Cover photo for Dr. James A. Stapel's Obituary
Dr. James A. Stapel Profile Photo
1948 Dr. 2022

Dr. James A. Stapel

April 30, 1948 — January 28, 2022

Dr. James A. Stapel, age 73 of Columbia City, IN, passed away at 6:29 pm on Friday January 28, 2022, at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne. Born on April 30, 1948, in Muskegon, Michigan, he was the son of Carl and Jean (Jensen) Stapel.

James attended Reeths-Puffer High School in Muskegon and graduated with the Class of 1966. He then attended Central Michigan University and graduated in 1970. James went on to Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and graduated as the Valedictorian of Class of 1975. Dr. Stapel began his professional career with Whitley Medical Associates in 1976 and provided care to the community until his retirement.

Dr. Stapel had a passion for teaching and encouraging young physicians from the start of his medical practice that continued throughout his life. He served as a mentor and role model for many physicians in all of Northeast Indiana.

Dr. Stapel was instrumental in forming Parkview Medical Group, which later expanded to Parkview Physicians Group.  He was the first Chief Medical Officer of PMG.  He served on the PPG Board of Directors for its first five years and played a critical role in the primary care service line, helping to develop the culture and code of conduct that helped guide PPG providers.  Dr. Stapel continued to care for patients during this time and was instrumental in the recruitment and growth of PPG to over 22 locations, bringing key specialties to Parkview Community Hospitals.

Dr. Stapel served on the Parkview Health Board of Directors from 1998-2006, was currently serving a second term on the Parkview Board of Directors and was currently serving as chairperson for the Parkview Whitley Board of Directors.  Dr. Stapel served nearly 25 years on various Parkview Health Boards.  In addition, he served on many local Whitley County Boards, including Troy School, Passages, Inc., and Whitley County YMCA.  Although he achieved many accomplishments, he remained a stalwart advocate for his patients.

He loved all sports and served as team physician for Columbia City High School for over 30 years.  As busy as Dr. Stapel was, he always had time for friends and family and offered medical as well as personal guidance to all who sought his wisdom and calming influence.

Dr. Stapel was passionate in all his endeavors, but especially playing golf.

Survivors include his wife Susan of Columbia City; daughters Julie (David Kalat) Stapel and Amy (Brian) Lisek, both of Lagrange Park, IL, Kelly Slavich of Fort Wayne, Cindy (Stephen) Baker and Jill (Derick) Schinbeckler, both of Columbia City; 11 grandchildren:  Kylah (Brian Tun) Ewing, Jeffrey (Alexis) Ewing, Lucas Wright, Jessica (Zack) Geiger, Ann Stapel-Kalat, Nathan Baker, Maxwell Stapel-Kalat, Parker Baker, Haven Lisek, Hayden Baker, and Spencer Lisek; 6 great-grandchildren Carson, Tyler, Tayler, Alex, Journey, and Layla; brother Dennis (Jackie) Stapel of Muskegon, MI.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service for Dr. Stapel will be held at 4:00 pm on Thursday February 17, 2022, at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. with calling from 2-4 pm.  Memorial contributions in memory of Dr. Stapel may be made to Parkview Whitley Foundation,   Whitley Community Foundation, Troy School, or PanCan.Org for pancreatic cancer research.

Visit to send family condolences or to sign the online guest register.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 17, 2022

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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