[gn_heading style=”1″]Dr. James Sydney Stroeher[/gn_heading]
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Dr. James Sydney Stroeher was born to Louise and Harold Stroeher on April 14, 1924, in Mansfield, Ohio. Two years later the family moved out West, first to Colorado, then Wyoming, and finally to Montana. Jim graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1942, and entered the 8th Army Air Force, training as a navigator on the B17 bomber. During WWII he was stationed in Knettishall, England, his home base for 34 bombing runs over Germany and several humanitarian aid flights for Operation Chowhound, missions agreed to by the Germans allowing the Americans to drop food to the starving Dutch civilians. On the first aid drop, the B17s flew so low that they could see the German soldiers sitting behind their guns; Jim and his crew hoped that the soldiers had been informed that these were mercy and not combat missions. His humanitarian work did not end there. At the end of the war he navigated several flights carrying prisoners of war out of Germany to France.
After the war, Jim returned to Billings to continue his education at Eastern Montana College and then Loyola Dental College in Chicago, Illinois. In 1951 he not only graduated with his degree in Dentistry, but married his Hoosier love, Elizabeth Fendig. The two settled in Billings where Jim set up a dental practice with his long time friend and mentor, Dr. Charles Beveridge, and continued this practice until his retirement at age of 65.
Jim was very active in the Montana Dental Association, serving for many years as Secretary and eventually President. He was also active in the Billings Rotary Club and was a member of the First Congregational Church. Jim enjoyed snow skiing and lived for his camping trips with his family. In retirement he became a passionate golfer, joining the Hilands Golf Club, and to keep his active hands busy took up working with stained glass.
Jim is survived by his wife of 60 years, Libby, his three children, Sam (and wife Cathy) of Butte, Montana, Ginny of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Tom (and wife Norma) of Spokane, Washington, and his four grandchildren, Nick (and wife Emily), Beth, Lindsey and Ryan.
Funeral services will be held 10am Friday at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary.
I have fond memories of playing with my friend Ginny at the Stroeher house. Your dad would be mowing the lawn or working on the cars or camper. I was sad to hear your news. It’s time like these that give us so much appreciation for our family and friends.
We had some great times skiing, didn’t we Ginny!
and best wishes for you all,