Jerome Stephen “Fireball” Stadler, 82, of Lecompton, passed away Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the University of Kansas Hospital St. Francis Campus.
He was born December 26, 1940, in Topeka, the youngest of 12 children to Joseph John Stadler and Marie Sophie Angela (Leinacker) Stadler. Jerome was a star halfback at Hayden High School that played and scored the winning touchdown against Topeka High School in the first televised high school football game. He graduated in 1959, and went on to play football at Washburn University for 2 years.
Jerome entered the United States Navy after college, and was very proud of his service to the country.
He enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren, his German Shepard dogs, gardening, umpiring softball, and volunteering at Let’s Help. Jerome was a member of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Perry, a 3rd Degree Knight of Columbus, a member of the American Legion, and the Carman’s Union.
Jerome worked for the railroad as a welder/carman and raised pigs on the family farm.
He married Janice Sue Merrifield, June 8, 1968, at Assumption Catholic Church in Topeka. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include his children, Jeffery Stadler and wife Michelle of Joplin, Missouri, Jennifer Murray and husband David of Topeka, Kansas, Joseph Stadler and wife Amy of DeSoto, Kansas, and Janell Ridenour and husband Dennis of Kansas City, Missouri; grandchildren, Shelby and husband Mike, Clara and husband Zach, Madeline, Aaron, Ellery, Andrew, Joshua, Theo, and Samantha; great grandchildren, Corbin and Ava.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings; Marie Kaberline, Joseph Stadler, John Stadler, Virginia Latshaw, Andrew Stadler, Eugene Stadler, Francis Stadler, Rita Harvan, Cecelia Dunlap, Louis Stadler, and James Stadler.
The family will receive friends Wednesday, March 15 from 5:30 to 7:30pm at Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, where a rosary will be prayed at 7:30pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00am on Thursday, March 16 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Topeka. Entombment will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Helping Hands Humane Society and sent in care of Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave. Topeka, KS 66603.