Deana Kay Stearns (Tyler), of Helena, Montana, born November 23, 1944, in South Bend, Indiana, died in Casper, Wyoming, on February 17, 2017. She was surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Dee, as she was known to most, although countless others knew her as Mom, lived a life with the love of God. She came to Montana while getting a degree in Geology, and fell in love with the state and the scenery it offered. She moved to Helena, Montana, as soon as she could upon graduating. She was a medical transcriptionist for over 30 years. Her heart lay in helping people, and she “adopted” many children over the years. First through ministry at 2 Job Corps in Montana as well as a rescue center for abused children. One of her adopted children of 27 years said it best upon hearing that she had made that final journey to heaven. “No doubt she’s already adopting some souls to bring along for some epic adventures in the next! I wonder what the heavenly equivalent of a big old van is?” Fourteen years ago, the first of what became yearly trips to Costa Rica began, where she and her late husband, Ben, helped rebuild churches and missionary work. In more recent years, she has helped to facilitate and participated in many medical missionary trips to Costa Rica. Costa Rica is the home of her heart, and all that she wanted was to be “home” in the mountains with the view of the ocean from her front porch on a clear day. She had an adopted family and many adopted children and grandchildren there. Dee made a difference in thousands of lives in the service of her unwavering love of God. She embodied that love completely in her selfless service. There is a rumor that she was an accomplished classical pianist in her youth, although when she gave her life to God, she loved playing worship music more than anything and more often than not, she could be found at the piano during worship services…in Montana and Costa Rica. She was an accomplished artist, creating unique and beautiful quilts for her loved ones. She also loved photography, a life-long passion of hers, and won an award in her younger years for a picture of the Tobacco Roots, and creating a portrait of the things she loved in life; her children, grandchildren, flowers, animals, nature, and butterflies. She was preceded in death by her parents, Keith and Vivian Tyler, as well as her husband, Oliver Benton Stearns III. She is survived by her children Mariah Pope, Daisy Hoffman (son in law Michael Hoffman), and Keith Pope, a stepson Sam Stearns, grandchildren Elijah and Tyler Pacheco, Lilianna Hoffman, Anthony and Sylas Pope, as well as her sisters Sandi Van Dyke and Karen Bohn.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 3 pm at Mountain Family Fellowship in Helena, Montana. Her children ask that white shirts be worn to the service in the Costa Rican custom to symbolize that she has gone into the light and is surrounded by light. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Costa Rican Medical Missionary can be sent to Mountain Family Fellowship: 6145 N. Montana, Helena, MT 59601. (Please write in the memo: Costa Rica Mission)
To leave a special message for Dee's family, please click on the "Share Memories" button above.