Community loses local sports patron

James “Jim” Stimmel, 79, passed away peacefully on Thursday evening, August 22.

Most Hayes students knew him as the man that sat in the rotunda as they walked by, but he was much more than that.

Stimmel was born in Delaware and was a graduate of Willis High School in 1954. He served in the Korean War and worked as a meat cutter. After he retired, Stimmel volunteered at Hayes “policing” the front doors and running the press box at football games.

While serving as president of the Hayes Athletic Boosters two separate times, Stimmel made a huge impact on the basketball program. He attended every game, home or away, and made anonymous donations to boys who couldn’t afford the cost of being on the team.

“Even when his grandchildren no longer played, he was still a constant supporter of Hayes Athletics,” Coach Jordan Blackburn said.

He was well-liked, even by non-athletic students, for his jokes and stories in the hallway. He was known for his vibrant energy and outgoing personality.

“He would speak his mind,” said Mel Treese, office volunteer. “He would speak to anybody.”

His perpetual smile helped teach others to see the bright side of things. Blackburn said Stimmel taught him that “no matter what you’re going through there is no reason we all cannot lift up others and carry a positive attitude.”

Stimmel’s chair on the east side of the gym by the Euclid Entourage will be left empty this basketball season. A tribute will be made to him at the first home game December 6.