November 10, 1931 - October 1, 2021
James (Jim) Woodfin Oler, Sr. of Limestone, TN peacefully passed away one month shy of his 90th birthday on Friday October 1st, 2021, at The James H. Quillen VA Medical Center in Mountain Home, Tennessee with loving family members present.
As a proud, decorated, and honorable member of the US Navy, James served in Korea on the USS C.K. Bronson (DD-668) in the 38th Division T.A.D. Wounded in action behind enemy lines, Jim served with indominable bravery and received many medals and honors including: the prestigious Presidential Citation, Distinguished Service Medal, Purple Heart, Korean Service Medal, Navy Corps Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.
Jim’s thirst for knowledge continued after raising seven children. He embarked on a new passion and began his studies in philosophy at East TN State University. His quest for information and his love for learning further flourished. An avid scholar, reader and music lover, Jim could find a favorable rhythm and personal connection to most music genres from Rock such as Janis Joplin to Classical Beethoven, from deep southern Blues to Nashville Country. This vast appreciation was much like his ability to acknowledge and understand the unique differences in people from all walks of life.
As a caring husband, father, brother and friend, Jim’s vehement passions were the sights and sounds of nature and the beautiful natural setting of his peaceful Tennessee home. If ever you called Jim at home and did not reach him, he was most often immersing himself in his organic gardens and flowers with Gail, enjoying a peaceful hike with his beloved dog Woodrow and always being as one with nature.
As Jim would say: Blessed are they who are given no answers yet find understanding.
Jim carried a spoken and unspoken love for his family, friends and his cherished pets. He is survived by his wife of 30 years Gail Stenstad, brother Jerry Oler and his 7 children: James [Teresa] Oler Jr., Debbie Helgeson, Kathleen [Byron] Cleeland, Michael Oler, Jamie S Oler, Angie [Marc] Kirby, and Bruce [Christy] Oler as well as his 14 grandchildren, Rachel Beverly, Michelle Fleming, Travis Whetsell, Lauren Walsh, Kaylea Helgeson, Sarah Cleeland, Mark Anthony Banean, Tyler Banean, Wendy Rehardt, Natasha Kirby, Griffin Kirby, Dylan Kirby, Molly Kirby, and Elijah Oler, his 11 great grandchildren, as well as many extended family members and friends.
Jim’s family will honor his wish to be cremated and spread in the gardens of his property overlooking the mountains as we forever celebrate his life.