WAUSEON - Deryle D. Stiriz, 78, a former president of the Fulton County commissioners and a former local business owner, died yesterday in his home here.
He had open heart surgery several years ago. The cause of death was not reported.
Mr. Stiriz was sole owner of Deryle's Auto Care in Wauseon for 15 years before he sold the business to his son Jeff sometime prior to 1992.
A Republican, he served two four-year terms as a commissioner before he was narrowly defeated in the 1992 primary by Roger Warncke, of Wauseon. Mr. Stiriz was president of the three-member commission at the time.
"He was low-key, pretty conservative, and [a good listener]. He would listen to anybody," his son Scott said.
Mr. Stiriz's accomplishments in office included implementing a 911 emergency system and building a new facility for the Western District Court, the prosecutor's office, the Emergency Management Agency/Emergency Medical Services office, the commissioner's offices, and the sheriff's department, he pointed out in a 1992 Blade interview when he was running for re-election.
In 1996, Mr. Stiriz ran for commissioner again, as an independent, citing his concerns with the county moving ahead too fast and its schools getting overloaded. He lost to Brad Peebles, a Republican from Lyons.
A native of Fulton County, Mr. Stiriz was a Delta, Ohio, High School graduate.
In the mid-1940s, he married Joyce Shelt. She died in 1983.
Mr. Stiriz was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Wauseon.
Surviving are his sons, Jeff and Scott; daughters, Deb Smith, Becky Tober, and Karen Meridew; brother, Donald; 12 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Services will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Trinity Lutheran Church, Wauseon. Visitation will be held after 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Edgar-Grisier Funeral Home, Wauseon.
The family suggests tributes to the Wauseon Athletic Boosters or the Hospice of Williams and Fulton Counties.