Jerome “Jake” Stenger

Jerome “Jake” Stenger, 93 years old of St. Leon, Indiana, peacefully passed away Saturday, September 9, 2023. He was born and raised in St. Leon.  He purchased land from his mother to build a home for his family. He loved the town of St Leon and told many fond and memorable stories over the years frequently starring the ‘Stenger’ boys which were his many brothers. Jake served in the United States Army and upon his return from Germany became a dedicated member of the St. Joseph American Legion Post 464.

Jake had his own business, Jake’s Garage, St Leon. After closing Jake’s Garage, he went to work for his childhood friend, Ed Oehlman, at Firestone in Brookville. Jake made friends all over the county and beyond. When he wasn’t working at Firestone, he was on his farm raising cattle and baling hay. Jake had a strong work ethic and rarely took a day off. Despite working two jobs most of his life, he found the time to coach American Legion baseball for over 55+ years. While winning games meant some something to him, shaping young men’s lives is what meant the most to him.  The impact he had on so many local boys carry on today as they’ve become adults, fathers, and coaches themselves.  Many former players stayed in contact with him over the years and reflected fondly on the memories and lessons learned. He had friends across Indiana and beyond usually knowing people when the family traveled for vacations outside the State, even to Florida.

When he wasn’t working or coaching, he could often be found playing poker or 7-Up on Saturday nights. He was an avid Cincinnati Reds fan for decades staying tuned in on the radio or at the game on the riverfront. He was also a staple at many local sporting events, mostly at East Central, but occasionally in Batesville if it meant seeing a grandchild play. Fireman’s festivals, church picnics, and events at Post 464 were mainstays in Jake’s life and he could always be seen at these local events talking and listening to just about everyone. As a parishioner of St. Joseph, he rarely missed Sunday mass and wanted to attend even when it became nearly physically impossible for him to do so. A special memory was the ringing of the new church bells at St. Joseph’s.

Jake’s biggest joy was his family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Nothing was more important than his family.

Jake will be deeply missed by his children Terri Gardner of Batesville, Jerry (Sandy) Stenger of St. Leon, Lynn (Ric) Hertel of Batesville; sister Joan Oesterling of Oldenburg; eight grandchildren~Sam, Kate, Bill, Carly, Kira, James, Jessica, and Tripp and four great grandchildren, Madison, Tommy, Ruby and Ophelia. He is preceded in death by Ruth, his wife of 69 years; siblings-Sylvester Stenger, Joseph Stenger, Melvin Stenger, Earl Stenger, Theodore Stenger, and Anthony Stenger; and parents Catherine & Joseph Stenger.

Visitation for Jake will be held on Monday, September 18, in St. Joseph Church, St. Leon, IN. Rosary will begin at 10:00 AM with visitation directly following until 1:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 1:00 PM and burial will immediately follow in the church cemetery. For those unable to attend, Mass will be live streamed at Memorials may be made to All Saints Parish, and mass intentions.  Memorials will be accepted at the visitation or may be mailed to Andres-Wuestefeld Funeral Home. Family and friends are encouraged to leave condolences at