[gn_heading style=”1″]Robert J. Stacey[/gn_heading]
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Robert J. Stacey passed away on the morning of May 18, 2010 at the Billings Clinic Medical Center where he had been since May 8th.
Bob was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1924 in Bearcreek, Montana to Joseph and Gertrude Stacey. Bob was the youngest of three boys but unfortunately one of his brother died at birth and Bill died at the age of 9 from a drowning accident.
Bob described his dad as a very hard worker, something that obviously was instilled in Bob. Bob’s dad worked in the Smith Mine in Bearcreek but then moved the family to Bridger for different employment before the mine disaster. In Bridger, Bob graduated from Bridger High School where in addition to working at various jobs he was a pretty good basketball player.
At age 18, he entered the U.S. Army. He did his basic training at Camp Roberts and his AIT at Fort Ord. He then left to the South Pacific where he joined General Douglas MacArthur for the Luzon Campaign recapturing the Philippine Islands. As part of Company K, 161st Infantry, he fought in combat for 165 days (5½ months) straight until the Philippines were liberated. He then got on a ship and was headed to invade Japan but before getting there, President Truman ended the war. Bob was discharged from the Army on January 23, 1946 and returned to Bridger where his mother was still living. His father passed away while he was fighting in WWII. Bob received numerous medals including the Combat Infantryman Badge, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Star – Victory Medal. Bob was extremely proud to have served his country.
After the war, Bob attended college. He also worked doing whatever needed to be done. He drove school buses, cabs and worked as a bus boy at the Northern Hotel in Billings. He received his business degree from the Billings Business College and started a very long career in sales. He also met the only love of his life, a young registered nurse from Glasgow, Betty Lou Allie who he married on December 23, 1951. They moved to Great Falls where he was a sales manager for a tobacco company until 1957 when they moved to Billings and he started his career in the automobile sales profession which lasted 53 years. For those 53 years, he sold new Buicks for essentially one dealership, Whitaker Buick Selover Buick and now Underriner Motors. Bob has probably sold more new Buicks than any other salesperson in the United States. Throughout his career he received numerous sales awards. Bob truly enjoyed working, especially dealing with customers and co-workers. Bob was always honest with everyone he had contact with and that is one of the reasons everyone respected and loved him. The Selover and Underriner families were very dear to him and he respected them greatly. Bob worked selling cars right up to when he left us even encouraging his medical care providers to look at a new Buick.
In the last several years, Bob received outstanding medical care. Special thanks are extended to Dr. Laura Ford-Mukkamala, Dr. James Burke, Dr. Heather McGuire, Jennifer Beverly and Jo Rowland for their professional and more importantly compassionate care of Bob. He truly understood how good of medical care he received.
Bob loved to play golf. He was a member of the Yellowstone Country Club since 1964. Bob loved the Al Bedoo Shrine. He had a great respect for the Shriner’s Hospitals and what they do for young children. He played in the Al Bedoo Brass Band and made many friends throughout the years. Likewise, he was a lifetime member of the Elks and American Legion where again he spent many hours with close friends and playing pool.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife Betty, who passed away in 1994. Bob is survived by his two children Julie and Cal (Tammy); seven grandchildren, Christopher, Brandon, Alex, Austin, Corrie, Kristin and Morgan; and one great grandchild, Jacob.
Bob lived a great life. He was honest and hardworking and loved his family tremendously. He had many friends. He will be missed but not forgotten. He was a life long member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church where funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 with internment with military honors at the Bridger Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church or The Shriner’s Hospital.
THE BOOK OF LIFE
When the book of life has been written,
and it’s time to close the cover,
each page is a precious memory then,
a tangible comfort forever.
The airy flutter of cherished pages
sounds like the wings of heavenly birds,
as hands that hold the golden memories,
let sunbeams light the beautiful words.
We will miss him.
John and Arliss Pereau——-lifelong customers
Uncle Bob was very special to us. As a nephew-in-law he was always so warm and hospitable and eager to have a round of golf and a great meal. When shopping for a car, he provided the best possible deal (then we went out immediately for another round of golf), and he provided “over the top” service for months if not years after we purchased the car. He was really a great friend and I will miss him. I remember when I was a little girl, Aunt Betty was visiting us and she had a date with the “future” Uncle Bob. When he arrived he asked to see “Betty Lou”, I closed the door on him because I didn’t know any Betty “Lou”. Aunt Betty came rushing to the door shouting, NO! No!. Throughout my life we saw them as much as possible and always had wonderful visits. I will truly miss him. To the family our sincere condolences. Love, Dave and Sharon Anderson
So sorry to hear of Bob Stacey’s passing. My parents Bud and Mary Wakenshaw were good friends of Joe and Gertrude Stacey. They met in Bearcreek and remained friends and my parents and my sister and I would visit the Stacey family in Bridger on many occasions over the years before the mine disaster in 1943 when my Dad and Granddads died in the mine. My sister was Bob’s age and I was 6 years younger. I remember the sad visit when we attended the funeral of Bill. Please accept my sincere sympathy for your loss. Bob Wakenshaw, Spokane ,WA.
So sorry to hear of Uncle’s Bob’s passing. He was a sweet man that lived life to the fullest. Sending heart felt condolences to the entire family. Love, Donna (Anderson) Mayer and family