Wayne W. Stellish, the son of Louis and Lousetta (Both) Stellish, was born on May 27, 1919, on a farm near Hartley. He received his early education in the Hartley public schools. When he was 17, his family purchased a farm near Cherokee. With the exception of four years he spent in the Air Force during WWII, Wayne continued to live on that same farm until his death.
While in the service with the 306th Bomb Group in Thurleigh, England, Wayne was assigned to train with the Royal Air Force as an air traffic controller. It was during his service years that he met a young lady named Anne Bradfield, from County Cork, Ireland. The couple was married in England in 1945. They returned to the U.S. in 1946, and settled on the Stellish family farm. Wayne and Anne raised four children there-Dennis, Kenneth, Leslie and Nancy. The farming included a large farrow-to-finish hog operation, which Wayne thoroughly enjoyed.
Anne passed away in 2001, and several years later, Wayne decided to establish an area on the farm to display artifacts and family memorabilia--memories of life in rural Cherokee County in the 20th Century.
In memory of his parents and beloved wife, the Stellish "Barn of Memories" was created. Wayne loved reminiscing and telling the historical significance of his collection to area residents and groups that toured the barn. He also enjoyed attending reunions of the 306th Bomb Group, his faithful dog Murphy, and feeding the squirrels and cats. He was a member of Immaculate Catholic Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Anne, and sister, Beverly Godfrey.
Left to cherish his memory are his children: Dennis Stellish of China, Kenneth Stellish of Aurelia, Leslie Stellish of Westminster, Colo., and Nancy and her husband, Phil McIlvennan; his grandchildren: Susan, Jeremiah, Sean, Kevin, Erin, Ashley, Sadie, Anthony; several great-grandchildren; his special companion, Margaret Petrucka of Cherokee; a brother-in-law, Ralph Godfrey of Cherokee; a brother-in-law, Michael Bradfield of Bandon, Ireland; special nieces and nephews Loren Godfrey, Darrel Godfrey, Darlys Winebrinner, Michael, Patrick and Eugene Hayes, as well as many other members of the Bradfield family of Ireland.