STAFFORD — A current Stafford County Commissioner, Shane Stimatze, was found dead at his home in rural Stafford County on Monday from an apparent accident that occurred sometime over the weekend.
According to a statement from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff’s Office and Stafford County Fire and EMS personnel were dispatched to 341 NW 50 Ave., St. John at 10:47 a.m. Monday, in reference to a subject finding a lawnmower flipped upside down in a pond located at that residence.
According to Stafford County Sheriff Robert Murrow, upon their arrival, a mower was located upside down in the pond.
Upon removal of the mower, a male subject who was identified as Shane Landon Stimatze was found deceased in the water.
Stimatze was removed from the scene, and transported to Minnis Chapel in St. John. The incident is under investigation.
The 42-years old Stimatze was a St. John businessman, the owner of Mid-Kansas Ag Inc., an agricultural consulting company, and Squeaks Club Inc., a bar and grill in St. John. He served as a Stafford County Commissioner since 2013, having been reelected to a second four-year term in November, 2016. While others on the commission are in shock over Stimatze’s death, they will meet as required Wednesday morning for a short budget hearing, the only item on the agenda, and then adjourn.
Stimatze had another side that will be missed too. He was a valued KSHSAA Basketball official, having registered every year since 1996. KSHSAA Director Fran Martin said stimatze worked hard at being a good official and a good mentor to players and other officials. He officiated at 14 State Basketball tournaments in all divisions from 1A to 6A. Martin added that he was the kind of official that was willing to drive long distances with little notice to officiate because he truly had a heart for the game.
“Everyone liked working with Shane. He was an outstanding official and a great person,” she said. “I will personally miss him alot.”