Fredrick “Fritz” Sterkel journeyed into his life in Heaven on October 3, 2012 in Rapid City, South Dakota at the age of 87. Fritz was born in Cottier, Wyoming on March 21, 1925 to Henry and Elizabeth Sterkel. His family moved to western Bennett County when he was a young boy and he attended grade school at the Bolzer School. He did not attend high school and chose to stay and work on the family farm and ranch. He was called to serve his country in 1946 with the US Army, in which he proudly served in Japan as an MP. He later received an Honorary Discharge due to injury. In 2003 he was presented an honorary High School diploma from Bennett County High School presented to him by the American Legion Post #240 which was given to WWII Veterans.
He met Geraldine (Gerri) Karle and they were united in marriage on January 18, 1948 in Lingle, Wyoming. They farmed and ranched in Western Bennett County for many years. To this union 5 children were born, Tom, Roger, Wayne, Linda (Susie), and Mike.
After Fritz and Gerri's retirement they moved into Martin, SD and remained there until 2007 when they moved to Rapid City, SD.
Fritz enjoyed fishing, playing cards, hunting, and always getting the last word in with his wife which usually was...”okay”. His family was his pride and joy and they were all very important to him in his life.
He was an active member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Batesland, SD and recently the St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Rapid City, SD. Fritz was also a member of American Legion Post #240 in Martin, South Dakota.
Grateful to have shared his life were his survivors which include his wife of 64 years Geraldine “Gerri” of Rapid City, SD, sons Thomas (Tom) and wife Mary, Wayne and wife Joni all of Martin, SD, daughter Linda (Susie) Coats of Rapid City, SD, a brother Conrad (Cuny) Sterkel and wife Anita of Yuma, Arizona and many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
Preceding him to the Heavenly home were his parents Henry and Elizabeth, son Roger Allen, son Michael Henry, brothers Raymond, Walter, Harold and Clarence, and a sister Bertha, Great Grandson Taten Reed Moran, Great Granddaughter Charolette Linderman and twin Great Grandchild Marrufo which we never had the opportunity to meet.
Pastor Free and Pastor Killinger will be officiating the honoring of Fritz's life on this earth on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church in Martin, SD at 10:00am. Interment will be at the Martin Community Cemetery.
A memorial has been established and donations may be sent in care of Bennett County Funeral Service, PO Box 65, Martin, SD 57551. Condolences may be left at www.chamberlainchapel.com