James “Tony” Anthony Stage, age 60 of Montgomery passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at Methodist Hospital in Rochester, MN surrounded by his loving family after a courageous 10-month battle with cancer. Tony’s family is hosting a Gathering of Remembrance and Memorial Service at the Revival on Main in Montgomery, MN on Thursday, June 29 from 6-9 pm. The doors open at 6 with a service at 6:30, followed by refreshments and fellowship.
Tony is survived by his wife, Stephanie and children Rachel, Alexandra, Forrest, Kale, and Brooke; parents, Jim and Jo Carrol Stage; siblings and their families, Angela (Damon) Young and children Coleman and Dane; Melissa Stage and children Sophie and Sam; Nephew, Christopher Stage. Mother-in-law, Rita Thornton; Brothers-in-law and their families; Jeff Birdsell and son, Tyson; Tony (Linda) Birdsell; Tim (Cindy) Birdsell and children Jason (Hilary) and Justin (Shayla); Tom (Sarah) Thornton and daughter, Delia.
Tony was born on October 14, 1962, to Jim and Jo Carrol (Loftis) Stage at the Marine Base in Twentynine Palms, CA and eventually his family relocated to Apple Valley, MN where Tony attended school through his sophomore year. His family then left the suburbs and started a new chapter on a hobby farm outside of Lonsdale, MN and Tony resumed attending school as a junior at Montgomery-Lonsdale HS where he graduated from in 1981. During his junior year he caught the eye of Stephanie Thornton, and they went on to date and became each other’s first loves. They parted ways as so many do, and it was not until 30 years later that they reconnected and found that their love story was not over. They were united in marriage on March 16, 2010.
Tony and Stephanie settled in Katy, TX. While in Katy, Tony was active in building his Elite Media Systems company from the ground up. He also became active in their church, Grace Fellowship where Tony eventually joined the staff on the worship team. Tony was gifted in electronics and excelled at creating lighting designs for the worship portion of the services there.
Tony was a kind, gracious and generous man. He truly exemplified his Christian beliefs and everyone who knew him realized he was always there to help. His career path spanned many construction trades such as painting, drywall, low voltage electronics, sound, light and home theater design. He was a motor car enthusiast and could maintain and repair vehicles. So many counted on Tony’s vast knowledge to help with renovations and repairs. He was always available to lend a hand and teach and mentor.
He found his true career calling after Tony and Stephanie moved back to MN in 2019 to be nearer to family. He joined Chart Industries in New Prague in a general maintenance position, but soon found himself promoted to Maintenance and Facilities Coordinator where he led a team that supported the entire facility. He loved his work and his work family, and it gave his life purpose and meaning.
Tony’s interests were varied and included cars, especially muscle cars, music, baseball, and a good steak dinner. He was an avid Twins fan until moving to Texas where the Astros won his heart as his favorite team. He could almost always be seen sporting his Astros cap, unless they were losing then he switched to Twins! He shared this passion with Steph and his family. They loved to attend baseball games together both in TX and MN. He loved to attend the State Fair and many county fairs in the area. When in Texas he loved to attend the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Tony was a caring man and was an amazing husband and excellent father and role model to his stepdaughter Brooke, who was quite young when he married Stephanie. Forrest and Kale were almost grown when Tony became part of the family, but he was an influential and caring presence in their lives. Tony was also a devoted son to his parents Jim and Jo Carrol and mother-in-law Rita and a loving big brother to sisters Melissa and Angela. He was a fun brother-in-law (earning the nickname Tony II, since there was already a Tony in the family), and was also a caring uncle to his nieces and nephews.
Tony was dearly loved by so many, and he will be truly missed in this world. We take comfort in his faith and the knowledge that he is now in the arms of his savior in heaven with those that have gone before.
Tony is preceded in death by his brother, Michael, father-in-law, Tom Thornton and sister-in-law, Jan Birdsell.
Arrangements are with the Schoenbauer Funeral Home in Montgomery, 507-357-6116. On-line condolences may be left at www.schoenbauerfuneralhome.com