Leslie A. Stelling
Nov. 17, 1943 – June 16, 2014
Leslie Arthur Stelling, 70, of Waukesha, went to be with his Lord and Savior on June 16, 2014, after fighting pancreatic cancer for two years. He died in the comfort of his home and surrounded by his family. Les was born on November 17, 1943, and grew up in Bayside, N.Y., son of William and Marie Stelling.
After graduating high school, Les served his country in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Ticonderoga in the Vietnam War. After his discharge in 1967, he moved to Wisconsin, where he found employment at GE Healthcare for 38 years. In 1972, Les married the love of his life, Patricia, of Brookfield. They enjoyed many happy years raising four children, taking walks about the neighborhood, camping around the U.S., and renovating their home. In their retirement, Les and Pat, The Wanderers, took to the road in their RV and toured the southwest. Les loved to be outdoors, whether that was tending his large garden, fishing in lakes and streams, hiking in the woods and mountains, or running marathons. He also enjoyed tinkering with computers and cars, reading historical novels, and studying the Bible. As a follower of Christ, Les was an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Wales.
Les will be remembered by all of those who knew him. He was a Jack-of-all-trades. His curiosity led him to diagnose every problem and try to understand how things worked. If it didn’t work, he’d fix it, and if the job wasn’t done right, he’d do it again! And he was persistent, to the point where he’d even try to fly a kite in the rain. Les could also be a philosopher, searching for meaning in books and in nature. He was always up for a debate about religion or politics, especially over a cup of Starbucks coffee. And he was a great storyteller and loved reading books to his children and grandchildren, but you’d never hear the end of a joke because he’d start laughing midway through. Above all, Les devoted himself to his family and friends, taking tremendous joy in his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia; children, Amy (Casey) Collins, William, John (Leslie), and Andrew; grandchildren, Annika and Samuel; siblings, Richard (Barbara), Susan (Paul) Loheide, and Douglas (Diane); sister-inlaw, Bonnie Stelling; dog, Abby; and many other family and friends.
Les was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Ralph; sister, Cindy; grandson, Michael; and father- and mother-in-law, Leonard and Shirley Thumann.
The visitation for Les will be held on Sunday, June 22, from 2:00 p.m. until the 4:00 p.m. memorial service at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 470 N. Oak Crest Drive, Wales, WI, 53183. Inurnment will take place on Monday, June 23, at 10:00 a.m. at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 21731 Spring St., Union Grove, WI 53182.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to Stillwaters Cancer Support Services, www.stillwaterscenter.org.
The family expresses gratitude to Dr. George and the cancer team of Froedtert Hospital, as well as the staff of Stillwaters Cancer Support Services, especially Melissa, and everyone else who assisted Les and his family during his battle with cancer.
Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation and Pre-Planning Services is serving the family. For further information, please call 262-542-6609, or for directions, an online obituary, or to leave a condolence, please visit www.WaukeshasFuneralHome.com.