John Merle Stoll (1918-2015)


Parents

Father: John Daniel Stoll  (1875-1950)
Mother: Stella Gertrude Hammond  (1879-1959)
 

Siblings

Sister: Dorothy Augusta Stoll  (1903-????)
Sister: Elizabeth M. Stoll  (1912-????)
Brother: Robert L. Stoll  (1920-????)
 

Spouse

Wife: Dorothy Alberta Weidenhoeft  (1919-2003) married 1946-06-17.
 

Children

Daughter: Linda Jeanne Stoll  (1947- )
Daughter: Jane Carole Stoll  (1952- )
 

Basic Data

Born: 1918-03-15
Died: 2015-06-25
Buried: Cedar Hill Cemetery, Brooklyn, MD, USA
 

History

Link: Personnel of the 492nd Bombardment Squadron lists "STOLL, JON"
Photograph: Linthicum Veterans Memorial (date unknown)
 

References

Record: Compiled by Stella S. Ivey.
Book: The Shipleys of Maryland 1968, Dorothy Shipley Granger.
 

The Capital Gazette, July 29, 2015. (Also at McCully-Polyniak Funeral Home.)

John Merle Stoll (1918 - 2015) Obituary

Stoll, John Merle, March 15, 1918 to July 25, 2015, age 97. Descendent of numerous early Maryland families such as the Linthicums, Shipleys, Howards, and Hammonds, some of whom can trace their lineage to the mid 1600's. He was an 11th generation grandson of Major General John Hammond of the Colonial Militia who first settled at Providence, Md. prior to the founding of Annapolis. A lifetime resident of Anne Arundel County, he grew up on several land grant farms dating to the 1700's in the Brooklyn-Curtis Bay area such as Snow Hill and Jackson's Chance. These were lost to the US Army Depot, completion of I-695 in 1973, and related surrounding commercialization.

After graduating from Glen Burnie HS in 1936 he worked at several local businesses including time as a field hand for his uncle Rezin Hammond's Cedar Farm (now known as the Benson Hammond Farmhouse, headquarters of the A.A. Co. Historical Society). He was the last living of 40 Hammond 1st cousins so was well schooled in local families and history.

In 1942 he enlisted in the US Army Air Force and after some perilous wartime sea voyages arrived in India where he served 2½ years in the India-Burma-China Theater servicing B-24 Bombers who flew "the Hump" over the mountains making bombing runs in the Far-East. During leave hours, rather than partaking of the vices of many typical service men or even sightseeing, he spent his time visiting missionary stations where he made contacts with missionaries whose paths he was to cross on future occasions.

After the war, he married Dorothy Wiedenhoeft in 1946 and eventually settled back in the family farm, Jackson's Chance, off Ordnance Rd. The farm had a great view of Curtis Creek and the Amoco Oil Facilities located below where he was employed and retired after 44 years where he never lost a day due to sickness. When the farm was lost to I-695 expansion, he moved into an older house in the historical Linthicum Heights community where he continued his interest in history. He became an early and very active member of the A.A. County Historical Society, serving many years as docent at the Benson-Hammond House, the very farm he had worked on as a young man. His quiet and knowledgeable demeanor enthralled many generations of tourists, friends, and families of the area. His elementary schoolteacher daughter Linda would bring him to class to talk on history and the normally squirmy students didn't want to budge from their seats when class was over. His affable and unpretentious personality always made him a central attraction wherever people would gather, be it church, school, family gatherings, or community events.

He was a lifetime member of Brooklyn United Methodist Church, that his ancestors helped to found, until it merged with another church in 2011. He was very active in the church programs and served as Sunday School Teacher and Asst. Scoutmaster and the family farm served the scouts as a frequent camp ground. But more important was that he was known by all as a sincere and fine Christian gentleman; not just in words but by his attitude and actions. In a recent interview he stated "he gave his life to the Lord as a young man of 11 with no regrets". This was evident in the role model he lived. His favorite lifetime verse is Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me." which was his guiding principle.

He lost his beloved wife Dorothy 12 years ago but persevered with no regrets. He is survived by his two dear daughters Linda Jeanne Stoll, who has been his caregiver for the past several years, and Jane Carole Meleady and her husband Greg of Ocean View, Delaware, and grandson Glenn Garrett Meleady. Also numerous loving nieces, nephews, and their offspring to the 4th generation.

Relatives and friends are invited to call at the family owned and operated MCCULLY-POLYNIAK FUNERAL HOME, P.A. 237 East Patapsco Avenue BROOKLYN on Friday 2:00 TO 7:00 PM. Mr. Stoll will lie-in-state on Saturday at Linthicum United Methodist Church 200 School Lane Linthicum, Maryland 21090 from 10 AM until 11 AM at which time funeral services will be held. Interment Cedar Hill Cemetery. The family suggest en lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to: The Helping Up Mission 1029 E. Baltimore St. Baltimore, Md. 21202 or The Disabled American Veterans.


From McCully-Polyniak Funeral Home. Note that Mr. Stoll's original middle name appears to have been "Wisdom". (A church newsletter? Should it be the Cross and Flame Lifeline?)

Flame and Cross Lifeline

John Stoll and his family have had a long association with Brooklyn UMC. His parents were married at the church in 1901. John Wisdom was born on March 15, 1918 to John Daniel Stoll and Stella Gertrude Hammond. John was baptized in the parsonage by Rev. Coe. His father originally was a farmer and he also worked in the industrial plants in Curtis Bay. When he was younger Mr. Stoll went by the name of Merle because he had so many relatives with the name of John Stoll. As a young child his family lived in the tenant house on his Grandfather's farm located on the northern edge of Anne Arundel County (known as Snow Hill Farm, originally called Jackson's Chance). [Hammond Stoll House at Jackson's Chance (PDF); I don't know if Mr. Stoll lived in this particular house.] Where Ordnance Road is now is where the farm was located. His Father stopped farming when Mr. Stoll was four years old and in 1927 the family moved to Brooklyn Park on 7th and 8th Ave. In 1938 the family moved back to the farm to the top of the hill and lived in his Grandfather's house. Mr. Stoll had one younger brother, Robert Leslie Stoll (known as Buck) and two older sisters, Dorothy and Elizabeth. Mr. Stoll attended kindergarten in Curtis Bay at the school located at Fairhaven Ave and Church Street and later attended Brooklyn Park Elementary School located on Morgan Road (both of these schools have since been torn down). Mr. Stoll laughed when he recalled that he failed second grade but his daughter Linda noted that he was so smart when he got to third grade that they put him in 4th Grade. Linda believed that her Dad's incredible memory was fostered by the memory work required when he was in 4th Grade. Every week a new poem was put up on the bulletin board and the students were required to memorize it that week. Mr. Stoll still knew many of these poems. When Mr. Stoll was growing up there were only four High Schools in Anne Arundel Country—Annapolis, Millersville, Southern, and Glen Burnie. He went to Glen Burnie High School and graduated in 1936 with 130 in his graduation class. Mr. Stoll worked at a variety of places after graduation (Southern States, U.S. Industrial, Davidson Chemical, Hutzler Brothers (for $10 per week pay), and the Benson-Hammond House Farm during the Depression.

In 1947, Mr. Stoll joined the Army Air Corps and went west to Denver for training. He remembers fondly the people of Trinity Methodist Church there who took the soldiers home with them for Sunday dinner. There was one family that was particularly good to Mr. Stoll and in 1993 his daughter Linda visited the area and Trinity UMC and met some of the family that took Mr. Stoll in. In 1942, World War II was still ongoing and Mr. Stoll left Norfork, Virginia in October 1942 in a ship bound for India. At that time the Germans had submarines off the east coast and were sinking U.S. ships but he was in an unescorted troop ship that held 8,000 men named the "Mauretania". [RMS Mauretania (1938)] Their first stop was Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They went around the world by water and did not go through the Suez or Panama Canals. From Brazil they then headed for South Africa where they faced the Cape of Good Hope. Mr. Stoll said it was called Good Hope because you hoped you got around it without sinking. He said the wind blows one way and the water currents go the other way. He said his ship was stopped twice on the journey around the Cape. They then went up to the entrance of the southern end of the Suez Canal. At this point in the journey barbed wire was put around part of the ship and 500 German POWs (who were being sent to the U.S.) from the North African Campaign were put on the ship. In Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka) Mr. Stoll and those others to be stationed in India got off the Mauretania (which went 30 MPH) and got onto a freighter named the City of Paris (which went 10-12 MPH) and went up the coast of India and on to Karachi. [SS City of Paris (1920)] He got off the ship on November 30, 1942. They had two destroyers escort them up the Indian coast because at the time Japanese submarines were sinking U.S. ships in the area. Mr. Stoll was assigned to the 10th Air Force and worked on aircraft armaments. However, when Mr. Stoll arrived at Karachi the aircraft were not there yet. Before Mr. Stoll got off the ship they were told that they would have some disease within a year and sure enough he got malaria; he also got what he called Karachi Krud, which is similar to Montezuma's Revenge. His 7th Bomb Group received three Presidential Unit Citations during the war. There were B-24s and B-25s in India and Mr. Stoll worked on the B-24s. In it's a small world department there were four or five other fellows from Brooklyn in India during the war. While in India, Mr. Stoll was only 70 miles away from the Taj Mahal but he never got to visit it because he always wanted to visit the mission field; so instead of using his pass to visit the Taj Mahal he and a buddy of his went to visit the Lutheran Mission field in South India and were among the first American soldiers to do so. The Lutheran missionary there, Dr. Russel Fink, was from Mt. Wolf, Pennsylvania and was a classmate of Rev. Brennemen who was the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in Linthicum. Mr. Stoll's Great-Uncle John Edwards Stoll gave Dr. Fink lodging when he visited Linthicum. Now this same missionary took in Mr. Stoll in India. Back in Brooklyn the members of the Brooklyn church had a Buddies Club and Mr. Meister had a plaque made listing all those who served in the war. The parents there who had sons overseas and different members of the church wrote letters to their church members overseas and Mr. Stoll was very grateful for this. He said he wrote a lot of letters home himself and Linda said those letters are saved out in their garage. After spending 2 years he came home from Bombay in January 1945 by way of Australia. The ship he came home on was named the General Randall. [USS General George M. Randall (AP-115)] It was a 22,000 ton ship and since there were only 2,000 soldiers on the ship it also carried back to the U.S. some U.S. civilians including the missionary who had befriended Mr. Stoll in India. It took them 35 days to get home.

After the army Mr. Stoll went to work with the American Oil company and retired from there after 44 years in 1983. During this time he never took a sick day. He worked on the water front and as a gauger. He also loaded barges, transferred petroleum products, and blended AMOCO gas.

On June 17, 1946 he married Dorothy Wiedenhoeft in the Brooklyn church parsonage. Since cars were scarce after the war Mr. Stoll did not have a car and his brother-in-law Dale Oxley drove them to their honeymoon in Frederick, Maryland. [Dale D. Oxley was the husband of Mr. Stoll's oldest sister, Dorothy Augusta Stoll (scroll down to "Children"); obituary of their son, Dale Donald Oxley (, Jr.?).] They stayed at the Francis Scott Key Hotel which is a senior citizen place now. His brother-in-law stayed and had supper with them too before leaving to go back to his house. There was also a Firemen's convention there at that time—the place was jumping. John and Dorothy had two daughters, Linda (a schoolteacher), and Jane (who was manager of a newspaper for 30 years in Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City and now works on the Coastal Point newspaper in Ocean View, Delaware). Mr. Stoll had one grandson Garrett Meleady who just received his RN degree.

Mr. Stoll had many memories of Brooklyn United Methodist Church over the years. He recalled that at one time there were over 1,000 people in Sunday School. He noted that many mayors, governors and other people of note have visited the church, sometimes by mistake. He recalled on October 24, 1976 then Mayor William Donald Schaefer came in, took his coat off and sat down. Now Mr. Stoll knew that the church on Annabel Ave (now Baybrook UMC) was celebrating its 50th anniversary that day and suspected that the Mayor might be in the wrong church. He told Charlie Rechner who went up to the Mayor and sure enough a few minutes later Mayor Schaefer quietly left the church. At church Mr. Stoll served as a charter member and Assistant Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 189. They had a scout camp on their farm called Camp Poison Oak and 40-50 boys in their troop. Stoll was also a Sunday School teacher for the Jr. High for many years. Mr. Stoll was happy that the Baptismal Font that his family gave to Brooklyn UMC in memory of his great-grandfather, Rezin Hammond (who died in 1876) is back at Holly Run (located over in back of the Linthicum Heights UMC) since Brooklyn UMC was an off-shoot of Holly Run. They recently had their final baptism using this font at Holly Run.

As far as hobbies go Mr. Stoll enjoyed being a local historian and had been a docent at the Benson-Hammond House near the airport for many years. [The Hammond part of Benson-Hammond refers to Rezin Howard Hammond (1864-1928), Mr. Stoll's uncle on his mother's side of the family.] He was also a member of the Anne Arundel Historical Society and AARP 3850. As a historian Mr. Stoll had the gift of making history come alive whether he talked about his childhood memories during the Depression when his Mother made extra sandwiches for him to take to school for those without, his World War II experiences, or facts about the church and the local area. Because of his gift of storytelling and his historical knowledge, when his daughter Linda taught school she would have Mr. Stoll come and talk to her classes. She always figured the children could last about 30 minutes but they were so enraptured by what Mr. Stoll was telling them that even after the bell had rung they would come over to him, put their hands on his knee and continued to ask him questions. Mr. Stoll has also been interviewed by several college students about his first-hand knowledge of historical events. Sarah Andrews interviewed him and that tape is on file at Gettysburg. Katie Kosack also interviewed him as part of the WW II Veterans' Project and that interview is held at the Library of Congress. When Mrs. Stoll was alive Mr. Stoll was the one man in the Brooklyn Garden Club. They appreciated his skills as a driver. Also during the 70s and 80s Mr. and Mrs. Stoll took many bus trips. He noted that he has been to Disney World five times. Sometimes Mrs. Stoll did not tell Mr. Stoll about a trip until the morning they were to leave and she packed a bag for them and off they went. He was also a volunteer for the PTA and followed the local Little League teams. He enjoyed reading the Smithsonian Magazine and watching the History Channel on TV.


Newsline, May 1983 - text provided by his daughter, Jane (Stoll) Meleady.

John M. Stoll was born in his great-grandfathers house, the same spot where the Amoco terminal's tank farm now sits.

"My great-grandfather owned this land since 1830," said John, surveying the section of land now covered with huge storage tanks. "Certain parcels were sold to the B & O railroad around 1917, then it was sold to Amoco and they started building on it in 1922."

John still remembers watching the steam shovels and horse drawn dump wagons build the terminal's fire dikes, and the crews rivet the tanks together when he was a boy. "We were all glad to see industrialization come to this area because it meant jobs." he said.

Stoll admits that looking for a job during the 30's was an effort in futility. But living next to the Amoco terminal definitely helped. "I used to cut through the terminal on my way to some of the odd jobs I managed to find back then," he said. "One day I saw a leaking flange and reported it to the superintendent and assistant terminal manager at the main gate."

Stoll's quick response paid off. To thank him for his efforts, Amoco was able to offer Stoll a job at the terminal a month later. "I was especially glad to come to work with Amoco since it meant steady employment after so many temporary jobs," he noted.

Stoll, 65 years old, attributes his good health and never calling in a day sick in 44 years to working outdoors in all kinds of weather. His retirement plans include keeping active one way or another. "I'm a bus trip enthusiast," he says. "I've always wanted to travel out west and see the Rocky Mountains. My wife, Dorothy, and I will probably do a lot of traveling now."

Retirement and 65th birthday. 44 years of work without one sick day. (1983)

"The Priceless Gift of Life is Love."


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