Joseph "Joe" Schuler passed away peacefully on June 10, 2014, at Bridger Healthcare Center. He was born on Jan. 15, 1942, in Forest City, Iowa, the only child of Sidney and Lillian (Withers) Schuler.
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After graduation from Irwin High School, Joe immediately headed west to work in Yellowstone National Park. There in 1961, he met his soon-to-be wife, Deana Bills, and they married in 1962.
Joe worked in several grocery stores until 1966 when he was drafted into the Army, having the distinction of being the second oldest man to be drafted during the Vietnam conflict. When he was discharged in 1968, he began working for the Iowa Department of Transportation. In 1972, Joe and Deana welcomed their little daughter, Kimberly. The family moved to Bloomfield, Iowa, in 1976 and Joe continued to work for the Iowa DOT until his retirement in 1991.
Joe loved panning for gold and the family spent many summers vacationing in Colorado while Joe hunted for "the big nugget." He never found it but enjoyed the adventure. Joe loved spending time with Kim, helping her get ready to show her pony at the horse shows or attending her school functions. His other passion was volunteering at the Davis County Fair where he was a member of the Fair Board for several years having been elected vice-president, then president.
After Kim graduated from high school in 1991, Joe and Deana went back to Yellowstone to work. Joe and Deana divorced in 1998.
Joe suffered a massive stroke in 2000 and spent the next year in rehabilitation. When he was strong enough, he traveled all over the west finally settling in Arizona. Another stroke brought him to Montana where he spent the last years of his life at a nursing facility.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff members of Mountain View Healthcare Center, Bridger Healthcare Center and Rocky Mountain Hospice for their loving care of Joe until his passing.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his daughter, Kim Biladeau; son-in-law, Ken Biladeau; grandson, Kaleb Biladeau; and his ex-wife, Deana Schuler. He also leaves behind many aunts, uncles, cousins and many, many friends in Iowa and Colorado.
A memorial service will be held in Iowa at a later date.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 13, 2014