Leon Ray Stohler, 77 of Goose Creek, South Carolina, died on Friday, March 10, 2023,
surrounded by loved ones.
Born on January 9, 1946, in Ogallala, Nebraska, Leon was the 6th child born to the late Eva (Beachell) and Frank Stohler.
He spent his early years playing on the family farm with his sister, Linda, fishing with his older brothers, then sharing those activities with his nephew, Larry, whose family lived on the farm with him. Once he was old enough to work on the farm, he began helping out with crops, running the farming machinery he loved throughout his lifetime, and caring for the pigs his family raised. When he came of age, he joined the military. Leon was a decorated U.S. Navy veteran, who served during the Vietnam Conflict from 1968 - 1974. After he completed his Navy service, Leon worked for Carolina Power and Light Company at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant in Southport, NC, as a nuclear technician, then supervisor, from 1974 until his retirement in 1997.
Leon was a humble man, who would have only shared the most basic facts of his life, were he to have written his own obituary. But those who love him remember Leon as a great man. There is no way to document all the good he did in the world, building churches, serving God, and mending families. However, this much can be shared: Though Leon had no biological children, he came into the lives of his 5 daughters (Leon never called them stepdaughters) at times when they and their children needed him most. He was a true and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He loved and cherished his first wife, Barbara, so much that he married her twice! He cared for her through several illnesses, and remained by her side until she passed away in 2003. In 2005, he met Lynnda Stettnisch, who his family considers his soulmate. They went on many adventures in their short time together, and he cared for her as she succumbed to lung cancer in 2009. Leon married his current wife, Judie Stohler, in 2010. When Judie was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014, he cared for her through that illness. Not long after, Judie was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Lewy body dementia. Through all the challenges that came with those diagnoses, Leon stuck by Judie's side, sitting with her daily in her memory care apartment, even through the Covid-19 pandemic, when he would sit outside to be with her for hours every day in good and bad weather.
Throughout the years, Leon brought people together from the different stages of his life. He joined his extended family of origin in many family reunions over the years, and once the pandemic came, he gathered with them weekly on video calls, where they would reminisce, support each other, and talk about the news of the day. He remained close to Barbara's family after her death, caring for her eldest great-granddaughter when she was a baby. He loved Lynnda's daughters, Melanie and Terri, and their families, and told Judie's daughters, Dana and Lesley, and their families, many stories about his biological family and the extended family he grew through his love for his three wives. At the end of his life, his daughters Melanie, Terry, Dana and Lesley, and her fiancé Kevin, several of his grandchildren, and his son-in-law Kenny were all with him, sharing stories and making sure he knew they loved him as much as he had loved them. It was his family's privilege to care for him in the last years of his life, as he had cared for them and their families. Leon's legacy is the love and devotion, honorable character, and steadfastness that he demonstrated and inspired in everyone he knew.
Leon is preceded in death by his father Frank Stohler, his mother Eva Stohler, his brother Don Stohler and his wife Doris, his sister Ruth Borowski and her husband Ed; his sister-in-law Shirley Stohler; his beloved wives, Lynnda Terry Stettnisch and Barbara Dyches Stohler; and his daughter Myra Banks.
Leon is survived by his wife, Judith Stohler, of Goose Creek, and daughters Lesley Larson
(Kevin), Dana Harrington (Don), Melanie Brown (Jonathan), Terry Mogle (Glen), daughter-in-law Kelli Garcia (John), son-in-law Kenny Banks, 12 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, his brother Roy Stohler, sisters Doris Otterstein (Bill) and Linda Payne (Richard), and sister-in-law Dee Stohler.
Leon's family wishes to thank the 3 rd floor medical team at Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital who cared for him and us with incredible compassion in his last days, especially Drs. De Church and Cotto, nurses Zach, Taylor, Michael and Tracy, as well as too many other caregivers to name.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 25, 2023 from noon to 1:00pm at
McAlister-Smith Funeral Home at 869 St. James Ave in Goose Creek, South Carolina.
A celebration of Leon's life will be held at 1:00pm Saturday, March 25, at McAlister-Smith Funeral Chapel (Goose Creek).
The burial will be held at Whispering Pines Memorial Gardens in Moncks Corner, South
Carolina, immediately following the celebration of life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lowcountry Food Bank, 2864 Azalea Dr. Charleston, SC 29405.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at mcalister-smith.com/.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 869 St. James Ave, Goose Creek, SC 29445, (843)553-1511.