John Robert Staver, 77, of Lincoln, NE died April 24, 2022 at Legacy Arbors following many well-fought years against Alzheimer’s disease. John was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, teacher, colleague, and coach.
He was born August 8, 1944 in Muncie, IN to his parents, J. Fred & Louise Staver. He adored his older brother, Fred. Raised in Speedway, IN, he graduated from Speedway High School in 1962 where he was known for being friendly and delightfully mischievous.
In 1965, John met Patricia Love while riding a Greyhound bus between college and home. He was smitten with Pat from the very start. They were married on August 20, 1966 in Indianapolis. John loved to play friendly pranks on Pat, and they enjoyed adventure, traveling, and learning together. John and Pat both found their callings as teachers and appreciated the shared experiences this brought them throughout life, especially traveling to Japan to immerse themselves in Japanese culture and schooling.
John graduated from Indiana University with his undergraduate degree in 1968. He began his career as a high school science teacher and baseball coach in Indianapolis. John earned his Master of Science degree from Purdue University in 1973 and headed back to IU to earn his Doctorate of Education in 1978.
A lifelong educator, John was a professor at several universities. He spent most of his career teaching at Kansas State University and later at Purdue University where he retired as Professor Emeritus. Along with his substantial research and publications, John found great joy and pride in preparing his students to be effective and inspirational teachers. He was widely known for being an exceptionally kind and jovial mentor who took his work, but not himself, seriously.
John and Pat were blessed with two daughters, Amanda and Emily. He was a devoted father to his girls whom he nurtured to be curious, compassionate, driven, family oriented, and independent. John continually volunteered his time and service to the girls’ various pursuits by coaching and mentoring them and their friends. He was so proud they both joined the “family business” and became teachers.
John’s delight in his family grew exponentially with the addition of grandsons, Jarett, Hazen, and Gabe, and granddaughter, Molly. He loved to be with his grandchildren and gleefully engaged in their lives and play.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
John is survived by his wife of 56 years, Patricia of Lincoln. Daughters: Amanda (Eric) Messersmith and Emily (Joe) Fisher all of Lincoln. Grandchildren: Jarett and Hazen Messersmith, Gabe and Molly Fisher all of Lincoln. Brother: Fred (Dianna) Staver of Bedford, IN. Nieces, nephews, extended family, and countless friends, colleagues, and students.
While we celebrate his life here, John has moved on to a new kind of celebration. One with his Lord and the precious family and friends (and kitties) that went before him. With golf every afternoon, all-you-can-eat McDonald’s burgers & fries, and rock n’ roll music on a continuous loop. With high fives, hugs, and endless Diet Coke. And he’ll be waiting with open arms, and a big goofy smile, to welcome us when we leave to go celebrate too.
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