ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. — John Richard Stiff Sr. passed away on Monday, October 13. John was born in Ashtabula, Ohio on May 23, 1933, and worked briefly in the Merchant Marines before beginning a distinguished career in the industrial gas business. Beginning with a hydrogen plant in Painesville, Ohio in 1957, John was involved in a number of national and international helium projects where he earned a reputation as the foremost expert in the production of helium. In addition to projects in Otis, Navajo, Ariz., and Shiprock, N.M., John managed the development of a helium project in Poland and consulted on projects in Russia and South Africa. After retiring in 1996, John and Marlene moved to Zephyrhills, Fla. where they were actively involved in their church and entertained children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. John enjoyed sailing and being on the water and he and Marlene traveled extensively.
He is survived by Marlene Stiff, his wife of 61 years; ten children, Lindsey Deckard, Kerry Stiff (Kru Joy), John Stiff, Jr. (Kathy), James Stiff, Rebecca Evanoff, Margaret Kramer, Jennifer Gresham, Suzanne Taylor (Ron), and LeAnne Gilbert; 23 grandchildren; tow step-grandchildren; and 24 great grandchildren. John is survived by his three sisters Mary Jo Livingston, Betsy Coburn (Rod), and Sue Marshall.
Funeral mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Zephyrhills, Fla. Visitation will be at 6 p.m. today at Hodges Funeral Home in Zephyrhills, Fla. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John’s name at Metropolitan Ministries www.metromin.org or Doctors Without Borders www.doctorswithoutborders.org.
Great Bend (Kan) Tribune, Oct. 16, 2014**