Don Stoecker was born March 3, 1933 and passed away December 4, 2022. Don grew up in California and after serving in the Navy moved to Montana where he worked on ranches in the Big Hole and Philipsburg area.
Don developed an interest in birds and became an excellent birder and supporter of Montana Audubon. Don established the Christmas Bird Count at Warm Springs which is still being conducted today.
Although Don had no formal training in ornithology he studied hard and became known as an outstanding birder in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. In Don’s later years he lived in his van and followed the birds to Texas in the fall. There he led bird walks at several National Wildlife Management Areas. Each spring he would return to Montana with his friends “the birds” during spring migration. Don was a friend and mentor to many birders during his active years of birding.
When Don could no longer care for himself and he moved into the IVY retirement home in Deer Lodge where he enjoyed an easy life with someone else cooking for him until his death.
He had one sister who remained in California.
A graveside service will be held Thursday, December 8th at 11:00 AM at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge.
Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Don.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Don and his family.