We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Daly Leach Memorial Chapel
SPOKANE, WA formerly of Hamilton - Our dear mother, Stella Kratofil, went to her heavenly home on Monday, May 9, 2022. She was 91. She had spent a wonderful Mother's Day with her four children and their spouses the day before enjoying dinner, telling stories and just being together. Stella was born December 11, 1930 to John Howard and Mabel (Overturf) Cornish in Hamilton, MT. She was the 7th of 8 children. Stella's father, an electrician, made up the first outdoor Christmas lights, which were bulbs soldered to a wire. These provided his family with Hamilton's first decorated outside Christmas tree. From 1919 to his death in 1933 he strung lights across main street at Christmas time.
Stella grew up in Hamilton and graduated from Hamilton High School in 1948. She was a senior in high school when she met her future husband, Eddie Kratofil, in the middle of Main Street. He followed her to Montana State College, and they were married a year later in September of 1949. They stayed in Bozeman for a few years working and raising their three daughters until they moved to Spokane in 1956, purchasing their first and only home. Their son was born in Spokane. Stella was a homemaker and then became a loving caregiver for disabled children for many years. After retirement she and Eddie spent summers at the mountain cabin they built on the West Fork of the Bitterroot River. She had a love for the area she grew up in and many memories were made with family & friends at the cabin.
Stella was a very caring person willing to help anyone who needed advice, a shoulder to cry on or just someone to listen. She was also the keeper of the family history leaving a legacy that will continue through generations to come.
Stella was predeceased by Eddie in 2013 and her grandson, Chris Justice, in 2021 and all seven of her siblings, Vivian, Luella, Charlie, John, Bob, Jim and Howard. She is survived by her children Diana (Terry) Justice, Carol (Steve) Boileau, Sharon (Bob) Mellis all of Spokane and Mike (Leanne) Kratofil of Florida and Montana. She leaves nine grandchildren, Sandy, David, Andrew, Katie, Mike, Justin, Amanda, Luke and Keely, 21 great grandchildren and two due in the fall, five great great grandchildren, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
A funeral service was held earlier in Spokane. Graveside services will be held Friday, June 17, 2022 at 12:30 p.m., at Riverview Cemetery, in Hamilton, MT with a reception following at the Daly-Leach Chapel Community Room.