DRUMMOND — Stanley M. Fadness, Drummond, died on May 19, 2019, in Deer Lodge, days before his 94th birthday.
He was born in Glenfield, North Dakota, on May 29, 1925, the sixth of 11 children to Emil and Gessina Anna Williamson. He was a baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. He attended schools in Glenfield, Wolf Point, Kalispell and Darby. Like lots of young men in those days, he dropped out of school to work to help support the family. As soon as he was old enough, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the South Pacific from 1943-46, shortly after the end of World War II. Part of his job was to help find Japanese soldiers in Fiji who were hiding, not knowing the war had ended.
After he returned home, he worked in the shipyards in Tacoma and then got a job with the Milwaukee and later Union Pacific railroads, first as a communications operator and later as a station manager. It was while he was working for the railroad in Alberton that he robbed the cradle and married Janice Oly, 12 years his junior, on Jan. 30, 1955. He often joked that he wasn’t offended his wife didn’t write him while he was in the Army since she was only about 7 at the time.
Stan and Jan had two children, Colette and Gene. They were later divorced, and Stan moved to California to work for the railroad in the Bay Area. It was there that he met his second wife, MaryL McMasters. They married on Oct. 31, 1964. They lived in San Francisco and Hayward where he worked in a tool crib for a tool and dye company. When MaryL passed away in 1986, Stan moved back to his native Montana, settling in Hamilton. When Jan’s husband, Ray, passed away, the two rekindled an old romance and were re-married on Dec. 23, 2000, in Deer Lodge. Stan’s family grew to include two more of Jan’s children, RaeAnn and Kevin. They lived in Deer Lodge for 15 years before Jan passed away on Jan. 3, 2016.
Stan loved games of chance, including card games, video poker, crossword puzzles or any word game, and could play “Wheel of Fortune” better than any contestant on the show. He loved baseball, particularly the San Francisco Giants, later defecting to the Seattle Mariners. But his favorite baseball game was to watch his grandsons play down the street from his home in Deer Lodge.
He is survived by his daughter, Colette of Deer Lodge; son, Gene (Sharron) of Boise; stepdaughter RaeAnn Vasquez (Paul) of Deer Lodge and stepson, Kevin Lorensen of Bozeman; brother LaVerne (Sandra) of Hamilton; six grandchildren, two great-granddaughters, and one great-grandchild on the way; and dozens of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 24, at St. Michael’s Church in Drummond with burial to follow. Memorials may be made to St. Michael’s Church, the Drummond Senior Citizens Center or to a charity of your choice.
“Wheel of Fortune” and crossword puzzles everywhere have lost one of their staunchest competitors.
A funeral service is planned for Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church in Drummond with burial to follow.