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John Vincent Stengel
Please take a moment to read, reflect, and appreciate the life of “Vince”, a life well lived by a member of America’s greatest generation. Vince was a husband, father, grandpa, and great grandpa as well as a World War II veteran. In his writings Vince said, “Lifetime is ever fleeting but we are blessed in our minds and hearts to be able to recall treasured experiences in our past.”
Vince was born October 11, 1922 in Louisville, KY and grew up in the city during the great depression with his parents and eight siblings. In Vince’s youth his father was injured in two different accidents which left his father in poor health and unable to work as a stone mason. Each month was a struggle for his family to make the $17.50 monthly mortgage payment. Vince’s mother worked nights part-time scrubbing floors for less than a dollar per night. When Vince was 16 and a junior in high school his father died. At this time Vince was the oldest child living at home. He left school to help his mom and younger siblings. He delivered the morning newspaper, worked as a golf caddie starting at 5 cents per round and doing other odd jobs. He gave all the money he earned to his mother.
Vince was drafted and served in the US Army Air Corps from December 1942 to April 1946. He was a turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator Bomber assigned to the Pacific Northwest Fleet. At gunnery school, Vince had the highest score for marksmanship.
After being honorably discharged, Vince returned to live in the family home. In 1949, he married Norma Jane Price of Madison, Indiana. They remained married for over 62 years until Norma’s death.
Family was extremely important to Vince. He actively participated in the lives of his two children, Bruce and Peggy. He and Norma hosted and attended extended family gatherings, picnics and Christmas parties. He enjoyed hunting, frogging and turtling with his son, brothers and nephews. Vince loved to tailgate at the University of Kentucky football games with family members.
At supper Vince encouraged family discussions often on the relevant topics of the day. He instilled in his children a desire for education with his son becoming a lawyer and then a Judge and his daughter a nurse then Director of the Big Brothers / Sister program for the Louisville, KY metro district.
Vince was one of the original members of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Jeffersonville, IN. Vince started the Jeffersonville chapter of Saint Vincent de Paul to help needy families. He served on the church council and collected and counted Sunday offerings. He anonymously bought clothes and school supplies for needy children of the parish. Additionally, for years Vince and Norma regularly volunteered at the Jeffersonville Soup Kitchen.
Vince developed and mastered many skills over his lifetime such as woodworking, painting, gardening, and building free standing stone walls. While working for the Army as a civilian at Fort Knox, KY, Vince rose to be the Chief Editor for all army publications involving armor and in particular tanks. He became so knowledgeable on tanks that the commander of the Fort, General George Patton IV, had Vince write many of his speeches on tanks and tank warfare.
Vince was an avid reader. He took the Mensa IQ test for PHD’s in literature and geography. He passed both tests by scoring in the top 2%.
After retiring, Vince entered a new program offered by Indiana University to get college credits for life work. Vince wrote a paper about his WW II experiences and work at Fort Knox. Vince was the first applicant to receive maximum credit for the life work paper and was enrolled at IU as a junior. After graduation from IU, Vince was offered a faculty position, but he declined.
Vince enjoyed playing golf almost all of his life. He preferred to walk the course rather than ride in a golf cart. He once shot a score of 86 at 86 years of age.
After the passing of his wife Norma, Vince lived alone for several years in his home in Jeffersonville. Vince then moved in with his granddaughter, Leah and her husband Dr. Matthew Nett, who both graciously cared for Vince’s needs during his final years.
Vince passed peacefully at home in Floyd Knobs, Indiana on October 6th, 2023 a few days before his 101st birthday.
Vince was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Mary Rose Stengel, wife Norma Price Stengel, daughter Peggy Stengel Boone, son-in-law James Boone and all eight of his siblings, Robert, Gene, Mil, Dot, Lawrence, Ralph, Dick and Gil. He is survived by his son Bruce V. Stengel (Marcia), grandchildren, Matthew Boone (Stephanie), Leah Boone Nett (Matthew), Emily Boone Kelly (Phil), and Kevin V Stengel, (Kristi) and great grandchildren, James Nett, Charles Nett, Matthias Nett, Hugh V. Stengel, Lucy Stengel, Evelyn Kelly, Alexander (A.J.) Boone, Maddox Boone and sister-in-law Charlotte Stengel.
Visitation will be at Scott Funeral Home, 2515 Veterans Parkway, Jeffersonville, Indiana on Monday, October 16th from 3:00 to 8:00 pm. The funeral Mass will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1840 E. 8th Street, Jeffersonville on Tuesday October 17th at 1:00 pm. Burial will follow in Queen of Heaven Cemetery.