John Conrad Stein, “Big Papi”, age 85, died on April 6th, 2022, surrounded by his family in Ormond Beach, Florida.
John was born in Buffalo, New York on March 10, 1937. Drawn to adventure and new experiences, he valued hard work, dedication and was motivated by taking on projects he found challenging. He would always say “Just keep at it, keep working hard, don’t give up and what’s done is done, you can’t turn back time.” He stayed true to his mottos and focused on living life fully and in the present.
Growing up, he stayed active by playing a variety of different sports. In high school, he received the nickname, “Crazy Legs,” for his running style in football. The nickname perfectly described his personality and ability to always bring humor and laughter to those around him.
He met his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Joanie, who he married on April 28, 1956. Shortly after they married, he joined the Navy and spent 4 1/2 years serving his country. During their marriage, Joanie and John had three beautiful children, John Stein, Rick Stein and Denise Rusler.
After the Navy, John continued seeking out new ventures and held a variety of different positions, including but not limited to: dispatcher, laborer, truck driver, bartender, submarine owner, treasure hunter, parking ramp owner, hot dog stand owner. These experiences were invaluable and helped shape how he approached the future.
John finally found his true passion when he became a successful bar owner of JC’s Lounge, JC O’Malley’s, Dorcliffs, and The (infamous) Doghouse where he enjoyed hosting and building meaningful relationships. He never met a stranger, or missed a punch line, and frequently shared his love for western movies and turquoise jewelry with his bar patrons.
After retiring, John and Joanie set off on their own adventure, settling down in FL, where they spent their final years together before Joanie passed in January of 2018. This was John’s most difficult challenge of all, but was extremely grateful to have his daughter, Denise, close by to help him navigate his new normal.
John will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him. The memories shared will be cherished forever.
John is survived by his three children: John Conrad Stein Jr, (Debbie), Richard Stein (Diane), and Denise Rusler (Dave), seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
A Military Honors service will be held in his honor on June 20th at 10:00 AM at the Jacksonville National Cemetery where his and Joanie’s urns will be placed in a vault to remain together.