Nyla Sterner (78) a longtime Missoula resident joined the Lord on Friday, December 18, 2020 at the Beehive Assisted Living Facility in Hamilton, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago.
She was born in Great Falls on August 21, 1942 to David and Margaret Grove. She spent her childhood in Somers. Nyla and her younger brother were raised solely by her mother upon her father’s death when she was 11 years old. She attended Flathead High School. On May 2, 1958 she married John Delano “Jack” Sterner of Kalispell. They began their family with the birth of Shelly and Tina in Kalispell. Their family became complete in Missoula where Shane and Claudi Jo were born. She and Jack moved to Trego and Eureka where they were small business owners. They divorced in 1970. Nyla knew the importance of providing for family in a faith-based home, and education for them all. She too, solely, raised her four children by working clerical/accounts payable for various businesses always striving for better opportunities. Her significant employment was with Champion International in Bonner until it closed. After retirement at 65, she was a part-time merchandiser with American Greetings for years.
She was active with the Moose Lodge with their bowling league and Square Dancing in Lolo in the 1970s. Thereafter she was very active in the Masonic Organizations: DeMolay and Job’s Daughter Mother, Order of Eastern Star-Immanuel Chapter #54, and the Treasurer for many years of the Electa Chapter #7. In the community, she volunteered at the Missoula Food Bank, as a Senior Companion for Missoula Aging, Secretary for Missoula Senior Center, Senior Mentor for the University of Montana Pharmacy School, the building of The Carousel/Dragon Hollow, First Night Missoula, and season ticket holder for Lady Griz, UM Theatre and MCT.
She enjoyed her friends at Mall Walkers, knitting prayer shawls at Martha’s Ministries, Pinocle at the Senior Center, and watching her “man-friend,” Dewey, at the Hamilton and Missoula Trap Club. She loved her family and considered her friends to be the same. She has many memories with her travel group participating in an Alaskan cruise, visiting Hawaii, Mexico, the Dakotas, Fall Colors of New England, Washington D.C., Dollywood, Graceland, Branson, New Orleans and many “Mystery Dinners” in Montana.
Nyla had a great sense of humor, was an instant friend to strangers, always provided a helping hand and was generous, thinking of others through cards, going out to eat, celebrating any event, calling friends for lengthy conversations, and living a full life. She had an incredible perspective of situations and always forgave. Her greatest joy was watching her children become grandparents. She was proud of her family and loved them deeply!
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Tina Sterner-Smith (1983), her children’s father, Jack Sterner (1990), her daughter, Shelly Sterner-Willard (2019), and her grandson, Stuart Willard (2020).
Survivors include her brother, Morey Grove (Kalispell), son, Shane (April) Sterner of Missoula, daughter, Claudi Jo (Tim) Lund of Hamilton, son in-law, Scott Willard of Kernersville, North Carolina, and her companion of 11 years, Dewey Jewett. Along with his children Sheryl Dimmit and Natalie Jewett, and his grandchildren Nathan and Jacob Jewett. Nyla’s Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren: Margaret Smith Sanchez (Skylynn, Gabbi, Anna), Andrea (Jeremy) Willard-Price (Jorden, Bryant), Adam Sterner, Cristal (Sam) Dyer (Ash, Elizabeth, and Joey), Laura (Russ) Arnold (Lucy, Leon), Clark Lund, Mariah (Karill) Apedaile, along with several special cousins, and many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to view the service at 2:00 p.m., on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 by visiting the link below. Arrangements are under the care of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home.