James J. “Jim” Stenftenagel, 92, Jasper

James J. “Jim” Stenftenagel, 92, of Jasper, died Tuesday, May 7, at Brookside Village Senior Living Community in Jasper. He was born July 24, 1926, to Florian and Agnes (Blessinger) Stenftenagel. He married Flora J. Eversman May 14, 1949, at St. Joseph Catholic Church. He died one week short of celebrating his and Flora’s 70th wedding anniversary.

Jim was a 1945 graduate of Jasper High School. Following graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served with the 1386th AAF Iceland Base Command during WWII as an administrative specialist from 1945 to 1947, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Returning to Jasper after service he became a partner in the Vogler-Stenftenagel Garage. In 1953 he founded Sten’s Sales and Service, selling retail lawn and garden equipment, and later expanding into motorcycles and boats. In 1969 he founded Stens Lawnmower Parts and acquired a regional distributorship for small engine parts. Stens grew into a multinational distribution company. He was also instrumental and partnered in the creation of Sten’s Marine, Cruise-A-Way, Wooden Keg Liquors, and Eastown Lanes.

Jim and Flora were charter members of Holy Family Catholic Church, where he served as president of the parish council and building chairman of the new church. Later he served on the facilities management committee during the most recent church and school renovation. Jim was a recipient of the Bruté and the Mother Theresa Service Awards for outstanding service to the parish and diocese. A 45-year member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Jim served as the St. Vincent de Paul store president for 16 years, during which time the food pantry was initiated and store expansions were completed.

In 1994 he was awarded the Jasper High School Alumni of Distinction Award.  He served a four-year term on the Jasper Utility Board. In 2016 the Jasper Friends of the Arts honored Jim and Flora with its Champion of the Arts Award. He held life-long memberships in the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, and the Holy Name Society. He was an avid fisherman and boater and he and his wife and friends made numerous trips up and down the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

He is survived by his wife of 69+ years, Flora Stenftenagel; two sons Mark Stenftenagel and wife Margaret, Elmhurst, Illinois, and Charles Stenftenagel and wife Jan, Celestine; two daughters, two daughters Sara Kieffner and husband Steve, Edgewood, Kentucky, and Mary Ellen Covino Kluth and husband Steve, Golden, Colorado; seven grandchildren;  three step-grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; three sisters, Doretha Schmitt and Gerry Giesler, both of Jasper, and Jane Eckerle and husband Tom, Indianapolis; and one brother, Michael Stenftenagel and wife Mary Ellen, Fort Worth, Texas.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by two sisters, Margaret “Marge” Gramelspacher and Elizabeth “Betts” Egan, one brother, Edward J. Stenftenagel, and one son-in-law, Jim Covino.

Friends may call from 4-7 p.m. Friday at the Becher-Kluesner downtown chapel in Jasper and from 9-10 a.m. Saturday at Holy Family Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made to the James J. and Flora J. Endowment for Holy Family Church at the Dubois County Community Foundation, or to a charity of choice. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Holy Family Church with entombment following in the Fairview Cemetery Mausoleum. American Legion Post 147 will conduct military graveside rites.

 

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