Philip R. Sticksel

February 15, 1930 ‒ October 28, 2020

Delaware, Ohio
Formerly of Westerville, Ohio


Dr. Philip R. Sticksel, (Grandpa) ,90(and a half) of Delaware and formerly of Westerville, passed away peacefully at his home Wednesday, October 28,2020, surrounded by his family who loved him.

Born February 15,1930 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Cleveland Sticksel and Daisy (Nash) Sticksel. Raised in Newtown, Ohio. Philip graduated from Terrace Park High School. Furthering his education between Cincinnati, Wooster, and Rice Universities. He proudly served his country in the United States Army, where he studied rockets stateside. After his service, he went on to earn his Doctorate in Meteorology from Florida State University.

Phil was an inquisitive man which lead to him working various jobs from state to state. To name a few he worked for the Environmental Protection Agency where he developed protocols to prevent factory pollution. He loved his job at Battelle in Columbus, Ohio where he worked 25 plus years before his retirement. He loved to volunteer his time at Longfellow Elementary School where he inspired many students to further careers in science. In his free time, you could find Phil in his referee blacks on the sidelines of the WASA soccer games, checking to be sure all was going well, and each game was well manned.

Phil was an extremely hardworking and dedicated man to anything he committed his time to. He loved to travel, study the weather, attend operettas, and was a huge fan of the Cincinnati Reds. He was an extremely cheerful and personable man that didn’t know a stranger. Phil made friends everywhere he went. If you were lucky enough to have ever met him, you knew you had a friend for life.

Phil is proceeded in death by his parents, his wife Anna (Huffman) Sticksel and his grandson Nick Contreras.

Phil is survived by his daughters Rosalyn (Ralph) Ries and Kirsti (David) Contreras; numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

His family will greet friends from 4PM-6PM on Friday, November 6,2020 at Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center,101 Valleyside Drive, Delaware Ohio 43015. A brief service will be held following the calling hours.

A Celebration of life will be held at Madison County Vineyard, 106 Olive Street, London, Ohio 43140. Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 4PM.

Memorial Foundation will be announced in the coming days

To share a fond memory or to leave a a message of condolence please visit

The Snyder -Rodman Funeral Center in Delaware is assisting the family with arrangements.

  • Roz, Kirsti. Ralph, Dave and family,
    So sorry to hear this sad news of the passing of Uncle Phil. He was always a upbeat and joyful soul. Many fond memories over my lifetime. Love to you all.
    Cathy and Troy

  • So many memories of his time at Longfellow and on the WASA fields. Everyone knew it was him in his little car. Condolences to his family.

  • I worked at Battelle and took tours by Dr Sticksel’s lab window weekly. Sometimes he would talk to VIP clients about his research. It was a special surprise when he ended up volunteering at Longfellow years later where my three sons attended. He worked with each one when they got to 4th grade. One day, he asked if any of the kids were interested in kittens and if their parents would be ok with one. My youngest son raised his hand. Lol. Within days, Dr Sticksel was on our doorstep with a box of kittens for us to choose from. We still have Kiwi, who is now 12 years old. Phil entertained us with stories of wildlife observation at his apt and would stop by periodically to see how the boys were doing. He would always make notes in the little notebook that resided in his shirt pocket to keep track of “his kids” at Longfellow. His work with students had a lasting impact on them. He was a quirky guy but a blessing to many and will be missed. Deepest sympathies from Chris, Mark, Jacob, Trevor & Brent Dilley

  • Dr. Sticksel made an impression on me during my time at Longfellow Elementary. He was always so engaged with the students and always smiling. Several years later he hired me for my first “real job” as a WASA soccer referee. Thank you for the life lessons, Dr. Sticksel. RIP

  • So sad to see this. Phil had such a genuine smile, one that seemed to be permanent. Working with him was always a pleasure, as he was always positive and helpful. He truly was a great man and I feel blessed to have known him. My sincerest condolences to his family.

  • I have SO many fond memories of Dr Sticksel, mostly his interest in my five kids during Longfellow, through high school, and into adulthood. That little notebook in his shirt pocket… him flipping page after page containing the incredibly long list of all his students he cared about. Him showing up at Patrick’s hockey games or our doorstep for updates. And yes, as Chris stated, the funny little stories of his backyard wildlife creatures he befriended. There will never be another “Dr Sticksel” and he will be sorely missed. Thank you, Dr Sticksel, for touching our lives so deeply and exemplifying genuine care and friendship for others. May you Rest In Peace.

  • Condolence to family. I knew Phil while working at Battelle; he was one of the helpful people I/we could ask for an opinion, recommendation, or his scientific insight. A great person who will be missed as noted by other comments.

  • I have so many fond memories of Dr Sticksel not just from my time at Longfellow, but in the years after. He was such a kind and generous soul, and I will dearly miss him.

  • Among so many human virtues, caring is perhaps the most important. Dr. Sticksel was an extraordinary individual and cared about every student he mentored during his many years of service at Longfellow Magnet School. In fourth grade, my daughter was assisted by Dr. Sticksel in so many ways that she later developed an interest in science and healthcare that influenced her to become a nurse and assist others. As a parent, I was profoundly moved by his sense of caring when, years later, Dr. Sticksel took the time to send her postcards when she made the honor roll in middle and high school and encouraged her to continuing success in school and in life. The great teachers and mentors of our lives show a caring dimension, and Dr. Sticksel was both a great teacher, mentor, and model for so many young people. He was a wonderful human being, and we will always remember him and honor his memory. May he rest in peace.

  • Genuinely interested in the welfare of all, Phil was an inexhaustible source of kindness. His wry smile and quiet laugh (but that shook his shoulders!) made this universe a more gentle place. A great intellect who never took for granted that it truly takes a village to inspire the love of learning. We will be forever in debt to him.

  • It is with great sorrow that I was informed of the passing of Phil Sticksel. He was a gentleman and a scholar, to be sure, and a breath of fresh air in this world. I knew him as a soccer official, but in the last year and a half, after having lost touch with him when I retired from officiating, I received a surprise note from him that was very heartfelt and informative. I am glad I replied at that time. God’s Peace, Phil Sticksel.

    David Keck
    Howard, Ohio

  • Our sincere condolences to your family on the loss of Dr. Sticksel. We met him nearly 25 years ago when he was a “mentor” to our daughter’s elementary class at Longfellow in Westerville, Ohio. He was wonderful with the kids and kept track of most of them throughout their school and early adult years.
    Our paths crossed again on the WASA soccer fields where Dr. Sticksel was a ref and our daughter and husband (coached) spent many a season enjoying the game. Every encounter was a smile from him, and a genuine interest in the kids he knew and motivated.
    Our daughter is an atmospheric scientist now working for NASA Langley. She credits Dr. Sticksel for her interest in meteorology and science. He often sent the children at Longfellow interesting facts and post cards with science trivia as he traveled. He kept that “notebook” in his pocket and referred often to the successes and where-abouts of the many kids he knew. We hope that your family has many fond memories to help you through this loss. I know that Dr. Sticksel’s influence and legacy live on in the many children he helped develop an interest in science. Thank you to him for sharing the passion!
    The Crecelius Family

  • Sorry to hear of the loss of Dr. Sticksel. Our daughter Chelsie was one his kids at Longfellow. She always loved him coming to school and teaching her class. We have wonderful memories of the times we spent with him as well. He was a great man who will be greatly missed.

  • I have many wonderful memories of Dr Sticksel from my time attending Longfellow Elementary. He always made science so fun for us! Just an overall kind and smart man. He will be greatly missed.

  • Dr. Phil was truly a special human being and such an important part of our program at Longfellow. His devotion to the Longfellow students was unbelievable and he had such a positive impact on so many of them. In the past several years, we communicated with each other through long Christmas letters discussing the history of Longfellow’s math/science program and our favorite topic: baseball. I will miss him.

  • I was one of Dr. Sticksel’s kids at Longfellow! I was reading through the other memories that people have shared and it all came flooding back to my mind. He really took the time to know people and cheer us on. He truly cared about others. I think that’s something we all can learn from him. He made this world a better place for so many little kids. Myself included.

  • Very sorry to read about Phil’s passing. Enjoyed the time I knew him and admired all the things he was able to do in his life.

  • It was a distinct pleasure to meet Phil at the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Heaven in Florida in 1993. We were on the same team and had Jim Maloney and Darryl Chaney as our coaches. The amazing thing about Phil was that he caught BOTH games of each day’s double header the entire week! I believe he would have been 63 at the time. I had the pleasure to pitch one game and a couple of innings of other games. He would not miss a ball and he was uncanny in calling pitches. Our team was undefeated that week (except for the old Reds who pounded all of us in the Saturday finale) and a lot of the credit has to go to Phil. He was a pleasant and kind person. Never complained. Always smiling and while most of us sat in ice after each game, he just went about his business. I can never forget him.

  • I first worked with Phil in the summer of 1980 during a Battelle field study outside of Boston. He trained his wife Anne and daughter Kirsti on the proper techniques of releasing and tracking weather balloons, while the rest of us carried out air monitoring activities. From that summer forward our friendship continued to grow. We worked on Battelle projects as well as enjoyed each other’s company playing softball and managing our fantasy baseball teams. Phil would always show up at the softball games with his wooden bat and worn out glove. Meanwhile the rest of us moved on to aluminum and composite bats as well as shiny black, red or blue ball gloves! Our Battelle fantasy baseball league started in 1984 – the same time period when two attorneys in NY designed the first national fantasy baseball league. Phil joined the Battelle league in the early 90’s. Of course, he was most interested in picking and following the Cincinnati Reds players. As a result, his fantasy baseball team never finished as a top three contender. This past year Phil struggled in keeping up with getting the new and good players but he always enjoyed “talking baseball”. At one of our annual dinners where we would draft major league players (there are 14 fantasy baseball managers in our group), Phil came dressed in his Cincinnati Reds uniform with his name on the back – a gift from the Reds organization for participating in one of their fantasy baseball camps! What a treat for the rest of us!

    Phil was a cross between my older brother and my father. I never got to spend much time, later in life, with either my brother or my dad. So, I was blessed to be able to spend time with Phil. We ate lunch together most Thursdays. Other Battelle retirees would join us when they could. I never felt obligated to meet with him. It was always an adventure. We went to many different restaurants, went to the College of Wooster operettas, the Columbus zoo to feed the giraffes, and much more. Oh, and the impact he had on his grade school students at Longfellow – so much so that many of them chose scientific careers. I was truly amazed by the comments of the atmospheric scientist from NASA, who during an interview of women scientists, said that her parents and Dr. Phil Sticksel had the biggest influence on her future path forward. She said that Dr Sticksel inspired each one of his grade school students to always look for the next question. There was also the student (now an instructor at Vanderbilt) who acknowledged Dr. Phil Sticksel in his Thesis. Finally, there is the young lady who wrote a children’s book entitled “Dr. Sticksel and the Lucky Umbrella”. I am sure there are many more Longfellow grade school students who were also significantly impacted by Dr. Phil Sticksel’s teaching at Longfellow – my internet searching just fell short!

    As Phil came closer to passing, I noticed he had trouble remembering what he had for lunch, what we did the previous week, the names of friends and family members, etc. But he never lost that smile, that rare sense of tranquility, and always appreciative of being in the now and with others. Although my Thursday’s calendar still says lunch with Phil, I know that those events are over but my memories of Phil will always be cherished! To my friend, my inspiration, and my favorite meteorologist, I’ll see you on the other side!