Honored student dies in Switzerland

First slide

John B. "J. J." Stinson of Alexandria died April 6 in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.

He was 20 years old and a graduate of Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria.

Stinson was a second-year student and an academic junior majoring in philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg.

At Tech, Stinson was a university honors student and was participating in the university's Presidential Global Scholarship program when he died. He was active in the Catholic Campus Ministry at Tech.

At Ireton, Stinson was a national merit commended student and salutatorian at his graduation in 2010.

"He was one of the most honored students in his class," said Bishop Ireton Principal Timothy Hamer.

Hamer said that Stinson received the Salesian Medal in 2010, which is given to a person who embodies the spirit, enthusiasm and commitment to the Faith.

It was unusual for someone to be honored with both the Salesian Medal and as a salutatorian.

More than 300 students took part in a prayer service last week at Ireton. Hamer said that current students, alumni and friends participated in the memorial and it was a testament to the love that the Ireton community felt for Stinson.

Visitation will be April 20 at the Jefferson Funeral Chapel, 5755 Castlewellan Drive, Alexandria from 5-9 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be offered April 21 at St. Louis Church, 2907 Popkins Lane, Alexandria at 11 a.m.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2012