Born to Mary Sadler and John Stayer in Ely, Minnesota. John grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the summer of 1944, he was conscripted into the U.S. Army. In January 1945, he marched with the 4th Armored Division, 151st Battalion of General George Patton’s Third Army into what history remembers as “The Battle of the Bulge.” On Feb. 24, 1945, John was severely wounded after enemy fire exploded his fox hole. He was awarded a purple heart for his heroic actions that day. Doctors amputated his left leg just below the knee at a wartime hospital in England. John was just 18 years old.
Upon returning stateside, one of John’s first stops was to the prosthesis store where he met a striking young woman named Naomi Johnson. In 1947 they married, and in 1951 they welcomed their first son, John, nicknamed “Jack.” The couple welcomed a second son, Mark, in 1954. John and Naomi raised their boys in Brookfield, Wisconsin and were parishioners of St. Luke’s Parish. Despite a life altering injury, John never let it interfere with what he loved most: hunting, fishing and playing with his boys.
John and Naomi retired to White Sand Lake in northern Wisconsin in 1982 to be closer to their son Jack and his wife Christine. In 1990, they celebrated the birth of their only grandchild, Mary Elizabeth, born to their son Mark and his wife Karen in Oregon. After Naomi’s death in 1997, John remarried Donna Kasten in August 1998. John and Donna shared many wonderful years together in Wisconsin and Arizona. In May 2020, John and Donna moved to The Springs Assisted Living in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Living just a mile away from Mark, Candice and Mary, John’s family, says these final years were a true gift of time. John died peacefully at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
Discuss the news on NABUR, a place to have local conversations The Neighborhood Alliance for Better Understanding and Respect ✔ A site just for our local community ✔ Focused on facts, not misinformation ✔ Free for everyone