Lewis Stahl, 54, of Harrison passed away Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008, at Madison Valley Manor in Ennis, after a three-year battle with brain cancer.
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Lewis was born Oct. 14, 1953, in Billings to Louis H. and Bonnie Stahl. He lived in several communities throughout his childhood as his father was a teacher/superintendent and transferred extensively through the state. He attended schools in Edgar, Saint Xavier, Reed Point and Harrison.
Lewis graduated from Harrison High School in 1972. Always independent and being a self-starter, he held several jobs and participated in various activities while in high school. He worked for Arnie Dyk, Parsnik Garage, and guided hunters up Cherry Creek with his brother-in-law. In school he participated in basketball, student council, and served as a legislative page in Helena.
Lewis married Christy (Merha) Stahl on Dec. 29, 1979. It was at this time he decided to start his own business, Stahl Contracting, and began building fences on the Flying D, what at that time was Shelton Ranches, and later for Turner Ranches.
In 1986 he and his wife bought the local D & S Diner, which they ran and operated for 18 years in Harrison.
During this time Lewis served on various boards and organizations for the communities of Harrison and Ennis. He belonged to the Harrison Jaycees, Harrison Volunteer Fire Department, Harrison Cemetery Board, Mount Jefferson Lodge, Harrison Sewer Board, Madison Valley Hospital Foundation Board, Madison County Economic Development Board, and Madison County LLEPC, and as a hunter safety instructor.
In 2005 Lewis decided to run for Madison County commissioner, and at that same time he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He used the same determination that he had used all of his life and kept campaigning and undergoing radiation and chemotherapy at the same time. He successfully won his position as a county commissioner in 2006, but sadly was only able to serve several months as the cancer advanced.
Lewis was most proud of serving 30 years as a hunter safety instructor, being able to initiate and complete the sewer system for Harrison, and fulfilling his lifelong dream of serving as a Madison County commissioner. He was extremely proud of his two sons, Andy and David, and of their accomplishments over the years.
Lewis is survived by his wife, Christy of Harrison; two sons, Andy of Harrison and David of Bozeman; sister, Crisco Stahl of Ronan; brother, Fred Stahl of Fayetteville, Ark.; mother-in-law, Vicki Merha; brothers and sisters-in-law, Riley and Nancy Wilson, Pete and Connie Olind, and Jack and Jody Baker.
The family would like to thank Dr. Pete Sorini, Dr. Trent Mahalick, St. James Cancer Care Center, Rocky Mountain Hospice, and all of the wonderful and caring staff at Madison Valley Manor for their care and support of Lewis and his family.
Donations in his name may be made to the Harrison School Memorial Fund; Madison Valley Hospital Fund; or to Madison Valley Manor.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, at Harrison School gymnasium, with graveside services in Harrison Cemetery.
K&L Mortuaries of Harrison is in charge of arrangements.
K & L Mortuaries
103 1st Ave E
Three Forks, MT 59752
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Sept. 18, 2008