Stevensville – “Jonnie” Stella Lita Adams Sisler was born in the desert town of Ripley, California to Texas born civil engineer Claude Simpson Adams and his wife Louise McBride Adams. Due to a traumatic event she was born prematurely. Her mother, determined to save her baby, would swing her by the feet, face down and rest her belly on the palm of her hand on the downward swing. She slept her first few weeks in a shoebox and was kept warm by the wood cookstove.
Jonnie is survived by her husband of 60 years, Jerry Sisler, her children Beth, Karen, Tom, Suzanne, Jerry Jr and Marilyn (MaryLou), 11 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren. Also her sister, Louise “Dutch” Lewotsky, brother in law Frank Lewotsky and their five grown children Karen, Brian, Steven, Gretchen and Kristin, all of whom she adored and spoke of often.
She grew up during the Great Depression and served as a sergeant in the Marines during WWII. Jonnie completed her bachelors degree in teaching on just three short years while also supporting her mother and oldest daughter, who was a toddler then.
Jonnie and her husband Jerry moved to the Bitterroot Valley in 1981 to enjoy the lifestyle that they loved. They made many, many wonderful and dear friends here. Jonnie was an avid outdoorswomen and horsewoman. She enjoyed hunting, fishing and scuba diving with her husband and children, She loved birding with the Audubon Society and rockhounding. She passed her interests, passions and skills on to her children and grandchildren. She was passionate about genealogy from the time she was in her late teens. She spent more than 70 years teaching and helping a great many people all over the world to research and find their ancestors.
She loved music, dancing, art and poetry. She will be missed. This world is a poorer place for her passing but a richer place for the life she lived.
The funeral for Jonnie was held Thursday, August at the LDS chapel in Stevensville, MT. At Jonnie’s request, burial was in the Veterans Cemetery in Missoula with full military honors.
Condolences and memories may be left of the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.