Myrle Truesdell, 91, of Le Mars died Friday, July 1, 2005 at Ankeny.
Myrle Edward Truesdell was born Feb. 22, 1914, in Alcester, S.D., the son of Edward Rex and Mary (Harding) Truesdell. His grandparents Laura (Hoard) Harding and Reuben Harding were early homesteaders of Alcester. He graduated from Hawarden High School in 1931 and attended the University of South Dakota for one year. He moved to Le Mars in 1936 where he established a sales office for Sinclair Oil. He met Jane Steele, whom he married July 22, 1941, in the First Presbyterian Church in Le Mars. Myrle entered the military service in December 1941 and was trained as a pilot in the Army Air Corps. He served until August 1944, when he returned to Le Mars and started his business, Truesdell Oil Company, which he ran for 40 years. As a Sinclair Oil jobber, he owned gas stations in Le Mars, Akron, Oyens, Sheldon, and Merrill and delivered fuel to area farmers and businesses. He served many years as a board member of the Iowa Oil Jobbers Association. After he sold his business, he and his friend, Henry Dirks, enjoyed selling and repairing fuel oil furnaces and burners.
Myrle and Jane enjoyed the next 30 years with their children, grandchildren and friends. They remained active in their church and during the winter went to south Texas, as did many other Le Mars friends.
Myrle was a leader of the Explorer Scouts and took the boys on many out-of-state and Canadian trips. He was a founding member of the Le Mars Development Corporation, a member of the American Legion for 60 years, the Lions Club and Gideons International. He served as president of the Le Mars Lions Club, was elected District Governor of the Lions Club from 1969 to 1970 and received the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellow award from that organization.
Statewide he served many years as Trustee of the Iowa Lions Foundation, where he helped to raise funds to start the Lions Corneal Transplant Center at the University of Iowa Hospital in 1975. He and Jane participated internationally in Lions International conventions in Canada, Japan, Australia, Atlantic City, and Denver. In Denver, the Japanese delegation recognized him for his work in supporting Lions youth exchanges between Iowa and Japan.
In 1937 Myrle joined the First Presbyterian Church of Le Mars where he served as elder from 1956 to 1969. He was proud to have served on the search committee that called Reverend James Ransom to the church to serve as minister. Art Larson's "Centennial History of The Presbyterian United Church of Christ," written in 1984, credits him and Franz Schneider as the initiators of the merger of St. John's United Church of Christ and the First Presbyterian Church which occurred Jan. 1, 1967. He then worked tirelessly in the building of the present church.
He was present at the first meeting on April 12, 1965 at the old NIPCO building that resulted in the founding of the Plymouth County Historical Museum where he served on the museum's first board of trustees. He purchased the Parkinson antique musical instrument collection still on display at the museum.
He is most remembered by his family as being a devoted father and husband who worked hard six days a week, but whose Sunday priorities were church, family and friends. His children remembered many weekends of boating and much travel. His grandchildren remember being caught in his "bear trap."
Survivors include his wife, Jane Steele Truesdell of Le Mars; children Mary Jane and her husband, William Cox of Littleton, Colo., John Steele Truesdell of Omaha, Neb., Anne and her husband, David Dirks of Ankeny, Kirk Charles Truesdell and his wife, Kerry of Kalamazoo, Mich., Mark Edward Truesdell and his wife, Cathy of Des Moines, Ruth and her husband, Jim Dane of Iowa City, and Paul Allen Truesdell and his wife, Barbara of Hospers; 16 grandchildren, Courtland Cox, Kathleen Cox Prantis, Rebecca Floy Cox, Matthew Truesdell, Rebecca Dirks Stewart, Sarah Jane Dirks, Erin Truesdell, Margaret Truesdell, Emily Truesdell, Elizabeth Truesdell, Daniel Truesdell, Jane Jennifer Dane, Thomas Truesdell, Timothy Truesdell, Tyler Myrle Truesdell, Tracy Truesdell; and seven great grandchildren: Lydia Jane Prantis, Mary Alexis Prantis, Alexander Matthew Truesdell, Benjamin Daniel Truesdell, Allison Marie Stewart, Aiden Thomas Truesdell, Micah John Truesdell; his sisters, Lowene Thomas of Bend, Ore., Ethel Carter of Downey, Calif., Evelyn and her husband, Wayne Dack of Roseville, Calif.; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Myrle was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Rex Truesdell of Hawarden, and his sister Cleo Bartlett of Alcester, S.D.; and two grandchildren, Truman Cox and Jessica Truesdell.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Presbyterian United Church of Christ in Le Mars, Iowa with the Rev. Dean Goebel officiating. Interment will be in Memorial Cemetery. Visitations with the family present will be after 5 p.m. today (Tuesday) at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with a 7 p.m. prayer service. Visitations will continue at the church from 9:30 a.m. to service time. Condoloences may be viewed at www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.
Pallbearers will be grandsons, Thomas Truesdell, Timothy Truesdell, Tyler Myrle Truesdell, Matthew Truesdell, Daniel Truesdell, and Courtland Cox.