John (Johnny) Edward Stoler III, age 70, of Billings, MT passed away at his home on January 15, 2020.
John was born on December 31, 1949 in Miles City, the third of five children and the only son to John and Margaret (Bryce) Stoler. John grew up and attended school in Miles City, although his formal education ended with high school, he then went on his own to pursue educational opportunities in various fields of interest, such as electronics, computers and engineering. In his younger years he had fond memories of running through the hills with his good friend Lloyd catching rabbits. He would later bring the rabbits home to Mom to prepare as a special treat, not to mention the muddy catfish he caught along the way in the Tongue River. He later joined the U.S. Navy and had duty aboard the USS Cambria LPA-36 and USS Portland LSD-37. He was honorably discharged after completing his full tour duty and was a very proud Navy veteran.
On July 30, 1977, he married Beverly Ann Sieler at the home of his friend Lloyd Butcher in Miles City. John and Beverly moved to Billings to pursue new opportunities where they raised their only daughter Jennifer. John and Beverly’s extended family became very close through the years. Early in his career John worked for Wotco and Nolley’s Welding & Machine. John spent the greater part of his career with Beall Trailers until his retirement. During his retirement, John volunteered at Saint Vincent Healthcare and in his free time he pursued many hobbies, old and new. He had a lifelong passion for amateur radio, guitars, electronics and computer technology. He taught himself to play the guitar and was a great influence on those who shared the same interest. We will miss his soothing music. He also developed many new interests over the years, such as target shooting, woodworking, photography, geocaching, leather tooling and hiking. He retained a keen interest in his Mother’s birth country of Wales. His most recent pleasure was sending Jennifer, Kevin and Kylie to Wales to keep the family connection alive. He left a wealth of photos and messages for his family to cherish for years.
John enjoyed spending time with his family and friends partaking in Easter egg hunts, road trips, camping, day hikes, geocaching and fishing. He was very active with the amateur radio club throughout his life and made many genuine friends along the way. John was a driving force behind a weekly coffee group in Billings made of up local H.A.M. operators that met at a different location each week. Coffee and conversation with his friends was something he looked forward to weekly. Amateur radio was a true passion passed on from his father, who’s call letters he later used after his father’s passing and will now live on through his daughter Jennifer who obtained her license. W7DCZ legacy will continue.
John is survived by his daughter, Jennifer (Kevin) Deibele of Billings and his granddaughter Kylie of whom he cherished so much. John is also survived by his siblings, Sharon (Ted) Legarretta of Story, WY, Barbara Seibert of Miles City, MT and Linda (Chris) Uffelman of Hardin, MT. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends who all had a special place in his heart. He was preceded in death by his wife Beverly, his parents, sister Glenys Rockwell and nephew Mark Rockwell.
Our hearts are heavy he is no longer with us but are comforted knowing he is in the company of his wife, parents, sister and friends. There is so much more that could be told about this humble, amazing, father, son, brother and friend who has touched our lives in so many ways. Gone from our sight, but never from our hearts. John passes on his 73s and has signed off the airwaves.Memorial services will be held on Friday, January 24, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home, Miles City, MT.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the Yellowstone Radio Club at www.k7efa.net or donate in John’s memory to the annual Marine Toys for Tots.
Interment will follow in Custer County Cemetery with full military honors.