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Published: Saturday, 2/10/2001

Farmer, teacher was Army veteran of Korean War

WEST UNITY, Ohio - Carl R. Stotz, a farmer and longtime agriculture education teacher here, died of a heart attack Tuesday in Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne, Ind. He was 69.

Mr. Stotz, of Williams County's Jefferson Township, retired in 1983 from Hilltop High School in the Millcreek-West Unity Local School District, where he began teaching in 1955.

He continued to stop at the school regularly for visits with students and former colleagues.

“Teaching was his entire life,” his son Phil said. “Even when he retired, he could never get totally away from it.”

He was long active in the Future Farmers of America, now known as the National FFA Organization and in 1992 received honorary state and American farmer degrees from FFA. He was especially proud that 41 of his students had been awarded the prestigious “state farmer” award - as he had been as an Edgerton High School student in the 1940s - and four received the “American farmer” distinction, his son said.

“All four are professors at universities,” his son said.

Former student Marv Stuckey did not become a farmer, but he said parliamentary procedure and speaking techniques learned in the agriculture classroom helped him in 11 years as West Unity mayor.

“It was a well-rounded procedure,” said Mr. Stuckey, now a Williams County commissioner. “He got along well with all the students.”

Mr. Stotz grew up on a farm near Edgerton, Ohio. He received a bachelor of agriculture education degree from Ohio State University and a master of education degree from Michigan State University. He also attended Bowling Green State University.

“He liked farming or agriculture so much, he felt that being a teacher, he could teach young people how to be good farmers,” his son said.

Mr. Stotz was an Army veteran of the Korean War.

He farmed 90 acres west of West Unity until mid-1970s and raised hogs, sheep, and grain.

His great interest was in “reaping the benefits of the land,” his son said, “whether it be teaching agriculture or farming or hunting.”

He, his wife, Sharon, and son Tom owned and operated an auto parts store in West Unity for about six years in the 1980.

He and his wife spent their retirement years traveling the United States, although they toured Spain, New Zealand, and Australia as well.

“They'd get home from one trip and plan for the next trip,” son Phil said. “They were pretty independent people.”

Surviving are his wife, Sharon, whom he married in 1953; sons, Phil and Tom; daughters, Debbie Wilcox and Cindy Mercer; brother, Russell; sisters, Wayva Harris and Charlene Krill, and 12 grandchildren.

Services will be at 3 p.m. today in the Hilltop High School gym, West Unity. Arrangements are by the Hollingshead Mortuary, West Unity.

The family requests tributes to the Carl and Sharon Stotz scholarship fund at the high school.



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