born Jan. 25, 1937, in Wauseon, Ohio, he was the son of the late Walter and Herma (Kutzley) Stiriz. He married Jane L. Lane on April 22, 1956, and she survives.
Don lived his early life in Delta, Ohio, and graduated from Delta High School in 1954. He owned a gas route for Standard Oil and was also employed as a farmer. In 1974, his entrepreneurial spirit led to starting a local chain of pizza eateries, known as The Pizza Place. He owned and operated restaurants in Delta, Fayette, Stryker, and Morenci, Mich.
In 1994, Don and Jane settled in Fayette, where Don was an active businessman and community advocate. He owned and operated the Gaslight Inn restaurant for several years and was active with the Chamber of Commerce. He served several terms as a Fayette village council member. He and Jane were once named Fayette Citizens of the Year.
Don enjoyed antique cars and always looked forward to the annual Threshers Reunion in Wauseon. He was skilled in restoration and remodeling, and restored several old homes in the community to their natural beauty. Throughout his life, Don has attended Trinity Lutheran Churches in Delta and Wauseon and the Fayette Christian Church-Disciples.
In addition to his wife, Don is survived by five daughters, Susan Bach of Sand Creek, Mich., Patricia (and Michael) Turpening of Wauseon, Kristen Runyon of Fayette, Connie Stiriz of Adrian, Mich., and Jodi (and Dennis) Bird of Lancaster, Ohio; a son, Rick (and Stacey) Stiriz of Delta; 15 grandchildren, Jesse, Jacob, Sarah, Jordan, Melissa, Ross, Jonah, Josiah, Gracie, Taylor, Tessa, Lane, Kyle, Sydney, and Dylan; and five great-grandchildren, Forrest, Freeda, Logan, Lillian, and Hayden.
In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by his three brothers, Allen, Deryle and Richard Stiriz.
Funeral services are planned at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 13, at Fayette Christian Church-Disciples, with Rev. Gene Sugg and Rev. Dr. Samuel Wickard officiating. Burial will follow in Zion Cemetery in York Township. Visitation is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Eagle Funeral Home in Fayette.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Gorham Fayette Fire Department or the Bean Creek History Center.