Cover photo for John R. Lenz's Obituary
John R. Lenz Profile Photo
1945 John 2023

John R. Lenz

March 19, 1945 — August 16, 2023

North Lima

North Lima-John R. Lenz, known to many as J. Geils, was born March 19, 1945 and passed away peacefully at his home on August 16, 2023. He was a man to be admired amongst all who knew him.

In his early life, he served proudly in the United States Navy as a sailor on the presidential yacht. After his military service, he worked at US Steel before opening the first tattoo shop in Youngstown in 1974. That shop, Artistic Dermagraphics, is still owned and operated by the Lenz family today and will celebrate 50 years of operation this coming January. Together, with his wife Debbie, John built one of the most successful and long running family-owned businesses in the Valley.

John was a spiritual man who enjoyed retreats and was a long time practitioner of yoga and meditation. He held a Bachelor of Arts degree from Youngstown State University and was revered for his tattoo style. The thousands of people he touched over the years, along with his family business, will ensure that his legacy will last many lifetimes.

John is preceded in death by his parents, Theodore and Helen Lenz, and brother-in-law, Bob Steck. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Debbie Lenz, his seven children, Drake (Kristy) Lenz, Jack Lenz, Roxana (Justin) Lenz, Sheena (Mui) Lenz, Luke Lenz, Jonathan Persing, and Tiffany (Stephen) Maro, sister, Suzanne Lenz  Steck, brother, Ted (Karen) Lenz, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

John will be missed but never forgotten for the indelible mark he made pioneering the tattoo industry in the Valley.

There will be no calling hours or services. Arrangements are by the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home in Poland. Please visit to share memories and condolences with the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John R. Lenz, please visit our flower store.

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