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Anne J. Stolarz


Murder-suicide suspected in deaths elderly Lowell couple

August 8, 2011

LOWELL — A murder-suicide this weekend of two senior citizens in this quiet rural community left neighbors filled with shock and disbelief.

Police Chief John Shelhart said an 84-year-old man and his 84-year-old wife were found shot dead in their home in the 300 block of Eastland Circle Sunday afternoon after their adult children came to check on the couple’s well-being.

Shelhart said it appeared the man first shot his wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease, in the head then proceeded to shoot himself. Shelhart said the couple was last seen alive Friday at a family gathering.

“It happened either sometime Saturday or early Sunday before the newspaper came,” Shelhart said.

Shelhart said family members were shocked by the discovery. They said the couple did not appear depressed during the Friday gathering, though they had experienced some recent financial setbacks.

The couple’s 401K ran out in July and they were heavily invested in the stock market and suffered serious losses during the economic downturn.

Robert Potter, who lives across the street from the couple, said he would often see the husband working outside in the flower bed.

“They seemed like nice people. We always talked,” Potter said. He said he was shocked when he heard the news.

“It just don’t happen here, something like that,” he said.

Neighbors Paul Mayer, Carl Skinner and Edna Miller were gathered at the mailbox in the subdivision of nicely manicured single family homes and townhomes talking about the events of the weekend.

They said Sunday police vehicles lined the street and blocked both entrances to the neighborhood largely populated by senior citizens, leaving them a bit frightened and wondering what might have occurred.

“I always found him to be a very polite guy,” Mayer said.

“He was a good neighbor,” Miller said.

“A very good neighbor,” Skinner added.

They said they were shocked and saddened to find out what had occurred in their quiet neighborhood.

“It’s an experience you don’t want to see or hear about again,” Miller said.

Obituary:

JOHN AND ANNE STOLARZ LOWELL, IN John and Anne Stolarz of Lowell, passed away Sunday, August 7, 2011. They are survived by their children: Janice (Jerry) Keilman of Lowell and Mark Stolarz of Fair Oaks; grandchildren: Sarah Ammons, Karalyn (Clint) Skinner, Mike (Danielle) Keilman, Marc (Julie) Keilman, Joshua Stolarz, Amy Dixon, and Sabrina and Dustin Stolarz; 10 great-granchildren; John's siblings: Anne Matusik and Walter Stolarz; and Anne's sister, Mary Hubbard. They were preceded in death by their son, Wayne; John's siblings: Stanley, Frank, Joe and Victoria Wojtan; Anne's siblings: Alex, Edward, Eugene and John Lukas. John and Anne were members of St. Edward Catholic Church in Lowell. He was a member of VFW Post 802 in Hammond and she was a member of their auxiliary. John owned John's Electric and Anne enjoyed cooking and being a loving mother and grandmother. They both enjoyed traveling and their cottage on Koontz Lake. A memorial visitation will be held Saturday, August 13, 2011 from 9:00-11:30 a.m. at Sheets Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 604 E. Commercial Ave. in Lowell with a Memorial Mass at 12:00 p.m. at St. Edward Catholic Church. Father Ted Norquist officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Alzheimer's Research.

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