Penn Hills alum found dead in Oakdale dorm room

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 5:06 p.m.

A friend and former classmate of Stephan Godbolt described him as an angel.

“There's nothing anyone could say bad about him,” said Amber Voigt, 18, of Penn Hills.

Godbolt, a 2013 Penn Hills High School graduate and student at Pittsburgh Technical Institute in Oakdale, was found dead in his dorm room on the afternoon of June 23.

According to institute officials, public safety and residence life employees worked with Robinson Township police on the investigation.

Pittsburgh Technical Institute Public Relations Director Linda Allen said Godbolt's family has informed the school that his death was due to natural causes. The official cause of death is pending the results of toxicology and neuropathology testing.

“Stephan's PTI classmates and friends are actively supporting one another and raising funds to share with his family,” Allen said, adding that counseling services are being made available to students, faculty and staff.

Robinson police Chief Dale Vietmeier said it appeared Godbolt had been dead several days before being discovered.

In Penn Hills, friends recall Godbolt as a lively, happy young man.

“I've known him since I was in sixth grade,” Voigt said. “He was never mean to anyone, he was always the kindest person, and it was impossible to miss his smile in a crowd because he was about 6-foot-7.”

At Penn Hills High School, Godbolt was a four-year member of the varsity volleyball team under coach Jay Mitlo.

“Stephan made a difference in many ways,” Mitlo said. “As an athlete, he was a freak. He could jump out of the gym but yet was athletic and graceful enough to do things guys his size simply don't or can't do.”

Mitlo said he was the consummate team player, and as a person, he changed the lives of those he met.

“He exuded love and positivity,” Mitlo said. “He was intensely loyal and devoted to his school, team and friends.”

An outpouring of sympathy, memorial messages and photos have been steadily uploaded to Godbolt's Facebook page since Monday.

Stefanie Raspotnik, professional development and funding coordinator for the Penn Hills School District, knew Godbolt as a volunteer for the after-school and 21st Century Community Learning Center programs at Linton Middle School.

“He was fabulous, fun-loving, and a great student,” Raspotnik said. “He will be so missed.”

In addition to coaching Godbolt in volleyball, Mitlo is also pastor at Faith Community Church on Jefferson Road, and will hold a July 5 service to allow people a chance to come to terms with two recent shootings and Godbolt's death.

The service will take place at 7 p.m. at the church, located at 501 Jefferson Road.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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