John Webb Stoppels

June 8, 1954  –  July 10, 2021


image of John Stoppels

John Stoppels

John Webb Stoppels was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on June 8th, 1954, and died in Seattle, Washington, on July 10th, 2021, after a brief struggle with pancreatic cancer.

John attended Hope College and graduated with a B.A. degree in philosophy from Northeastern University. He then went on to study theology at Garrett Theological Seminary, receiving a Masters in Divinity degree.

John’s life was richly varied. He served in pastoral positions at Victory Memorial Hospital in Waukegan, Illinois, as well as at a small church in Monroe, Washington. John deeply enjoyed discussing philosophy and spiritual matters with his large group of friends, always seeking to understand people and explore their beliefs. He was also a gifted artist, designing everything from ships to cartoons, and creating a large collection of superb photographs from locations close to home as well as from his travels around the world (his trips included the Dominican Republic, China, Korea, Europe and Great Britain). In recent years, John focused on writing, and his collection of fiction, biography, non-fiction, screenplays and other works is extensive and brilliantly written. Above all, John was a lover of the natural world. He was an avid hiker and backpacker, often fearlessly heading off on solo backpacking trips to remote regions throughout the U.S.  He loved sharing his knowledge of the wilderness with others. Nature was where he felt most at home and knew supreme joy.

John was preceded in death by his father, Allen Dale Stoppels. He is survived by his mother, Sara Webb Stoppels, of Poulsbo, WA; his sisters Jillon Dupree (Andy), of Bainbridge Island, WA, and Beth Girko (Steve) of San Antonio, TX; nephew Nicholas Dupree of Providence, RI; niece Sarah Dupree of Berkeley, CA; as well as a large extended family.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 29th, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. (PST) at University Congregational Church, Seattle, WA, either in-person (seating limited, masks required) or via livestream at . . . .   Remembrance donations can be made to the church, with a notation for either the Seabeck Scholarship Program or the Parish Aid Fund: University Congregational Church, 4515 16th Avenue, NE, Seattle, WA  98105.

5 Responses to “John Webb Stoppels”

  • Sue (Stoppels) Borchers says:

    Sympathies to my family on the passing of their loved one and my cousin.

  • Chuck Watts says:

    Jillon, Andy, Nicholas, Sarah, and Sara, Reading the lovely tribute to your dear John gave me a brief insight on how much he will be missed in your lives. No doubt you will remember John at all those times of the year where shared experiences were common and they will be a source of gratitude and comfort for you for having him in your life. Mary Tom and I send our warmest regards. Peace be with you, Chuck

  • Susan VanKuiken says:

    I began knowing John when he was a 4th grader attending a music class connected with the Children’s Choir at Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI, not exactly where most kids wanted to be on a Saturday morning. His resistance was quiet and always polite. He sketched amazing pictures of ship interiors in his notebook. He was already showing exceptional talent along with his kind spirit.
    I enjoyed knowing him as he grew up in the church community and then met up with him again in Seattle where I visited his beloved family members. I appreciated our walks and talks and can still hear his voice in my ear. He touched many lives in kind and thoughtful ways and will be remembered with love.

  • Vicki Boeckman says:

    Dear Friends,
    What a lovely tribute to John this is. My heart is full with love and compassion for you all as you process the loss of such a lovely human. I had no idea he led such a rich and varied life. May the memory of what he loved and accomplished along with his writings and drawings be a source of comfort well into the future. Heartfelt condolences and boundless love for the Stoppels Dupree family. From Vicki and Bill

  • Timothy Casey says:

    John and I went to seminary together. We were good friends for a time. I only learned of his death today, February 25, 2023. I was injured in an accident in 1997. He moved to Seattle not long after that and we lost touch. I’m sorry for that. I have and will miss him. Be at peace, my friend.

    Tim Casey

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