Nov. 13, 1950 - Nov. 15, 2015
"Best of all he loved the fall The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods Leaves floating on the trout streams And above the hills The high blue windless skies Now he will be a part of them forever" EH
We wish to celebrate the extraordinary life of Edward Stilwill who recently passed on to the "Happy Hunting Ground" after a prolonged struggle with metastatic prostate cancer, throughout which he was sustained by his positive life view. He is survived by his loving wife, Sally Pochter Stilwill and their two children Katherine Greer (Carter) McDonnell and Sarah Elizabeth Stilwill (John) Gannon and his grandson, William Gannon who loved his Opa.
Edward was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and moved with his parents to Newtonville, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, as his father completed his pediatric orthopedic residency. Edward graduated from East Lansing High School in 1968, Albion College in 1972, and Northwestern University Medical School in 1976. Edward won the Bernard Baruch medal for National Medical School writing contest in Electron Microscope Neuromuscular research of Paraplegic Upper and Lower Motor Neuron disease.
Edward met Sally in Chicago, married in 1976 and moved back to Ann Arbor for a radiology residency and two year neuroradiology fellowship at the University of Michigan Hospital. He rapidly rose to the rank of Associate Professor of Neuroradiology at the University of Michigan.
In 1981, Edward moved his family "up north" to enjoy a neuroradiology practice in Traverse City with Munson Medical Center for 32 years. He felt lucky to be a physician which he called a most "honorable profession and work worth doing."
Edward was an Eagle Scout with 3 Eagle Palms - he liked to say that's why he liked Duckhorn Merlot Three Palms wine. He enjoyed everything out of doors such as hiking, skiing, hunting, bicycling (Ice Man), cross country skiing and participated in the North American Vasa for many years- winning a 2nd place team finish in 1984 and participating in the American Birkebeiner for several years.
Edward enjoyed flyfishing with his father and his family at his cabin on the Manistee River, bird hunting and skeet shooting with his best friend Pat G., years of Western hunting adventures with JR, and hiking with his favorite hiking couples in TC and Montana. Edward authored a book of his hunting exploits and misadventures in "The Making of a Sportsman". Upon retirement his compass needle pointed west and southwest to refocus life in the mountains of Big Sky, Montana, where his spirit soared amongst the stars and open space, particularly in the fall when the ethereal bull elk bugles.
Edward raised his coffee cup every morning and wine glass every evening to the Spanish Peaks Mountains and said, "Thank you for another day, "
He felt so lucky and incredibly grateful for his full and happy life. He will be remembered always for his incredible gifts as a mentor to his family and friends and for sharing his contagious passion for all outdoor pursuits. including the art of biking, skiing, hunting, fishing, and hiking.
He was proudest of his family, their accomplishments academically and personally, and loved gathering often with them in Montana to share all of his wisdom on life in the West.
A celebration of Edward's life will be held at a later date. Edward's family would like to thank the many wonderful caregivers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah and at Munson Medical Center, at the infusion clinic, Dr. Kohler and Dr. Heimberger.
In lieu of flowers donations may be directed to The TART Trails or the Traverse Health Clinic in Traverse City, Michigan- The Big Sky Medical Center in Big Sky Montana through the Bozeman Health Foundation 931 Highland Blvd. Bozeman Montana 59715 or the Yellowstone Association, PO box 117, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190,
Please share memories with the family by visiting Edward's tribute page at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Traverse City, MI.
Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home
305 Sixth Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 22, 2015