(8-18-21) Jon Sidenbender passed away on August 16, 2021. Mr. Sidenbender was instrumental in the founding and early formation of the Midwest Athletic Conference, was the first commissioner of the Midwest Athletic Conference and held that position for twenty-four years. Mr. Sidenbender was also instrumental in adding girls sports to the Midwest Athletic Conference, beginning in 1974. We are very thankful for Jon Sidenbender’s leadership and effort over his many years of service to the conference. The Midwest Athletic Conference wouldn’t be what it is today without Jon Sidenbender.
From the Parkway Local Schools Hall of Fame:
Jon was the first commissioner of the Midwest Athletic Conference which was formed in the Fall of 1973. He remained the MAC commissioner for twenty-four years (1973-1997). In its first year as a league the MAC offered only boys sports in football, cross country, basketball, track & field, and baseball. Jon was the driving force behind the MAC adding girls’ sports in volleyball, basketball, and track & field in the fall of 1974. Jon provided the newly formed league with leadership and foresight in its formative years. Prior to serving as the MAC commissioner, Jon was the secretary of the Mercer County League from 1967-1973. Jon was an assistant football coach at Parkway High School from 1962-1967. He was Head Boys’ Basketball coach at Parkway High School from 1964-1967. Jon is a graduate of the Rockford High School Class of 1953 where he lettered in football and baseball.
The Midwest Athletic Conference will honor Mr. Sidenbender’s memory by adding his name to all 2021-2022 Midwest Athletic Conference varsity team championship trophies. We will also honor Mr. Sidenbender with a moment of silence prior to our 2021 week three football games (September 3, 2021).
Our condolences go out to Jon’s wife; Martha, their four daughters; Karen, Kaye, Kelley and Karla, his brother; Tommy, all of his family and friends and the Rockford community.
Jonny Van Sidenbender, 86, of Rockford passed away on August 16, 2021 at Vancrest Nursing Home in St. Mary’s.
He was born on May 27, 1935, in Dublin Township, and was the son of the late John Van Sidenbender and Mabel Mae Williams Sidenbender. On November 13, 1955 he married the former, Martha Shaffer who survives. Together, they shared 65 years of memories.
Jonny was a 1953 graduate of Rockford High School. Following graduation from high school, Jonny served in the US Army from 1953 – 1955, where he was the Company Clerk. He was a teacher and coach for Parkway Local Schools and then a Secondary Supervisor for Mercer County ESC. Jonny also served for many years as the MAC Commissioner.
Jonny was a member of the Rockford United Methodist Church. He also enjoyed being the “Old Man” in the Rockford Variety Show for many years.
In addition to his wife, surviving are four daughters; Karen (Casey) Nuttle of Rockford, Kaye (Kevin) Ross of Rockford, Kelley (Brian) Hager of Kettering, and Karla (John) Butler of Rockford; a brother Tommy Lynn (Barb) Sidenbender of Rockford; 12 grandchildren: Jordan(Alison) Ross, Grant (Jasmine Conley) Ross, Eric Bills, Kristin (Chris McDorman), Andy (Stephanie) Hager, Drew (Brad Hansman) Ross, Craig (Lisa) Bills, Michael (Alaine) Nuttle, Ben (Amanda Amburgey) Hager, Joe (Irene Brooks) Hager, Krista (Tom) Baer, Shaun Butler and 14 great grandchildren.
A private family committal service will take place at Riverside Cemetery in Rockford. A public Celebration of Life gathering for family and friends will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like you to send a donation to any of the following: Grand Lake Hospice, Parkway Music Booster, Parkway Athletic Booster or Rockford United Methodist Youth and Children’s programs in Jon’s memory.
To share in Jonny’s online memorial, please visit http://www.ketchamripley.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home, 111 W. First Street, Rockford, OH 45882.