Stan Sites raised money for special events, drove kids from across Lima to baseball and basketball practices, had deep roots in his faith and was a champion of the little guy.
The Lima region lost one of its biggest cheerleaders with his passing Friday, just two days shy of his 88th birthday.
Stan was part of Lima’s old guard. He graduated in 1948 from St. Rose High School, served in the Navy and graduated from Ohio State, where he met his late wife, Patricia.
They raised seven children and Stan helped with countless fund-raisers for St. Gerard parish and Lima Central High School as well as local organizations. He never quit helping, even as his last child finished school.
Those of us at The Lima News knew him from the phone calls he made to us. It would be to talk sports, share a story or to just chat and laugh. His calls to me always ended the same way: “Hey, Jimmy. Keep up the good work. And keep telling those positive stories. People need to hear them.”
That was Stan. Mr. Positive. A guy who never had anything bad to say about anyone.
His eyesight began to fail him the last few years. His daughter would come over every day and read the newspaper to him. “Don’t I have great kids,” he would say proudly.
If you ever crossed paths with Stan, he never forgot you.
“Stan was a huge part of my life,” said Kevin Bourk on Facebook. “Growing up on Melrose Avenue in Lima was a blessing. We all had our own parents, but we also had every other neighborhood parent to help guide us on the path of life.
“Stan was an example to us to stay loyal to our family and friends, forgive others for the mistakes they had made and how to stay faithful to God through some of the most painful times any parent and grandparent should have to deal with. Thank you Stanley Sites for being a role model in my life.”
A lot of others are saying the same thing today.
ROSES AND THORNS: A 100-year-old great-grandmother who gets a kick out of watching the Kardashians! You bet there are roses waiting for her in the garden.
Rose: To Maxine I. Evans, of Gomer, who is celebrating her 100th birthday on Saturday. Talk about a special lady, she did crossword puzzles every day and crocheted blankets for every child, new grandchild and great-grandchild (that’s 30 in all!). She keeps up with all local and national news, and loves to watch the Kardashians. She also loves watching the Cincinnati Reds and knows the scoop on all the players.
Rose: To Teresa Maag, of Leipsic. Her idea was featured Sunday in the nationally syndicated comic strip “Pluggers.”
Rose: Take a deep breath and smile. The Ohio EPA says Lima’s air quality is just fine.
Rose: To Walter Paxson, who is being honored Nov. 11 by the Ohio School Board Association for serving 25 years on the Allen County Educational Service Center Board.
Thorn: The Rhodes State downtown project has gone from saying it would be completed in 2017 to now saying it won’t break ground until 2019. Meanwhile a new architect has been hired — Why? School officials won’t say — and president Debra McCurdy is leaving in April or early May for a new job in Baltimore.
Thorn: Three suspicious house fires in one week have Lima firefighters taking notice. For the second time in 24 hours, Lima firefighters were called Friday to a suspicious fire of a vacant house at 1308 E. Fourth St. Earlier in the week, a vacant house fire at 764 St. John’s Ave. was deemed suspicious.
Thorn: It’s pretty hard to hide in a car and go undetected, Cory Gross learned. During a routine traffic stop Friday morning on state Route 703, Auglaize County Sheriff’s deputies found him armed with a gun and trying to hide on the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
PARTING SHOT: Old quarterbacks never die. They just pass away.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.