Illusion 01

John Wesley Stamper

December 18, 1950 ~ January 5, 2022 (age 71)


Mass of Christian Burial Livestream Link:


SOUTH BEND - John Wesley Stamper, age 71, passed away on January 5, 2022. 

John was a native of the South Bend area, where he lived for most of his life, except for 9 years that he spent in Rome, Italy with his wife and daughter. These were some of the most memorable years of his life.

John graduated from Penn High School in 1969. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the University of Illinois in 1973 and 1975, and a master’s degree in art history from the Williams College and Clark Art Institute graduate program in 1977. He received his Ph.D. in art history, specializing in architectural history, from Northwestern University in 1985. 

He married his wife, Erika Pistorius, in 1986 in Williamstown, MA, where they met at the Williams College Museum of Art. 

Both an architect and a historian, John was known widely as a respected scholar, a gifted educator and beloved colleague. John joined the architecture faculty at the University of Notre Dame in 1984 and for 38 years, he served the students and the University with intellect and good humor. He was Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Studies for 18 years. John taught generations of architects with immense dedication and attention - he leaves behind a great legacy in the profession and in the academy. 

He was equally dedicated to teaching and research - beginning with his dissertation, John shared his expertise in publications on subjects ranging from Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue to the architecture of Roman temples. He became an authority on the history and architecture of South Bend, and he left us with two additional books awaiting publication. John was committed to historic preservation in South Bend and regionally, working with the Indiana Landmarks and Historic Preservation. He was an active member of the Society of Architectural Historians and the American Institute of Architects. 

John balanced his busy career with family life. Everyone who knew him knew of his great devotion and love for his wife Erika Pistorius Stamper and their daughter Alessandra Stamper, both of whom spent years in Italy while John led the Notre Dame architecture program in Rome as Director. Their family became family to many architecture students away from their own homes. 

John enjoyed traveling with his family, exploring the United States, Europe and China. As an architect and historian, John absorbed the buildings and the urbanism of the places he visited. John was a great lover of books and art. He enjoyed collecting and cataloging art and antiques with his wife and daughter, visiting art museums, and photography. He had much affection for the family dogs and cats, and he was a big fan of Notre Dame women’s basketball. 

John was preceded in death by his parents Clay and Hazel (Tetzloff) Stamper. John is survived by his wife Erika and his daughter Alessandra, his aunt Irma Tetzloff, his cousin Ray Degner & his wife Jacque, his cousin Jim Barkley, and other members of the Tetzloff, Degner, and Barkley families. 

Visitation will be at Kaniewski Funeral Home on Thursday, Jan. 13th from 4 to 8 PM, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend. Funeral services will be held on Friday, Jan. 14th at 9:30 AM at Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart, followed by burial at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the University of Notre Dame. Please direct your gift to John W. Stamper Memorial Fund in Architecture in memory of John Stamper. Gifts may be made online at, by phone at (574) 631-5150, or by mail: University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556.  


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Wesley Stamper, please visit our floral store.


January 13, 2022

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Kaniewski Funeral Home
3545 N. Bendix Dr.
South Bend, IN 46628

Mass of Christian Burial
January 14, 2022

9:30 AM
Basilica of Sacred Heart, Notre Dame


Cedar Grove Cemetery
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

© 2022 Kaniewski Funeral Homes, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy