SIBLEY -- Merrill Sterler, 74, of Sibley, died Thursday, Dec. 16, 2004, at the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley.
Merrill K. Sterler was born Feb. 8, 1930, in rural Ashton, the son of Henry and Helen (Miller) Sterler. He attended country school through the 8th grade and graduated from the Ashton Public School in 1948.
After school, Merrill worked in the Ashton and Matlock area until entering the U.S. Army in 1951.
On March 10, 1952, he was united marriage to Donna Albers at Trinity Reformed Church in Sibley. Merrill continued his service in the Army during the Korean Conflict, and was discharged in 1953.
He and Donna began farming north of Sibley, and remained there until health issues prompted his retirement.
Merrill was a member of the First Reformed Church of Sibley, and was also a member of the George E. Mudge American Legion post 324 of Sibley.
During his life, Merrill enjoyed welcoming visitors from across the United States and from foreign countries to the Iowa High Point located on the Sterler farm. He gave generously of his time as an active member on numerous boards that included his church, his community, and various electric power cooperatives serving eight states.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Donna Sterler of Sibley; three children and their families: Lori and Mark Vande Brake of Orange City and their children, Matthew and Jason Balt, and Tony and Mariah Vande Brake; Mark and Esther Sterler of Ocheyedan and Kathy and Reed Eimers of Le Mars, and their children, Maggie and Sam Van Wettering; one brother, George Sterler of Sheldon; one sister, Dorothy and her husband, Ray Brink, of Sheldon; one brother-in-law, Marvin Albers and his wife, Jane, of Rock Rapids; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Helen Sterler; and one sister-in-law, Norma Sterler.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. today (Monday) at the First Reformed Church in Sibley, with the Rev. Gary Van Heukelom officiating. Burial was in the Holman Township Cemetery of Sibley. Visitation was Sunday from 2 to 8:30 p.m. at the Walton-Roste Funeral Home in Sibley, with the family present from 4 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to Merrill's favorite charities.