Henry Warren Stish

1924 – 2013
Henry Warren Stish


Henry Warren Stish, 89, of Dillon, quietly and peacefully passed away at home on Thursday, December 5, surrounded by family and friends. He was a beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, professor, fisherman, WWII veteran, bowler, golfer, coach, referee and football fan. Henry loved outdoor activities, especially golf and fishing. He made four holes-in-one and took several salmon fishing trips to British Columbia.

Henry is survived by: his wife of 65 years, Patricia (Pat) Ann Lenahan Stish; daughters Marcia (Dick) McCracken, MaryLou (David) Wilson, and Peggy (Mike) Naegele; grandchildren Brad Naegele, Brendan Naegele, Megan (Burke) Nelson and Ryan (Jenny) McCracken; great-grandchildren Danika Nelson, Mckall Nelson, Liam McCracken and Colin McCracken.

Henry was born July 13, 1924, in Hibbing, MN. He was the son of Henry and Lola Stish, and grew up in Nashwauk, MN, where his father worked in the mining industry and worked the family farm. He attended local schools, except for one year when he attended a one-room school in a coal mining camp in North Dakota. Following graduation from Nashwauk High School in 1942, he attended Bemidji State Teacher’s College until entering military service in May 1943, when he attended North Texas State Teacher’s College in the Army Specialized Training Program. Henry served in the 103rd Cactus Division, 410th Infantry Battalion, Rifle Company in the European Theatre until November 1945.

After serving his country in WWII, Henry returned to Bemidji State College and received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1948 in science and physical education. In March 1948, he married Patricia Ann Lenahan and took off for the mountains of Montana. He continued his graduate school education at the University of North Dakota and received his Masters of Education degree in school administration in 1954. Henry attended three National Science Foundation summer institutes, plus a full-year institute at the University of North Dakota, 1961–62.

Henry’s teaching career spanned six decades and started in 1948 in St. Ignatius, where he taught science and PE, and his six-man football team won the Class C State Championship. In 1951, he moved to Stevensville, where he continued teaching, served as principal and then as superintendent, and was responsible for oversight of the planning, construction and equipping of a new high school building. In 1962, Henry, Pat and family moved to Dillon, where he began his career at Western Montana College. He was the Dean of Students for 17 years, taught numerous science courses and PE classes, and supervised planning, construction and equipping of the PE complex, science classroom building, library administration building, and Clark & Centennial residence halls, as well as other renovation and remodeling projects on campus. He served as golf coach for 10 years, and as the Division Chair for math, science and PE, and was instrumental in developing the Job Corps and Youth Conservation Corps program.

Henry received the Western Montana College Service Award in 1990, and was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992 at Bemidji State College.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 16, at the First Presbyterian Church, with Rev. David Andrew officiating. A reception will follow at the church.

Memorial donations may be made to Beaverhead County Ambulance, the University of Montana Western Alumni, or to the donor’s choice. A guestbook is available online at www.brundagefuneralhome.com.