Jeff Stankiewicz passed away on Friday, August 4, 2023, at his home, after a courageous ten-year battle with cancer. Jeff fought hard and survived three rounds and treatments for Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Just recently, he was diagnosed with a secondary malignancy, Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Jeff was no ordinary cancer patient. He dove into the scientific level of each cancer and treatments and could often speak to the same level as the specialists.
He is survived by his daughter, Ellie Stankiewicz. Mother and Father, Denise and John Oney. Grandma, Ella Frances Rowe. Ex-spouse, Mary Stankiewicz. Stepsons, Max and Ben Hertel. Sister and brother in-law, Melissa and Jay Yniguez and niece, Evelynn Yniguez. Jeff is survived by many cousins, aunts and uncles and friends. He was preceded in death by his biological father, Frank Stankiewicz.
Jeff was born in Emporia, KS. At the age of eight, Jeff and his family moved to Heidelberg, Germany where they lived for almost nine years. Jeff took great pride in his affiliation with the D.O.D. schools of Heidelberg and was a proud Heidelberg High School Lion. Jeff was part of many school sports and activities. While living in Germany, Jeff and his family spent most winter/spring weekends and holidays mastering downhill skiing. He loved nothing more than tackling the steep mogul fields of the Alps and getting lost in deep off-piste powder runs. He would often refer to the Alps as his childhood playground. This love of skiing continued throughout Jeff’s lifetime as he continued shredding the mountains of North America.
Jeff graduated from Bishop Ward High School, Kansas City, KS He attended and graduated from Kansas University in Lawrence, KS. Jeff was a member of KU’s Air Force ROTC, and upon graduation, was commissioned into the United States Air Force. Jeff’s eight-year military career brought many honors, to include the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/ 2 oakleaf cluster. After separating from the Air Force as a Captain, Jeff found his path in the government contracting world, ultimately becoming a Physical Scientist for the NOAA Space Weather Forecasting division. He developed a passion for predicting the sun’s behaviors and patterns, ultimately guiding partners such as the International Space Center. Jeff gained many lifelong friends in his military and professional careers.
Jeff was a wandering spirit. An explorer of this earth. He had a thirst for travel, exploration, and enjoying the food and music of different cultures. He was an avid KU Jayhawks basketball fan, and even through cancer, you could catch him at most all Denver team home games or catching a concert at Red Rocks.
His life story included many adventures on all 7 continents. More than in anything in life, Jeff loved traveling and passing on the love of travel to his daughter He covered 48 states in their RV, most of which she was part of. One of his most prized trips was taking his daughter to Sweden, this past Spring. He completed the Colorado Trail, hiked to base camp of Mt. Everest and had explored portions of the Appalachian Trail. He always pushed himself in life to include being an Iron Man finisher… a very small percentage of people and a testament to his ability to finish well beyond expectations.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made in his honor to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A celebration of Life will be held in October to honor Jeff.