GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE                       Saturday, January 14, 2006

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Sterling Wolery

    JOPLIN - Sterling E. Wolery, 64, a lifelong north Joplin area farmer, died of brain cancer Wednesday at Peace Hospice in Great Falls.

    His funeral is 3 p.m. Sunday at Joplin Community Hall, with burial in Joplin Cemetery. Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester is in charge of arrangements.

    The family requests that those attending the funeral dress in casual attire.

    Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Betty Ann (Burgess) Wolery of Joplin; daughters Jill (Greg) Miller of Billings, Jane Wolery (Darren) Beadle of Choteau and Julie (Nick) Erickson of Joplin; brothers Leroy Wolery of Gildford and Merlin Wolery of Rudyard; a sister, Coleen Vestal of Aurora, Colo.; five grandchildren, Jessika and Christian Reinker, Sydney Miller and Delaynie and Bellamy Beadle; five nephews, two nieces, two dozen first cousins and three uncles and aunts.

    Sterling Wolery, 64, left this earth for his eternal home on Jan. 11, 2006, after a 23-month battle with glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer.

    Despite the severity of his diagnosis, he approached it fighting - with the same analytical, problem solving skills he used throughout his life. Along with the help of his family, he sought the latest, most advanced treatment known for this type of cancer. His journey took him to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., a national brain tumor conference in Florida, and the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif. He ended his journey at Peace Hospice in Great Falls, Mont., surrounded by his family.

    Sterling Ernest Wolery was born Nov. 9, 1941, in Havre, Mont., the second son of three boys born to Olyn and Bernece (Shipman) Wolery. He was named after his father's boyhood friend, another man of "sterling" quality, Sterling Wardell. Three excited brothers and surprised parents later welcomed a girl to the family.

    Sterling recalled an idyllic childhood spent on horse back. He was given room to roam, which led to several boyhood adventures. One such adventure that he never forgot was with his father and brother. They were caught several miles from home in a sudden snow storm. The boys were freezing and several attempts to move the wagon failed. Sterling's father eventually put the young boys on a horse and turned it loose to find the way home, as he walked the remaining miles alone in the blizzard. Other adventures were not as scary and typically involved his many cousins. Throughout his life, he continued a love for horses and his cousins and relatives.

   When not on an adventure, Sterling attended Grassy Butte School near his country home. He later entered high school in Rudyard where he graduated in 1960. With the exception of this past year, Sterling attended a class reunion every five years. He was a committed friend.

    After graduation, Sterling attended meat cutting school in Toledo, Ohio. He returned to open a meat cutting business on his parent's farm. Eventually it became so successful that it had to be closed to make time for farming.

    On Nov. 2, 1963, he married Betty Ann Burgess at the old Methodist Church in Chester, Mont. After their marriage, they briefly lived in Havre and Joplin, as Betty taught school in those locations. Soon his home and farm called him back. Their first daughter, Jill Ann was born shortly thereafter. Three more daughters, Jane Amber, Jolene Alicia (who died as an infant in 1976) and Julie Allyson joined the family. With the help of his good friend, Jesse Pimley, Sterling built a home, across the road from his parents, to accommodate his growing family. Sterling lived 60 years of his earthly life on the place he loved.

    Sterling's vocation was farming and ranching, but his avocation was designing and building. Among his original creations were drill markers, cycle gates, loader tractors (beginning with a simple "bale hand," then a bi-directional loader/tractor, known as the "Earthworm," and a larger loader tractor called "Big Bert"), self-propelled augers and an unusual merry-go-round for the Joplin Park. He could build just about anything and enjoyed working with both wood and metal. His creations were featured in several farm publications over the years. His shop was his favorite place to be.

   Though he loved the farm, he also enjoyed traveling to new places. His daughters fondly recall several vacations exploring such places as Canada, the western U.S., Disneyland and the Grand Canyon. On these trips, he often invited his children's friends as guests.

    He was known as an unselfish neighbor and friend, willing to lend a hand to anyone for any reason. He and his wife opened their home and hearts to many "extras" - mostly young men who worked for and learned from Sterling.

    Sterling was held in high regard by many because he was a decent, honest man.

    Sterling served on the J-I school board for nine years and was a 4-H leader. He also supported the local country church, Immanuel Lutheran. He and his wife enjoyed hosting a Christmas service on behalf of the church, which featured a live nativity and was attended by neighbors far and wide. Most recently he has attended the Chester Assembly church.

    In the face of brain cancer, Sterling left a lasting gift for his children and grandchildren by recording stories from his life. He was able to attend the Wolery Family Reunion this past summer where he enjoyed the recollection and recording of more stories with his uncles and aunt.

    He was preceded in death by his daughter, Jolene; and his parents, Bernece in 2001 and Olyn in 2002.

    Memorials are suggested to the Clergy Recovery Network (P.O. Box 313, Joplin, MT 59531) in honor of his dearly devoted friend, cousin and spiritual guide, Dale Wolery.

   His illness afforded him an opportunity to reflect on his life here and ever after. He was able to appreciate the richness of this world and to show his deep love for his friends and family. Even as his health deteriorated, he strengthened many relationships - most importantly with his girls, his wife and with God.

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HAVRE DAILY NEWS                                               Tuesday, January 17, 2006

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STERLING ERNEST WOLERY


STERLING ERNEST WOLERY

    Sterling Wolery, 64, died Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2006, at the Peace Hospice in Great Falls after a 23-month battle with glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer.

     A funeral service was held Sunday at 3 p.m.at the Joplin Community Hall. The Rev. Dale Wolery officiated. A memorial luncheon followed at the hall.

      Ernest Wolery was born on Nov. 9, 1941, in Havre, the second of three sons born to Olyn and Bernece (Shipman) Wolery. The three excited brothers and surprised parents later welcomed a girl to the family.

    Sterling was named after his father's boyhood friend, another man of “sterling” quality, Sterling Wardell.

    Sterling recalled an idyllic childhood spent on horseback. He was given room to roam, which lead to several boyhood adventures. One such adventure that he never forgot was with his father and brother. They were caught several miles from home in a sudden snowstorm. The boys were freezing and several attempts to move the wagon failed. Sterling's father eventually put the young boys on a horse and turned it loose to find the way home, as he walked the remaining miles alone in the blizzard. Other adventures were not as scary and typically involved his many cousins. Throughout his life, he continued a love for horses and his cousins and relatives.

    Sterling attended Grassy Butte School near his country home. Later he entered high school in Rudyard, where he graduated in 1960. With the exception of this past year, Sterling attended a class reunion every five years. He was a committed friend.

    After graduation, Sterling attended meat-cutting school in Toledo, Ohio. He returned to open a meat-cutting business on his parent's farm. Eventually it became so successful that it had to be closed to make time for farming.

    On Nov. 2, 1963, he married Betty Ann Burgess at the old Methodist Church in Chester. After their marriage, they briefly lived in Havre and Joplin, as Betty taught school in those locations. Soon his home and farm called him back. Their first daughter, Jill Ann, was born shortly thereafter. Three more daughters, Jane Amber, Jolene Alicia (who died as an infant in 1976) and Julie Allyson, joined the family. With the help of his good friend, Jesse Pimley, Sterling built a home, across the road from his parents, to accommodate his growing family. Sterling lived 60 years on the place he loved.

    Sterling's vocation was farming and ranching, but his avocation was designing and building. Among his original creations were drill markers, cycle gates, loader tractors, self-propelled augers and an unusual merry-go-round for the Joplin Park. He could build just about anything and enjoyed working with both wood and metal. His creations were featured in several farm publications over the years.

    Sterling served on the J-I school board for nine years and was a 4-H leader. He also supported the local country church, Immanuel Lutheran. Sterling and Betty Ann enjoyed hosting a Christmas service on behalf of the church, which featured a live Nativity and was attended by neighbors far and wide. Most recently he has attended the Chester Assembly Church.

    In the face of brain cancer, Sterling left a lasting gift for his children and grandchildren by recording stories from his life. He was able to attend the Wolery Family Reunion this past summer, where he enjoyed the recollection and recording of more stories with his uncles and aunt.

    In addition to his wife and three daughters, he is survived by sons-in-law, Greg Miller (Jill) of Billings, Darren Beadle (Jane) of Choteau, and Nick Erickson (Julie) of Joplin; five grandchildren; two brothers, Leroy Wolery of Gildford and Merlin Wolery of Rudyard; a sister, Coleen Vestal of Aurora, Colo.; five nephews; two nieces; two dozen first cousins; and three uncles and aunts.

    He was preceded in death by a daughter, Jolene; his parents, Bernece in 2001 and Olyn in 2002; and a beloved aunt and uncle, Mary and Royal Wolery.

    Memorials are suggested to the Clergy Recovery Network, P.O. Box 313, Joplin, MT 59531, in honor of his dearly devoted friend, cousin and spiritual guide, Dale Wolery.

    Arrangements were by Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester.

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