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Stouffer is a familiar face in Maugansville

April 19, 2006|by JANET HEIM

Editor's note: There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like ...

Name: Jay Stouffer

Age: 70

Occupation: Retired in 1990 from Mack Trucks as machine setup operator.

Hometown: Stouffer was born in Mt. Lena and has lived in Maugansville since 1979.

Where would you see Stouffer? Stouffer has chosen volunteer work as his second career, but he thinks he's received more than his fair share of publicity.

"People are going to get tired of seeing my mug in the paper," he said with a laugh.

Stouffer's a familiar face at Maugansville Little League, where he's vice president and has been on the board since the league began 32 years ago. He started the Challenger League, a league for youth with special needs, 18 years ago.

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"Just to see those Challenger kids doing something they haven't done before ... that gives me a lot of satisfaction," Stouffer said.

As Maugansville players take the field this season, they will notice the improvements made to the major league field - Jay W. Stouffer Field - including lights and new bleachers. It will mark the first time in the league's history that play will continue under the lights, instead of games having to be called for darkness.

This year, Stouffer has taken on another responsibility, that of interim District 1 Administrator - even though he promised his wife that he was done with the job. It's a position Stouffer is familiar with, having served as district administrator from 1981 to 1997. Stouffer said District 1 encompasses 15 to 17 leagues in Washington, Garrett and Allegany counties.

"Any problems in the leagues, they call me," Stouffer said.

Stouffer and his wife, Betty, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on July 1. They have two children, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He said he made it clear that the couple had plans for a summer trip to St. Louis and Branson, Mo., and that someone would have to fill in for him while he was gone. Unfortunately, the trip fell through.

Stouffer still wonders how he managed to do the job when he was working full time at Mack, assigning game directors, and staying up until midnight some days running tournaments. Then there's all of the paperwork involved.

He estimates the job of district administrator takes more than 40 hours a week during the Little League season, with much of the time spent on the phone.

"My wife tells me I don't know how to say no," Stouffer said. "I like giving back, working with people, doing what I can."

Another organization dear to Stouffer's heart is the Maugansville Ruritan Club. He and his wife have lived on Garden Spot Drive in Maugansville since 1979, after moving from their Maugansville Road home, where they lived for 20 years.

A member for 42 years, he is a past president and has chaired the Social Concerns Committee for more than 30 years.

"I've made some real good friends - friends who'd do anything for you," Stouffer said.

He also is a member at Salem Reformed Church on Cearfoss Pike, where he is a past deacon and elder, chairs the Social Development committee and has been a Sunday School teacher. He also is on the advisory board for the Salvation Army.

Hobbies: "I've got a garden, believe it or not," said Stouffer, who was raised on a farm and said there was no time for sports growing up. Stouffer likes to play golf when his schedule permits, a hobby he just started three or four years ago when visiting his son in Nashville.

He said he and his wife enjoy going on cruises and are hoping to travel more. They're planning a trip to Alaska next September. They usually travel to Nashville twice a year and spend a week in Florida in the winter.

But more important than any of those hobbies, Stouffer has another reason to be at the ball field this season. He'll be cheering on his 7-year-old grandson, Daniel Hilden, as he plays baseball at Maugansville Little League. Stouffer's son played in the Ruritan League before Maugansville had its own Little League.

"Watching him play is one of my first priorities," said Stouffer of his grandson. "I like watching him play."

What does Stouffer like best about Washington County? "We don't get a lot of storms. The four seasons, it's a good place to live," Stouffer said. "It doesn't get real hot in the summer and the last two winters haven't been too cold."

He added that he enjoys the people, the service organizations and the location of the county between two mountains.

If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024, or send e-mail to janeth@herald-mail.com.

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