June 12, 2019 - Familiar to many throughout the coal industry, John Sturm, founder of Sturm Environmental Services and former employee of the West Virginia Surface Mining & Reclamation Association passed away yesterday at home in South Carolina.
John William Sturm, 73, passed away on June 11, 2019. Born May 30, 1946, he is survived by his mother, JoAnn Deane Sturm of Grafton, WV. He was preceded in death by father John Harvey Stewart and his step-father, Floyd Ashby Sturm.
John is survived by his wife and love of his life of 51 years, Beverly Tettenburn Sturm; a son Dr. Brandon J. Sturm and wife Corrie of Spokane WA; a daughter Shanna L. Boggs and husband Dr. Joseph of Bluffton SC; grandchildren, Samson and Mycah Eaton, McKenzie and Castan Sturm, and Maksim, Ashlan, and Mills Boggs; sisters, Janet Dowdell and husband Jeffrey of Mechanicsburg VA; Kimberly Larch and husband James of Weirton WV; Deana Martin and husband James of Spotsylvania VA; half-brothers Curt Stewart and wife Cindy and John Stewart, as well as several nieces and nephews.
After graduating from Grafton High School and attending Potomac State College. Mr. Sturm enlisted in the US Marine Corp and served duty in Viet Nam. He then returned to West Virginia University and earned a Master’s of Agriculture, graduating Magna Cum Laude. After working for Peabody Coal, WV Surface Mining and Reclamation Assoc. and Grafton Coal Company, he ventured into his own business Sturm Environmental Services in Anmoore in 1978 and remains in operation today being run by his other ”right-hand woman” and dear friend, Victoria Hoops. In the early 1990’s, John and his wife established High Gait Farm on Brushy Fork Road where they bred, raised and trained paso fino horses. John became an accomplished showman winning many national championships until the farm was sold in 2015 and they moved to SC after residing and raising their family in Bridgeport for about 40 years.
John was a spiritual man that never met a stranger and touched the lives of many. He was a pillar of strength and always fun to be around. His love, his light and his spirit will never be forgotten. He loved life and lived it to the fullest every day.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are requested in Mr. Sturm’s memory to The Semper Fi Fund (semperfifund.org), providing urgently needed resources for ill and injured members of the Armed Forces.
Friends will be received at Burnside Funeral Home, 607 S. Virginia Avenue, Bridgeport, on Sunday, June 16, 2019, from 2 – 6 p.m. On Monday, June 17, 2019, Mr. Sturm will lie in state at Simpson Creek Baptist Church, Bridgeport, from 10 – 11 a.m. where a celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. with Dr. C. Michael Hopkins presiding.