James Alvin Stender
Born Sept 04, 1924 in Perham, Minnesota. His parents, Otto and Marie Stender, farmed for many years near Dent/Pelican Rapids, Minnesota. Jim had 3 brothers and a sister. Jim is preceded in death by his sister Ruth Moak (Tacoma) and Brother Richard Stender (Cheney, WA). Surviving siblings are Tom Stender in Great Falls, Montana and Gerald “Jerry” Stender in Chinook, Montana.
Jim’s life in Minnesota was characteristic of farming/milk cows throughout the depression. This part of his life strongly influenced his efforts to work, he understood the purpose of work and the importance. At age 16, he left the farm and joined the US Marine Corps in 1941 at the age of 17. The Marine Corps enabled him to grow up, see the world, and established values that drove his life. He was wounded on the assault of Saipan in 1943. As he mentioned during a talk one time at Trinity Lutheran Church, he made it about 300 yards up the beach and was shot. He was fortunate to make it that far. His convalescence took him to Hawaii and then to San Diego, and he finished his service in Washington DC where he got to watch major league baseball in his free time.
On September 11, 1949 he married Margaret Peterson in Great Falls, MT. At this time he was starting his career at the grocery company, Safeway. As part of the deal, Margaret urged him to use the GI Bill to complete his education. He graduated from the University of Montana and had the career choice of public administration or Safeway. Safeway was the choice and he began his career as asst manager and manager for a variety of stores in Montana. In 1969, Jim moved to Sheridan Wy to manage the store on Alger Street. Eventually a new store was constructed on Coffeen Ave where he worked until he was 62 (1986) and then he shifted his efforts to small hay operation, his draft horses, and children. This was a very good life for him as he built solid friendships and enjoyed what he did every day. I need to mention John Ferries and Bill Fry that were colleagues in hay and horses and together that had great experiences along Big Goose Road.
Jim and Margaret had four children. Barbara, Jay, Janet and Stephen. Margaret and Stephen have passed. Barbara and her husband David live in Indianola, Iowa. Janet and her husband Greg reside in Manteca, CA. Jay and his wife Mila live in Sheridan. Jim has 6 grandchildren and, now 5 great-grandchildren.
Jim and Margaret moved into an assisted living community some years ago. This has been a huge help to the family – providing meals and socialization for the couple. Since Margaret passed, Jim spent most of his days watching the news, attending every breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and visiting their old country home (now owned by his granddaughter and family). Jim loved to mow the lawn at the country house, he also enjoyed going for car rides around Sheridan to see the newest improvements around town. The great-grandchildren were the highlight of his day, getting his walking in with a small child in his walker.
Jim lead a full and good life, was an incredible care-giver to Margaret, and always enjoyed family time.
Services will be held November 2, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church with Pastor Phil Wold officiating. A military honor burial will immediately follow at Sheridan Municipal Cemetery, Block 30 Lot 12. A reception will be held in the Fellowship Hall after interment at Trinity Lutheran Church. Memorial contributions may be made to: Senior Citizens Council 211 Smith St. Sheridan, Wyoming 82801. Online condolences may be written at www.championfh.com. Champion Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.