Harold Lewis Stilwell
Former Gillette resident Harold Lewis Stilwell, 94, died Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at the Good Samaritan Society in New Underwood, South Dakota.
Mr. Stilwell has reunited with his soulmate, Marion, who died Nov. 8, 2020, which was their 73rd wedding anniversary.
He was born Jan. 24, 1926, in Cushing, Oklahoma, the third of eight children born to Roy Lee and Minnie Laura (Patterson) Stilwell.
Mr. Stilwell’s work ethic began at an early age. Upon completion of the eighth grade of school, he took on the responsibility to help contribute to the support of his siblings.
A World War II veteran, he served his country in the U.S. Navy from 1944-46, and was awarded the Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal (2 Stars) and Philippine Liberation Campaign Ribbon (1 Star).
With $60.74 final severance pay, including $1 for travel costs upon his honorable discharge, Harold went to work for Stilwell Trucking, owned by his uncle Melvin Stilwell in Casper and Powell.
Arriving in Powell, a cute little gal caught his eye and stole his heart. He married Marion Geraldine Gahagan on Nov. 8, 1947. Three children were born from this union: Larry Dwight Stilwell, Judy Ann Stilwell and Harold Wayne Stilwell.
The couple raised their family in Powell, Big Piney and Gillette, moving as needed during his 36 years of employment with Mobil Oil Co.
The only mode of transportation in the first year of their marriage was an Indian motorcycle.
The entire family loved camping, boating, fishing derbies and water skiing. The family adventures began with a tent, moving up to the pickup camper built by Mr. Stilwell and eventually campers, boats and motor homes bought off the lot. His 1987 Baja Sport 210 boat is now owned by his grandson, Nik Stilwell.
Riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles and snowmobiles were always included in the outdoor activities he loved and shared with his family.
Mr. Stilwell retired after triple bypass surgery in 1989. He and his wife spent the next 17 winters in Yuma, Arizona, and summers in Wyoming and South Dakota with their children and grandchildren.
He continued his love of outdoor sports riding four-wheelers even at 80 years young. More recently, all family members — with hearts full of love — opened their homes sharing the Stilwells’ care, as they had done so lovingly for their own children and grandchildren throughout their lives.
Harold is survived by his children, Larry D. (Becky) Stilwell, Judy Ann Atkinson and Harold Wayne (Vee) Stilwell; eight grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; brothers, Ronnie Stilwell and John Stilwell; and sister, Margaret (Margie) Kelly.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marion G. Stilwell; a grandson; a daughter-in-law; two sons-in-law; his parents; siblings, Leroy Stilwell, Truman Stilwell and Norma Bryan; and infant sister, Betty Rose Stilwell.
Graveside services were held Tuesday at Mount Pisgah Cemetery in Gillette.