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Joe died November 12, 2022, from injuries suffered in a fall at his home in Billings, Montana. He was born in St. Ignatius, Montana, July 2, 1948, and grew up in Ronan, Montana. Joe graduated from University of Montana in 1975. Summers during college, he worked for the USFS on a lookout, was a Hotshot and jumped at Missoula 1973-74. Later Joe worked for Montana Power at the Corette Plant in Billings where he lived in Billings since 1976. He was a Special Forces Medic in The Army and Combat Medical Platoon Staff Sergeant 25th Infantry Division, Vietnam. Joe received Army Accommodation Medals for Meritorious Service and the Bronze Star. After an honorable discharge from the Army, he served 20 years in the Army Reserve and Montana National Guard. Joe seemed to be happiest when he was helping others. Besides working at The Camp on The Boulder for several years, he was a ski and snowboard instructor at Eagle Mount. He was a mentor for Yellowstone County Veterans Treatment Court, and a Life Member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the National Rifle Association, and the National Smokejumper Association.



Publication Date

November 2022


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Sterling, Murray J. “Joe” (Missoula 1973)