June 10, 1926 - April 4, 2023.
Born to Mary Sadler and John Stayer in Ely, Minn., John grew up in Milwaukee. In June 1944, he was conscripted into the US Army. He marched with the 4th Armored Division, 151st Battalion of General Patton’s Third Army into “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. 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 in Milwaukee where he met a striking young woman named Naomi Johnson. In 1947 they married and welcomed their first son, John, nicknamed “Jack” in 1951. The couple welcomed a second son, Mark, in 1954. John and Naomi raised their boys in Brookfield 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 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 Aug. 1998. John and Donna shared many wonderful years in Wisconsin and Arizona. In May 2020, John and Donna moved to The Springs Assisted Living, in Lake Oswego, Ore. Living just a mile away from Mark and Candice, John’s family says these final years were a gift of time. John died peacefully at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland,