PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Raymond “Ray” Marion Gettert passed away on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the age of 92 in Punta Gorda. Those left to honor his memory are his beloved wife Marcia Mae Gettert; his loving children, Susan Baker, Punta Gorda; Linda Keckler, Phoenix, Ariz., Twyla Fuchs, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Raymond Alan Gettert, Venice, Fla.; and seven devoted grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.
Ray and Marcia owned the Prom Roller Rink in Davenport . Ray met Marcia while she was skating at the rink in Davenport and they fell in love and married. He was an avid fisherman, loved to travel, and was a World War II veteran. He and Marcia celebrated 72 years of marriage.
He will be missed greatly by all. He passed away in peace with family while living at grand-daughter Whitney Foster’s family home. A celebration of Ray’s life will be set for a future date.
BETTENDORF — It is with great sadness the family announces that on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, Jake died unexpectedly at 5:15 p.m. at Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport. Her life started 89 years ago.
Jake was born Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 1925, to Charles O. and Frances (Ley) Jacoby in Burlington, Iowa. A graduate of Burlington’s high school class of 1943, she was proud to be inducted into the National Honor Society. In 1945, Jake graduated from Burlington Junior College and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) in 1947. She pledged a sorority, which later became known as Alpha Phi. While there, she was chosen a “Campus Personality.” Moving to Davenport, Iowa, that fall, she was hired as a kindergarten teacher at Washington Elementary School, where she taught with Miss Rosemary Downey.
On June 26, 1949, Jake married Robert G. Hockridge, formerly of Marshalltown, Iowa, in Burlington, Iowa. They met on a blind date set up by a good friend, Sarah Bawden, in 1948.
She was active and a member in many organizations, including past President of the Davenport Junior Theater, past President of the Catholic Service Board, Life Member of Mercy Hospital Auxiliary, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, past Senior Board member of the Quad-City Symphony, board member of the Colonel Davenport Home, Davenport Antique Study Group, PEO Chapter FJ, University of Iowa President Club member and the Hannah Caldwell Chapter of DAR. Jake enjoyed her memberships at the Outing Club, the Davenport Club and the Davenport Country Club. Proud of her Pennsylvania-German heritage, she possessed a membership in the Pennsylvania German Society in Lancaster, Pa. Because of her love of antiques, she, along with her husband, owned Hockridge Antiques.
A tremendous Iowa Hawkeye Fan, of not only for Iowa’s football and basketball teams, she truly had a passion for Iowa’s wrestling teams. Bob and Jake funded an athletic scholarship to the wrestling team in 2004 because of their great admiration for Coach Dan Gable.
Jake traveled the world with her husband, Bob, many times over and could proudly say she visited all 50 of the states. Throughout her life, she was a loving pet owner, especially with all their dogs. She was kind enough to let her children bring home various pets over the years, such as box turtles, cats, fish, snails, toads, ducks, gerbils and more dogs.
Surviving are her husband of 65 years, Robert G. Hockridge; daughters, Heidi (Greg) Hilbert, Davenport; Amy Braunlich, Chesterton, Ind.; and son, Todd Hockridge (Alan Dillard), Lincoln, Neb. Grandchildren are: Christopher (Sarah) Hilbert, Fishers, Ind., Amanda (Andrew) Smith, Hillsboro, Ohio; Phillip (Kate) Braunlich, St. Claire Shore, Mich.; and Pierce Braunlich, Chesterton, Ind. Her great-grandchildren are Colin, Miles and Charlotte Hilbert; and close friend is Mrs. Dave (Celene) Easson. Preceding her in death are her parents; her sister, L. Kathryn Jacoby Tieuli; son-in-law, Henry “Hank” P. Braunlich Jr.; and best friend, Janet Miltner Finn.
Per her wishes, there will be no visitation or services, and cremation is in order. A private family burial will take place at Rock Island National Cemetery, Arsenal Island, at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the no-kill shelter, the Quad-City Animal Welfare Center, 724 W. 2nd Ave., Milan, IL 61264, in her name. Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, 614 Main St., downtown Davenport, assisted the family with arrangements.
Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Jake’s obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.
MAQUOKETA, Iowa — Ralph W. Knickrehm, 79, of Maquoketa, died Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, at Mercy Healthcare Center in Dubuque. Ralph William Knickrehm was born on June 7, 1935, in Walcott, Iowa, to John and Frances (Geurink) Knickrehm. He was a 1953 graduate of St. Ambrose Academy in Davenport and attended St. Ambrose College. He also served in the Naval Reserves. On May 7, 1955, he married Loretta Jeanne Hiebing. She died on May 17, 2004. On April 25, 2009, he married Donna Jean Grothus at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Maquoketa.
Ralph’s life work was in transportation. He owned and operated Eight K Enterprises from 1982 to 1989. He owned and operated Knickrehm Logistics from 1990 to 2007. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Maquoketa, where he served many terms on the parish financial committee. At the time of his death, he was a member of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Long Grove.
As a member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Davenport, he was active in coaching youth football through the Rising Knights program. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Lions Club and Maquoketa Country Club. He had a passion for playing euchre and golf.
Friends and family may call 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at Lahey Funeral Home in Maquoketa. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Long Grove with visitation one hour before mass. Burial will be at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Davenport.
He is survived by his wife, Donna Jean Knickrehm, and children, Craig (Kathy) Knickrehm, Omaha, Neb.; Patrick (Cindy) Knickrehm, Centerville, Ohio; Teresa (Michael) Stewart, Minnetonka, Minn.; Doug (Laurie) Knickrehm, Maquoketa; Carole (Kevin) Schmidt, Maquoketa; Marianne Davidson, Waterford, Wis.; Kathy (Bob) Hines, Lewiston, Minn.; and Anne (Philip) Gray-LeCoz, Begnins, Switzerland. He was the proud grandfather of 21 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister, Marie Bruhn, Davenport. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Al, Ed, Bob and John Knickrehm; sister, Nelda Lovewell; and infant son, Joseph John.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Jackson County.
EAST MOLINE — Duane Stang, 78, of East Moline, died Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, at Illini Restorative Care, Silvis. Funeral services are 11 a.m. Wednesday at Van Hoe Funeral Home, Ltd., East Moline. Burial is in Greenview Memorial Gardens, East Moline, where East Moline American Legion Post 227 will conduct military honors. Visitation is 10 a.m. until service time. Memorials may be made to St. Jude's.
Duane was born on May 22, 1936, in Davenport, the son of Ernest and Alice (DeRycke) Stang. He married Marilyn VanVooren, and together, they had two sons. Duane retired in June 1985 as a supervisor from John Deere Harvester Works, East Moline. He enjoyed playing golf when his health allowed. He was a peacetime U.S. Army Veteran.
Survivors include his sons, Mark Stang, Galesburg, Ill., and Michael Stang, Tulsa, Okla.; granddaughter, Gabrielle; and brother, David, Cincinnati.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Juanita and Dean.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.vanhoe.com.
MAQUOKETA, Iowa — Melva J. Ward, 79, of Maquoketa, passed away Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, at her home.
A celebration of Melva's life will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at the Carson Celebration of Life Center in Maquoketa. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Monday, March 2, 2015, at the funeral home. Burial will be in Union Cemetery, rural Maquoketa.
Melva J. Burnett was born on Aug. 6, 1935, in Maquoketa, to Melvin M. and Vera Mae (McPherson) Burnett. She attended Maquoketa High School, graduating in 1953. Melva married Wilbur L. Ward in June of 1953; to this marriage were born their sons, Douglas, Kevin and David. They later divorced.
Later in her life, Melva and George Young were longtime companions until George's passing in 1983.
Melva had worked many factory and waitressing jobs in her youth. She entered the healthcare field in the early 1960s, working as a nurse's aide at Jane Lamb Hospital in Clinton, and the Jackson County Public Hospital in Maquoketa. As a licensed practical nurse, she had worked at Davenport Osteopathic Hospital, and finally at University Hospitals, Iowa City, where she became a registered nurse and retired after more than 15 years of service.
Melva loved mystery novels, music boxes and her collection of American Indian-related items. She enjoyed listening to country music and reading about history.
Those left to honor Melva's memory include her children, Douglas Ward, Buffalo; Kevin Ward, Coggon, Iowa; and David Ward, West Des Moines; four grandchildren; a brother, Charles "Chuck" (Donna) Burnett, Maquoketa; and a sister, Karol (Lionel) Keeney, Maquoketa. She was preceded in death by her parents; her former husband, Wilbur; her longtime companion, George; two brothers, Allen and Richard; and one infant sister, Helen Burnett.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, a Melva J. Ward memorial fund has been established.
Online condolences may be left at www.CarsonAndSon.com.
DAVENPORT — William R. Santee, 91, of Davenport, died Feb. 28, 2015, at his home with his family by his side. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at Runge Mortuary. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at the mortuary with burial to follow in Davenport Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, UnityPoint Hospice or the Quad-City Animal Welfare Center. Online condolences may be expressed by visiting www.rungemortuary.com.
Bill was born July 4, 1923, in Davenport. He was the youngest of four children born to John and Verlia (Brockelle) Santee. He was raised in the Davenport and Princeton (Iowa) area. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and proudly served his country for 4½ years.
He married Frances Edmonston in November 1956. Together, they had three children, Kandi, Bill and Peggy. He married Patricia Schilling in November 1982. They enjoyed many years together until Pat’s death in August 2001.
Bill was an ironworker and a proud member of Ironworkers Local 111 for over 67 years. For the last 13 years of his career, he worked at IMC Steel Erectors, Bettendorf, where he considered himself very fortunate to have two wonderful bosses, Steve Weindruch and Norm Sandberg, whom he also called his friends. Their kindness and concern has always been appreciated by Bill and his family. Bill decided to fully retire when he was 86 years old.
During his life, he enjoyed camping, going to the riverboats and meeting his friends at the bar to visit and enjoy a beer. Through the years, he has especially loved and enjoyed his pugs, Fuji, Nikki, Odi, Cindy Sue and presently, Molly. In the last couple of years, he has had great fun spending time on the houseboat at Sunset Marina with family and friends.
He is survived by his children, Kandi (Bruce) Graff, Wilton, Iowa; William (Theresa) Santee Jr., Rock Island; and Peggy Santee, Colona; his grandchildren, David, Michael, Steven, Katie, Tommy, Tanisha, Tara Jo and Teri Kay; 20 great-grandchildren; his sister, Verlia “Sis” Rabe, Bettendorf; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife; he was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, John “Bus” Santee II, George “Dan” Santee; and a granddaughter, Tiffany Luckey.
The family would like to thank UnityPoint Hospice for helping us through this difficult time, with a special thank you to his nurses, Darcey and Kathy, for their guidance and compassion.
He will be dearly missed and always remembered.
LECLAIRE — Larry D. Wiedmeyer, 79, of LeClaire, passed away suddenly Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, at WakeMed Hospital, Raleigh, N.C.
Funeral services celebrating his life will be 11 a.m. Saturday, March 7, 2015, at Asbury United Methodist Church in Bettendorf. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Friday, March 6, 2015, at McGinnis-Chambers Funeral Home in Bettendorf, and one hour prior to the service at Asbury United Methodist Church. Memorials may be made to Asbury United Methodist Church.
Larry was born Oct. 26, 1935, in Keokuk, Iowa, a son of Clara and Russell Wiedmeyer. He was united in marriage to his wife of 57 years, Marcia, on June 15, 1958, in Joy, Ill.
Larry attended Iowa State Teachers College for two years and was graduated from the University of Iowa in 1957.
He served in the United States Army after graduation. Larry was employed by Barton Solvents Inc., for 32 years. For the past two years, he was employed part-time by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
He was a loyal Iowa Hawkeye fan, having served on the Iowa Women’s Athletic Board. He was a longtime and active member of Asbury United Methodist Church, and a current board member of Eagle View Heights Homeowners Association.
He is survived by his wife, Marcia; daughters, Kim (Kevin) Swanson, Maroa, Ill.; Kelley Wiedmeyer-Davis (Bill), Apex, N.C.; grandchildren, Ashley and Bryce Swanson, and Addison and Piper Davis; a sister, Marjorie (Bill) Stork, Kansas City, Mo.; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Delores Hays, and brother-in-law, Max Hays.
Larry enjoyed reading, listening to music and history of the Civil War and World War II. He always challenged himself with crossword puzzles and loved to create woodworking projects for his home and for the family. He especially enjoyed cooking and experimenting with new recipes.
Larry’s family was the most important part of his life. He loved visiting and being with his grandchildren. Larry will be remembered for being a great friend, kind-hearted and so giving of his time to anyone who needed it.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Larry’s obituary at www.McGinnis-Chambers.com.
DAVENPORT — Mildred J. “Midge” Dain, also known as Ben Sunday, of Davenport, Iowa, passed away peacefully Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, at Bickford Cottage Senior Living in Davenport, Iowa. Keeping with her wishes, there will be no services. Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home is assisting the family.
The former Mildred Benton was born on Jan. 10, 1926, in Davenport, Iowa, the daughter of Clarence and Myrtle (Allen) Benton. Midge was united in marriage to Joseph Dain on Dec. 27, 1968. Joseph preceded her in death on Feb. 7, 1991.
Midge was an exceptional artist (Ben Sunday), and she was an instrumental member of the Quad-Cities art community. She worked with the original Beaux Arts committee, and Midge helped conceive and organize Studio 15, where she exhibited regularly. In 1991, she was honored by Riverssance with the Harlequin Award. Her work is in private and corporate collections in the United States and abroad, including the Deere & Company collection. Her work has tremendous form, content and depth. It ranges from the abstract to expressive, realist treatments of figurative subjects. In the 1950s, Midge began signing her work with the name “Ben Sunday” to equalize the playing field for her artistic work. Her work was then accepted in a predominately male field.
Midge also was a very talented gardener. She enjoyed creating and maintaining beautiful gardens surrounding her home. She was a generous person and enjoyed traveling with her husband and friends, listening to books on tape and puzzles.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Scott County Humane Society or WQPT Public TV.
Survivors include her daughter, Suzanne (James) Mann, Davenport Iowa; and very special friends, Jeanette Hallberg, Moline, Ill., and Mimzi Haut, Moline, Ill. Midge’s family would like to thank the staff at Bickford Cottage, Davenport, for the compassionate care given throughout Midge’s stay with them.
In addition to her husband, Joseph, she was preceded in death by her parents and former husband, George Sontag, in 1971.
Online condolences and remembrances may be expressed by visiting Midge’s obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.
ROSEVILLE, Mich. — Thomas M. Farnsworth, 76, formerly of Davenport, passed away Feb. 23, 2015, the loving father of Thomas S. (Rachelle Leach), dear brother of Michael (Danila) and dearest uncle to two nieces and four nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas E. and Kathleen (Allman); his brother, John; and his sister, Lynn.
A funeral mass will be 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 7, at St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church, 1401 Whittier Road, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. Visitation will take place 9-11 a.m. Saturday prior to the mass at Chas. Verheyden Funeral Home, Inc., 16300 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Park.
Light a memorial candle and share a memory at: www.verheyden.org.
BETTENDORF — Eileen M. Claussen, 92, of Bettendorf, passed away Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, at the Iowa Masonic Health Facility in Bettendorf.
Funeral services celebrating her life will be 11 a.m. Monday, March 2, 2015, at McGinnis-Chambers Funeral Home in Bettendorf. Burial will be at Pine Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be 1-4 p.m. today at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Grace Lutheran Church in Davenport, Handicapped Development Center or the Iowa Masonic Health Facility Activity Fund.
Born Sept. 2, 1922, in Plainview, Iowa, Eileen was the daughter of Richard Earl and Anna (Frahm) Wakefield. On Aug. 23, 1941, in Kahoka, Mo, she married Albert C. Claussen. He preceded her in death on June 3, 1975.
Eileen helped her husband on the family farm until his death. She then worked at the Tea Room at Petersen Harned Von Maur and later for Marriott Food Service at St. Ambrose University. She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Davenport, Pythian Sisters of Eldridge, Scott County Farm Bureau, Liedertafel and Bettendorf Senior Citizens. Eileen enjoyed bowling, dancing, playing cards and singing and was well-known for her chocolate chip cookies. She was an active member of the Silver Bells group while at the Iowa Masonic Home.
Those left to honor her memory include her daughters, Beverly Kluever, Geneseo, Ill.; Marjorie Warrington, Davenport; and Janice (Wayne) Siebke, Milan; sons, Dick Claussen, Eagle Grove, Iowa, and Clifford (Nancy) Claussen, Davenport; 18 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; great-great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Jeanette Claussen and Jackie Wakefield, both of Bettendorf, and Bev Wakefield, El Cajon, Calif.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; infant son, Steven; grandson, David Claussen; sisters, Elvira, Velma and Ellen; and brothers, Orville, Aaron, Darrell and Dallas.
Eileen’s family wishes to thank the Iowa Masonic Home and Heartland Hospice for the wonderful care given to her.
Condolences may be made to Eileen’s family by viewing her obituary at www.mcginnis-chambers.com.
DAVENPORT — Jane Liddy, 90, a resident of Ridgecrest Village in Davenport, died Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf. A memorial service will be held at a later date at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Davenport, where she was a longtime member. When the memorial service is scheduled, a complete obituary will appear.
Until then, online remembrances and condolences may be expressed to Jane’s family by visiting her obituary at www.WeertsFH.com.
DAVENPORT — James D. Lewis Jr., 73, of Davenport, passed away Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, at ManorCare, Locust Street, Davenport. Per his wish, the rite of cremation will be accorded, and services will be 12 p.m., Monday, March 2, 2015, at People’s Missionary Baptist Church, 553 23rd St., Rock Island, Ill.
James David Lewis Jr. was born April 9, 1941, in Strongs, Ark., a son of James “J.D.” and Lillie (Ward) Lewis Sr.
He worked in construction.
Survivors include a daughter, LaVonda (Earman) Johnson, Jacksonville, Ark.; stepdaughter, Freida Bryant, Georgia; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sister, Gloria (Patrick) Lewis-Vanzo, Auburn, Wash.; brothers, Curtis Lewis, Davenport; Roy Lewis and Sam (Cindy) Lewis, all of Pine Bluff, Ark.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Rutha Glenn; brother, Jessie; and infant twin brothers.
Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.
MOLINE — Garry A. Norin, 71, of Moline, passed away at his home, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2015.
Cremation rites have been accorded, and per his wishes, there will be no services. Burial will be held at a later date at Dayton Corners in Colona. Memorials may be made to the family.
Garry Allen Norin was born July 13, 1943, in Moline to Elmer and Elsie (Wilson) Norin. On July 17, 2004, in Moline, he married Martha Lowery, who survives.
He graduated from Alleman High School and retired as a truck driver for Roadway Trucking in September 1995. He was a former member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and a member of the Friends Circle Club. He enjoyed living on the Rock River, doing cookouts, boating and visiting with friends and family. He loved taking his little dog PoBear for truck rides, and taking care of Jane the cat.
In addition to his wife, Martha; survivors include his sons, Ron Norin, Davenport, and Jeff Norin, Moline; a stepdaughter, Angela (Rodney) Senter, Davenport; sisters, Penny Burgess, Hawaii, and Teri Norin, Moline; brothers, Ken Norin and Randy (Dee) Norin, all of Moline; grandchildren, Brianna Norin, Adam and Justin Quintana, Corey Anderson, Ronnie Norin, Gabryelle Senter, Hana Senter and Amber Senter; a great-grandson, Isaiah Norin; and many nieces and nephews.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.wendtfuneralhome.com.
BALTIMORE — On Feb. 26, 2015, Carole J. Wagner Messerschmidt, of Baltimore, formerly of Davenport, passed away. She was the beloved wife of David C. Messerschmidt, and devoted sister of Martha Scherr, John Wagner, Kathy Muller and the late Joan Engling. She is survived by nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at the family-owned Ruck Towson Funeral Home, Inc., 1050 York Road, Towson, MD 21204 (at beltway exit 26). Share condolences at www.ruckfuneralhomes.com.
CREVE COEUR, Ill. — The Rev. Eugene A. Talbot, 83, a resident and former mayor of Creve Coeur, passed away at 1:26 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
Born Aug. 9, 1931, in Moline to Claude Everett and Edna (Blackledge) Talbot, he married Betty Maxine Loftin on March 7, 1953, in Santa Barbara, Calif. She survives.
Also surviving are two sons, the Rev. Ronald (Sandra) Talbot, Creve Coeur, and the Rev. Dale (Donna) Talbot, Colona; one daughter, Cheryl (Michael) Parker, Dillon, Colo.; 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and one sister, Loyann Stottler, Florida.
He was preceded in death by his parents, eight brothers and two sisters.
He was a United States Army veteran of the Korean War and served as a combat medic.
His funeral will be 11 a.m. Thursday, March 5, 2015, at Christian Life Church in Creve Coeur. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at the church. Burial will be 2 p.m. Thursday at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, with military rites accorded. Arrangements have been entrusted to Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes and Crematory in Creve Coeur.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Christian Life Ministries, 129 South Highland Avenue, Creve Coeur, IL 61610.
To express condolences online, visit www.preston-hanley.com.
DAVENPORT — Merle Eugene Sturms, 88, of Davenport, formerly of Muscatine, passed away Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House. Funeral services will be at a later date. Cremation rites will be accorded. Online condolences may be left at www.rungemortuary.com.
Merle was born July 16, 1926, in Muscatine, the son of George and Ann (Stangl) Sturms. He was united in marriage to F. Barbara Smith on Sept. 10, 1947, in Davenport; she preceded him in death on June 26, 1992. Merle proudly served in the U.S. Navy during WWII.
He worked at Huttig Manufacturing in Muscatine, where he retired from, and then worked at Rock Island Millworks as a general manager until retiring from there in 1992.
He was an avid golfer and member of Pinnacle Country Club in Milan. Everyone he met said he was a wonderful gentleman and guy. His family was very important to him, and he dearly loved his son and grandchildren.
Merle is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Kenneth and Barbara Sturms, Saline, Mich.; grandsons: Ian Sturms and Sean (Amanda) Sturms; great-grandchildren: Emiliana, Caylin and Isabela; sister-in-law, Marlene Sturms, Muscatine; and brothers-in-law: Kenneth F. (Loretta) Smith, Davenport, and Larry (Gail) Smith, Plano, Texas. In addition to his parents; and wife; he was preceded in death by his companion for over 20 years, Marian Axel; and a brother, Kenneth.
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- Mary Smith
- Annalee “Jake” Hockridge
- Gary Damm
- Joyce Vergane
- Terry Topham
- Charlene Weigle
- Franklin Davis Sr.
- Keith Felger
- Eileen Claussen
- Iva Durham
- Dollie Campbell
- Donald Braid
- Linda Fossett
- Louie Krueger
- Robert Hutcheson
- Lawrence Kueter
- Marilyn Clausen
- Dorothy Carter
- Michael Walsh
- Lois Burrus
- Jeanne Brooks
- Darlene Voss
- Roberta Colburn
- Lloyd Heiar
- Milton Scheckel
- Rhoda Trefz
- Larry Wiedmeyer
- Elvis Wieck
- Joseph Vyncke
- Alma Wyffels
- Raymond Ruppenkamp
- Rosemary More
- Hazel Marie Bell
- Shirley Brown-Decker
- Lloyd Heiar
- Carol Hagstrom
- Bernard Hanten
- Darlene M. Hankins
- Carol Maher
- Glenn E. Howard
- Wayne Mackeprang
- Dolores Ogden
- James Petersen
- Winnifred Petersen
- Johnny Sawvell
- Joseph Vyncke
- Rosemary More
- Vera Green
- Gail R. Woods
- Patricia A. Waline