He was born in Delhi on Jan. 9, 1954, to Kenneth H. Stalter Jr. and Lois Clark Stalter. As a child, he lived briefly in Germany, where his father was stationed with the United States Army. The family returned to New York, settling on a dairy farm in Franklin. Stalter went on to become an Eagle Scout and a stand-out athlete in cross-country, track and basketball for Franklin Central School, where he graduated in 1972.
Following high school, Stalter attended the University of New Mexico on a running scholarship. While in New Mexico, Stalter enjoyed the unique desert landscape and discovered a life-long interest in Native American culture and artifacts.
He completed his bachelor’s degree with distinction and soon went on to medical school and surgical residency, also at the University of New Mexico. He was selected for membership in Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Honorary Medical Society.
While attending medical school, Stalter met Janice Harding, and they were married in 1980.
After completing his training as a surgeon, Stalter returned to his childhood home of Franklin. He joined Oneonta Surgical Associates as a general surgeon, working primarily with A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta. He specialized in general surgery, thoracic, basic and advanced laparoscopic surgery, vascular surgery, and gastrointestinal endoscopy.
Throughout his life, he engaged passionately in a variety of physical and creative challenges. He was an accomplished fly-fisherman, fishing both locally and in Canada and Iceland. He reached the summits of mountains on several continents, including Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak, which he summited in 2008.
Stalter completed the Marathon de Sable, a six-day foot race across the Sahara desert in Morocco. He was a two-time finisher of the Furnace Creek 508, most recently completing this event in October 2011, finishing the 508-mile bicycle ride across the California Mojave desert in 39 hours. He finished 14 full length triathlons and multiple marathons including the Boston Marathon three times.
In his spare time he also enjoyed ice climbing, skiing, gardening, collecting Native American artifacts and vintage ice climbing equipment, and designing and crafting stained glassed windows, including those in the meditation room at Fox Hospital.
He was a member of many professional and fraternal organizations, including the Wilderness Medical Society, American College of Surgeons, and American Medical Society. In March 2010, he was inducted into the Explorers Club, an international multidisciplinary professional society headquartered in New York City and dedicated to the advancement of field research and exploration. As a Royal Arch Mason with the Oneonta Lodge No. 466, he helped to preserve local Masonic artifacts and history.
Stalter was the co-author of several professional articles and one published book, a historical examination of one his ancestors during the American Revolutionary War.
Above all, he was a loving husband and father, and a caring and generous friend and colleague. He will be missed dearly.
He is survived by his wife, Janice; his children Kenneth, Rebekah and Lily; his sister, Lori, and her husband Scott White and their children Kathryn, Tyler, Alex and Troy White; his brother Wayne; his brother Shane and nieces Kiah and Mara Stalter and Shane’s fiance Heather Beach; and his parents, Kenneth and Lois. He was predeceased by his daughter, Leah.