Louise E. Stebel

Louise Stebel

Louise Elaine Stebel (nee Arko), age 88 of Strongsville, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 18, 2023, with family by her side.   Louise was born on December 17, 1934, in Cleveland, Ohio to the late John and Stella Arko (nee Wrost).  She is survived by her six children:  Linda Piteo Kidd (Skip), Dan Piteo, Tom Stebel (Rick Borja), Rick Arko, Wally Stebel (Margarita), and Lori Simplican (Randy), and seven grandchildren: Chris Kidd (Betsy), Rev. Jason Piteo (Jill), Jeremy Piteo (Susan), Jesse Piteo, Dr. Lindsay Kidd (Richard Harder), Brailey Simplican, and Riley Simplican, and seven great-grandchildren, with another on the way.

Louise attended John Adams High School and Cuyahoga Community College.   She began working as a legal secretary for Jones Day, and later joined the staff at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and Cuyahoga Community College, where she served as an administrative assistant for 26 years. Throughout her career, she was valued for her clerical, organizational, and people skills, and for organizing staff involvement in volunteerism.   From collecting socks for people experiencing homelessness, to working on a Habitat home, Louise influenced others with her passion for giving back to the community.

Louise volunteered throughout her life, whether she walked in the Mother’s March of Dimes, or courageously served as a Cub Scout den mother.   She also devoted many volunteer hours to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, as well as food banks in the Ft. Myers, Florida area, where she happily spent many winters.  In 2003, in recognition of her impact on the community, Louise received a Woman of Achievement award from the Cleveland YWCA.

Louise followed her love of all things “A Christmas Story” and volunteered- and eventually worked- at the Christmas Story House, delighting visitors with her abundant knowledge of Christmas Story trivia.  As a dedicated “Red Coat” usher for Playhouse Square, Louise spent over three thousand hours greeting audience members and taking in the shows, including her favorite, musicals, of  which she knew and loved many songs.

Louise was an excellent dancer and could jitterbug, boot scoot, and generally cut a rug with the best of them. She enjoyed daily crossword puzzles and completed them with ease.  She loved the beach, sun, and sand, and cherished the many family trips to Holden Beach, North Carolina, where she spent hours watching her grandchildren frolic on the shoreline.  An avid gardener, she enjoyed being surrounded by flowers and grew many beautiful blooms from seed.  She also possessed an extensive knowledge of plants and flowers, which always came in handy; there was no need for the plant identifier app when she was around.

Most of all, Louise cherished her family. Her home was always a warm, welcoming place for family to gather to share a cup of coffee, tea, a good story, or a good laugh.  She loved celebrating the holidays with her children and grandchildren and created many special traditions at Christmas and Easter. Throughout her life, and until the end, Louise made Christmas Eve a joyful, memorable time for her family.

To anyone who knew her, Louise always set an example of kindness and generosity.  Although she experienced much adversity in her life, the events did not change her beautiful heart.  Louise’s life was a lesson in enduring strength and unconditional love.

A Memorial Celebration of Louise’s life will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at The Lodge at Mapleside Farms, 294 Pearl Rd., Brunswick, Ohio. Memorial contributions may be made to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

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  1. Kathryn M. Hall says:

    My sincere condolences, love, hugs and prayers goes out to your entire family. Your mother was one of the most amazing, beautiful, generous and kind people I have ever had the privilege to know. I thank God that he placed her in my life. My career successes at Cuyahoga Community College were shared with her. She was a colleague that quickly became family. My family and I loved her dearly. Rest well Beloved and dance your way all over heaven because there’s no doubt that’s where you are.

  2. Dominique Mikulec says:

    My sincerest condolences on your mother’s passing. I had the pleasure of working with your mom for four years in the Administrative Office at Cuyahoga Community College. She was well respected at the college and her example inspired me throughout my years at the College. She always spoke highly of her children. You must be so proud of the legacy she left. Your fond memories will comfort you during this time of sorrow.

  3. Sandra Weyrich & Clare Lupica says:

    Linda & Dan & family,

    Deepest sympathy to you on the passing of your lovely Mom, Louise. We are thinking of you at this sad time.

    Love & peace,

    Sandra Weyrich, Aunt Clare & family

  4. Laura Schmidt Watson says:

    Louise was like a second Mom as she welcomed the neighborhood kids to her home with fresh baked cookies. She attended our choir concerts, laughing at our junior high antics. She’d always provide a ride in her station wagon. She was a strong mentor who taught life lessons by example. Her smile, class and style will be missed. Her loving family is a testament to her success as a single Mom

  5. David Douglass says:

    A life filled with love and compassion, a great knowledge of the joy plants and dance give is now in the past, but Louise’s inspiration clearly thrives through the same attributes her children continue to share. Deepest sympathies. David and Mark

  6. Dorothy Salem says:

    Louise signed up for my class on women’s studies. She was a kind, soft spoken co-worker for decades of my tenure as a professor, who was similarly engaged in the community and charity work. Once we retire, no one knows where or how far we move. I hope her retirement years brought her closer to her mission in helping others. Glad you crossed my path.