Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Dennis Stemler who was born in Ohio on June 17, 1988 and passed away on February 24, 2004 at the age of 15. We will remember him forever. 

Dennis was   our first child.....and our ONLY boy.  We were so very happy to have a son....and a red head at that!  He was such a joy and so full of life and happiness!  He started to walk at 11 1/2 months....he was 31 lbs at one year old!!  He talked early and often....he loved to move around and help out and play ball....all types of ball!!! 

As Dennis grew older, at age 2 1/2 I noticed him acting different one night...for a slight time....like staring and shaking weird....I did not know...and just told him to stop....withing 20 seconds he did stop.  Two weeks later, while in bed, he moaned and we ran to check on him and he went into a GTC (general tonic clonic) seizure...for about 3-4 minutes...but while watching it, it seemed forever.  We called 911 and an ambulance came.  The next day, after testing, we found out he had Epilepsy.  Later to discover it was Idiopathic Epilepsy (having seizures for unkown cause/reason).  We think Dennis may have started seizures earlier....because as a baby he would occasionally throw open his arms and smile and stare....for short 3-10 seconds periods....these could've been small, partial seizures....which we thought were just "happy bursts"?

Dennis was put on medication, after medication, after medication and many drug studies as he got older....only for a short 6 month period did Dennis go seizure free (from around 3 1/2 to 4 1/2.....the medicines helped him...but not to be totally seizure free....he would mostly  have the small
complex partial seizures...which lasted usually from  5 -20 or so seconds...and if you did not know him or about his seizures...you'd just think he was acting weird, or misbehaving or goofing off....but he wasn't.

Kids in grade school were cruel....immature and unknowing...so they made fun of him often, but through our family's support, some close friends and the Cinti. Epilepsy Foundation (kids support group) he did pretty well.  He learned from us that the kids making fun of him were immature and to ignore them...it was not easy for him...but he did well!  He managed to carry a C/B average in grade school, play baseball, soccer, basketball and
volleyball.  He loved basketball and volleyball the most!!  He was talented....but often his seizures or 'side effects' fromt he medicines would slow him down in sports...and the coaches and kids mostly did not understand that....but that did NOT SLOW DENNIS DOWN!!!...He  played, studied (because of medicines/seizures he spent TOO MUCH time doing homework!  Which we now so much regret!!!)....He played sports, teased his sisters, swam, played tag football with  neighbors and basketball,
etc etc.  He worked in the concession stand for two years at the first swim club we belonged to....and he babysat some neighbors boys, also.  He was a good ice skater...and great brother to his sisters...he challanged them
and taught them basketball moves, soccer moves, volleyball moves and ping pong and  how to play chess!  He shared a lot!  He taught CCD (pre-school religion) classes for about 3 years, also and loved it!   He worked really with kids!

At his 8th grade graduation, Dennis received the Mike Pohlkamp Scholarship, in honor of his good academic efforts and his good sportsmanship and athletic qualities!  He was sooo excited...we were unaware of this award till graduation evening....it was such a thrill for Dennis and us to receive this partial scholarship to Elder High School...where he always wanted to go!!  

During Freshman year, Dennis made many new friends...especially from
being on the Cross Country team and as a member of the Glee Club (and
Corn hole club and SADD).  Dennis was average with Cross Country...
his real love was Basketball and Volleyball.  He did not try out for Elder's BB team, but played High School BB for his parish team and for ELDER's Intramerual team (both Frosh & Sophomore years).  He did well with that...he also played Volleyball for St. Williams (his parish did not have a team) High School team his Frosh year.  He loved it all!  He made Academic (2nd Honors...89.5 avg) all Frosh and all his Sophomore year also! During the summer before Sophomore year, Dennis grew a lot...both physically and maturely!  He was tested in Children's hospital to see if he qualified for brain surgery to help control his seizures...but he was NOT able to have it...it was too deep in the center of his brain...too risky.  Oh, I believe in the beginning of his Frosh year...we had a VNT put in to him...his chest....to help stop or shorten the length of his seizures.  It was like what a pacemaker is to the heart...this piece is like that to your brain.  It was computerized...and by rubbing a Magnet over that area (a specialized strong magnet) it would set it off quicker and stronger to help stop or shorten the seizure he was  having.  Den's sisters, dad and I (and grandparents and some neighbors/friends) quickly learned about that.  The kids at school did not  understand...they called it his "TAZER gun"...Den did not mind!  He was soo cool about it!  Anyway...This piece only helped a bit...but not enough...the end of his Frosh year through the time God chose to take him to Heaven....Dennis' seizures worsened...it was during puberty, as the Doctors warned us...he'd either get better or worse....or see if medicine/science would help?....Dennis had started having more
GTC...longer shaking seizures...about 1 every 10 days or so....we started to see a pattern of when they'd happen and make sure he was safe & with us.....During Den's Sophomore year...he strengthened his personality....by maturity and growth....his friends, fellow students etc started to respect him more...he got taller and did exceptionally well in Elder's Intrameural
BB team...scoring an average 18 or more points a game!  He did well on the HS BB team!  He was trying out for Elder's VB team....and was doing awesome!  The coaches were impressed!!!  His running in CC helped him also!  His endurance, moving ability, height (he was about 5'9 then and still growing!!) and aggressiveness impressed everyone!  It was the Tues
before they'd find out (that Fri) who'd made the  Reserve VB teams...he  had an awesome tryout that day...came out of school to meet his dad...all proud and smiles!  Said how well he did....and talked to a teacher outside...all beaming and all....his dad was so impressed about his attitude!  He came home to tell us about it...did some studying, ate dinner with us, then went to lift weights in the basement......as he came upstairs...he had his shirt off, his legs were very strongly built...but he still needed to build his shoulders and arms somewhat...he proudly curled his arms and said...do I look muscular?  with a big smile on his face.....and I said with a sheepinsh grin...oh yeah, sure....smiling...and requested he go upstairs to finish typing his Religion homework on the computer.  My husband and I were goint to Krogers to get SOME NEW Medicine for his seizures that we hoped would help!  Our youngest child went with us...the other (younger than Dennis..his other sister) stayed home with him.  The last thing I said to Dennis as he went upstairs to do his homework...was..."Only 20 minutes Dennis...you know the computer is not good for you too long with your seizures "  "I know" he said as he waived me off.  We left....only to come home about 20 minutes later.....his sister crying greeted us saying Dennis was upstairs..had a seizure and was under  our bed (from moving around)
We went upstairs....we tried to help...he looked different....he has had bad ones before...but this was different!!!  His eyes were fixed and lips bluer
and we did not notice a pulse or breathing.  We called 911.  We were hopeful....but very worried.  Dennis died on our bedroom floor that  night...
He had what was called "SUDEP"   Sudden unexplained death from Epilepsy.  IT's an only point one percent...  .1% chance of happening to anyone having epilepsy!  It was a shock to us....to many and really upset our world!!!

Dennis' school, Elder was sooo very supportive!  His friends, classmates,
fellow teammates, neighbors, our family and friends flooded the layout and Mass!  Many kids who used to tease Dennis were so shocked and ashamed actually....it brought them to their senses.  They were very upset and apologetic.....not necessarily to us....but they went to the priest....to see their former teachers etc to discuss it!  Dennis affected MANY PEOPLE...AND what he wrote on the computer that evening....really impressed us...its like "angels" were with him as he wrote it.  We did not realize what he wrote  These last Written WORDS are under 'TRIBUTES'.  .   
  We love and miss you soooo very much Dennis!  LIFE IS A GIFT!!!
Do not take it for granted!  AND KNOW that True FRIENDS are GEMS...they are special!  We love you!
Click here to see Dennis Stemler's
Family Tree
Tributes and Condolences
We REMEMBER DENNIS ( 5 yr anniv)   / Debbie/Mom Stemler (Mom)
Today is the 5th year since Dennis has been taken to Heaven. Not a day goes by that I/We don't think of his smiling face, his loving sense of humor and his passion to be as normal as everyone else.  He loved playing basketball, ping pong, volle...  Continue >>
The 'Angel'   / Mom Stemler (Mom)
Dennis.....We miss you so very much.  Easter is this Sunday already...its been 3 years since you left us....but it doesn't seem that long.  You are on our minds always!!!  We love you and miss you
so very much!  Being close t...  Continue >>
Your story touched me   / Cynthia Durgin (none)
Hi, I was just passing through and read your son's story, and it made me cry.  I am so sorry for your loss.  Dennis was truly a special gift from God, and he put up with this illness with grace and dignity and accomplished a lot.  You ...  Continue >>
I MISS YOU   / Kathy Schenkel (aunt/godmother)
DENNIS,DID YOU SEE THE TREE IN THE CEMETARY THAT WAS DECORATED ALL IN PURPLE.  YOUR MOM DID THE GARLAND AND I FOUND THE ORNAMENTS...I THOUGHT THE TREE LOOKED GREAT..I SURE HOPE YOU LIKED IT.    I KNOW YOU ARE WATCHING OVER US EVER...  Continue >>
We Miss You!   / Erin Schrand (cousin)
Hi Dennis,

We really miss you being here with us, but I feel comforted knowing that you are watching over us.  I'm sure you've heard that Eric and I are getting married in July.  I wish that you could be here to celebrate th...  Continue >>
Peace be with you  / The Orloff Family (friends, neighbors )    Read >>
merry christmas dennis. we miss you!!!  / Trisha Carle (cousin)    Read >>
Thanks for sharing your story!  / Nancy Hollenkamp (Friend of Mom's )    Read >>
DON"T SHOOT!  / Steve Wandstrat (Friend/peer)    Read >>
The streaky shooter  / Joe Brackmann (friend& coach )    Read >>
The last day I saw Dennis  / Linda Gardner (friend)    Read >>
Dennis'Last Written Words for ALL OF US, right before he was taken to Heaven  / Den's Mom Stemler (Mother)    Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
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Dennis
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