Let the memory of Jim be with us forever
  • 39 years old
  • Born on July 22, 1978 in Durham, North Carolina, United States.
  • Passed away on April 18, 2018 in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

James Daniel Stuntz

James Daniel Stuntz, a talented writer, loving son, friend and uncle passed away in Silver Spring, MD on April 18th, 2018 at the age of 39.

Jim is survived by his loving parents, David & Ann Stuntz; his dearest friend, Peter Tabakis; his grandfather, John Stuntz; his sister and brother-in-law, Rebekah & Josh Barricklow and their children -- Jim’s beloved niece and nephew -- Riley & Dean; and his brother and sister-in-law, Mark & Sabrina Stuntz.           

Jim was born in Durham, NC on July 22, 1978. Growing up in northwest Pennsylvania, he was valedictorian of North East High School and an award winning, published poet with Merlyn’s Pen. He attended Davidson College in North Carolina where he was awarded the 1998 Patricia Cornwell Scholarship, given to one student annually who demonstrates an exceptional talent and passion for creative writing. Jim’s love of literature extended to his professional life. He worked in the book industry and coordinated special events featuring authors and celebrities, the likes of war veteran Cindy Sheehan, comedians Sarah Silverman and Samantha Bee, and even the great Aretha Franklin.

Jim was an avid reader and devoted uncle. He was known to be fabulously well-versed in all genres of literature, movies and music. He was inarguably articulate: capable of reciting quotes and entire book passages and movie quotes from memory. His adoration of his niece and nephew was demonstrated by the endless activities they enjoyed together from baking to board games. He will be deeply missed by his friends, family, clients and all who knew him.

A PRIVATE wake is scheduled in Jim’s honor this weekend at the family’s cherished lake house in Troutman, NC where invited friends and family will attend the scattering of his ashes. Peter Hausmann will officiate. The family is grateful for all memories, prayers and condolences shared here: http://jimstuntz.forevermissed.com/.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be offered in his name to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.


Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

-       Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll

Posted by Erin Wargula on 12th September 2018
Jim, you were smart as a whip to the point that I felt intimidated trying to talk to you in school, but you were so modest about the intelligence and talents God gave you and you always made time to talk to me. I remember the day you suffered a migraine during finals and were facing a possible zero on a final you'd missed...I could still kick myself for wussing out instead of standing up and speaking out on your behalf. It worked out for you as I recall, but I still should've spoken up. On another occasion, you saw I was reading Maya Angelou and you said you loved her stuff and wanted to live the amazing type of life she did. Here's hoping you got to do that, my friend. I'm so glad you got some of your writing published; that's awesome. And I'm sorry I missed them earlier, but your writings about your struggles with MH issues were nothing short of inspiring, from someone who's been there herself. Unrelated and entirely coincidental, but my youngest son is a James Daniel too. :)
Posted by Sarah Scheckter on 14th May 2018
I met Jim as a high school student at PA Governor's School for the Arts in 1995. We became fast friends and visited each other despite living at nearly opposite ends of the state - our parents obligingly drove us huge distances. I can't even remember why, but we had some joke about Spam - neither of us had eaten it (or at least I hadn't) but we thought it was hilarious. That year for Christmas, Jim painstakingly hollowed out a Spam can and decorated it with day-glo puffy paint and made it into a tree ornament. My family still hangs it on our tree every year. Jim, the world misses your fierce joy and brilliant humor, your courage and your inimitable you-ness.
Posted by Anna Lijewski on 4th May 2018
I have known Jim when we were kids. Just found out the sad news! My heart goes out to the family and I am heartbroken for you! Hugs and prayers for you all!
Posted by JOSEPH PODOLSKY on 30th April 2018
Dave, Ann, and Family, This is heartbreaking news. I knew Jim only briefly, but it's obvious from his obituary that the passing of such a gifted man is a terrible loss to the world, not just his family. "No man is an island," surely expresses this truth. Our Erie music world shares your grief and remembers you and your family for your generous spirit and the talent that enriched our lives. With my prayers, Marjorie
Posted by JOSEPH PODOLSKY on 30th April 2018
Dave, Ann, and Family, This is heartbreaking news. I knew Jim only briefly, but it's obvious from his obituary that the passing of such a gifted man is a terrible loss to the world, not just his family. "No man is an island," surely expresses this truth. Our Erie music world shares your grief and remembers you and your family for your generous spirit and the talent that enriched our lives. With my prayers, Marjorie
Posted by Donna Mutter on 26th April 2018
I didn’t know you, Jim. But having read these heartfelt tributes, I would have liked to. However, I know your Mom and Dad. I sit behind them every Sunday in church. Your father: brilliant, kind, frightfully talented, generous and real. Your mom: Genuine, brave, courageous, inspiring, also kind and caring. And I have heard them speak of their great love for you, their cherished son.
Posted by Margaret Kimmel on 25th April 2018
Beamish boy, I am overwhelmed with grief. I join others in despair at losing you, but rejoice that I knew you. Our connection was immediate and strong, I was wowed by your wit and great gifts as a poet, and warmed by your friendship. Scrabble, shared language, poetry, silliness. Distance and time have changed none of my love and respect for you -- in fact, in recent years, your courage has deepened both. So I will keep you in my mind and heart forever, and reach out to your family -- so loved by you -- with my own kind of prayer, the memory and the knowing of you, a small bit of shared grief for this heartbreak. --Meg
Posted by Amy (Alspaugh) Arden on 24th April 2018
I wanted to write something worthy of our friend Jim, but who could possibly capture the brilliance, the humor, the tongue-in-cheek wisdom of Jim, somehow always equal parts self-deprecation and swagger? Besides, Jim was the writer. So, here’s the last line of Jim’s short story ‘Proper Usage’ c. 1995: ‘as we floated up, out, and away, I looked down and saw our old little selves give tiny waves of good-bye, almost as if aware we were leaving them behind and going someplace new.’ I love you forever, dear friend.
Posted by Katherine Rigmin on 24th April 2018
A boy joined our fifth grade English class taught by Mrs. Rodgers. He stood up- with floppy, brown hair and glasses- to give a report on a book that I still remember had something to do with horses. In those few minutes it was clear Jim was someone special: the smartest boy I knew. I later found out his parents were pretty special, too. I send my sympathies to Jim’s entire family and friends wishing them strength in their sorrow.
Posted by Cort Cunningham on 24th April 2018
I will forever remember Jim and cherish our close friendship growing up and throughout high school. His enviable intelligence, wit, looks; his ability to fight the good fight through words and intellect...and Jim just being Jim. He brought out the best in me, and the troublemaker in me too. In fact, I think we could relate to each other in many ways, sometimes without really knowing or acknowledging. I wish we could have been out to each other then. I think our friendship would have been quite different, even stronger through the years. I will forever regret not being more in touch since in ways that could have mattered. To the Stuntz family, you're in my thoughts and want you to know I have always admired Jim and what he's contributed to the world. He will always be in my heart and on my mind.
Posted by Phil Sarver on 24th April 2018
To Mama Stuntz and the whole Stuntz family. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Jim is an amazing young man, whom I will always remember with great fondness. I wish all of you the best in these tough times. Jim is a super person.
Posted by Cindy Rodgers on 23rd April 2018
Your wit, your wisdom, your unfaltering kindness to all, your brilliance of mind and loving heart brought joy, hope, and the desire to be better than in some cases we were...So honored to have known you...so honored to have been your teacher and too to have learned so very much from you along the way...Rest easy, Jim...
Posted by Jane Blystone on 23rd April 2018
One of the great joys of teaching is having a student who inspires you! One of the sorrows of teaching is having to say goodbye to that student. We will always miss you dear Jimmy. Our hearts hold you every day.
Posted by Kathy Schriefer on 23rd April 2018
I guess we should expect such a brilliant mind to cast some shadows. I loved Jim--as a boy and as a youth and as a man. I loved his wit and sarcasm--evidenced by his creation of a sort of underground church newsletter called the Wesley Witless where he gave me the name Ima P. Nutt. I loved his determination to speak his mind and his heart. I loved laughingly being his "matron of the arts" and having him autograph the pieces of writing he gave me to read. On my refrigerator hangs the cartoon he sent me a few years ago portraying an older couple sitting at opposite ends of the couch with the caption "This summer we decided to stay at home and complain." Jim, you knew me well. I so wish you could have lived an easier life. Thank you for blessing mine--Love, Ima
Posted by Rebecca Weinheimer on 23rd April 2018
Thank you for all the ways you were perfectly you. I always felt better with you on my team, in my class, and as my friend. You with your gentle spirit, your gifted creativity, your acerbic wit, your long and unfair eyelashes, the way you crafted words, your smirky smile, your quiet bravery.

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