Celebrating the life of Bernhard H. Pickel
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A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, April 30, 2017, at the St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church of Mapleton, Iowa. Reverend Chris LaBoube will officiate. Committal Service will follow in the Morgan Township Cemetery of Schleswig, Iowa; with Military Rites conducted by the Loren Hollister Post No. 496 of the American Legion. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Sunday, April 30, 2017 at the St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church of Mapleton, Iowa. The Armstrong - Van Houten Funeral Home of Mapleton, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online www.armstrongfuneral.com
Bernhard Herman Pickel, 86, passed away peacefully Monday, December 19, 2016, at his home in Mapleton, IA, after a long battle with cancer.
The family will hold a memorial service of Bernhard’s cremated remains at a later date. Interment will be in the Morgan Cemetery in Schleswig, IA, later.
Born January 6, 1930, in Schleswig, IA, he was the oldest son of Peter and Jane (Maas) Pickel. He was baptized at his home on the February 23, 1930. He was confirmed on the March 25, 1945 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Schleswig, IA. He enjoyed sports in high school and lettered in basketball in March of 1949. Graduating with the class of 1949, Bernhard enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1950 where he proudly served his country.
In February of 1953, while stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi, he married Betty Ruth Willingham, at St Matthew’s Evangelist Lutheran Church in Gulfport, MS, in a double wedding ceremony with Betty’s sister, Carolyn & her husband, Kenny. They stayed in Biloxi until shortly after their first born, Douglas, was born. In 1954, once his enlistment was completed, they returned to Schleswig, IA and farmed. During those next years, they were blessed with three daughters, Deborah, Diann and Donna.
They farmed in Schleswig and surrounding areas & then moved the family to Sac City, IA. He worked many years with Standard Oil as a crop sprayer. He enjoyed helping other farmers produce high yield crops.
In 1979, they moved to Mapleton, IA. He spent years with AAL and selling life insurance. He began working with Mapleton Community School as the grounds keeper & then started driving bus. He lost the love of his life, of 54 years in July of 2007. He retired in 2010 from MVAO with 23 years of driving bus.
He continued to do what he loved most – riding his lawn mower and taking care of all the neighbor’s yards. He never seemed to tire of lawn care and was always so proud of the yards in the circle on Elmwood Drive.
When the snow fell, he had his mowers decked out with snow blower and blade, so he could clear out the neighbor’s driveways.
He enjoyed camping, tractor rides and morning coffee with his friends. He served at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in various ways and was a member of the American Legion Post 496, Mapleton, IA.
Survivors include his daughters, Deborah (Mark) Strohm of Duluth MN; Diann (Russ) Dealy of Liberty, MO, Donna Shaw (Rick) of Mapleton, IA. Four sisters, Evelyn Stamm of Omaha NE, Rubie Kastner of Schleswig, IA, Beverly Rix of Manning, IA and Dorothy (Larry) Rix of West Des Moines, IA. Two sisters-n-law, Betty M. Pickel of Sac City, IA and Carolyn Bishop of Hot Springs AR. Other survivors to cherish his memory include nine grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews & great nieces and great nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, his son, his parents, two brothers, Richard and Wilbert, brothers-n-law, Eugene Stamm, Rawlo Kastner, Allen Rix and Kenneth Bishop, sister-n-law, Lois Pickel, son-n-law, Gordon Shaw, nephew, Ricky Pickel.
Cards may be sent to the family at: PO Box 192 in Mapleton, IA 51034-0192.
The family has requested, in lieu of flowers, please make your memorials to the American Cancer Society or locally to Burgess Hospice Care in Onawa, IA. They are an outstanding group who took such loving and individualized care of Ben so well these past few months.... along with the family’s Angel, Darla.
504 Walnut Street
Mapleton, IA 51034
504 Walnut Street
Mapleton, IA 51034