Wesley William Stoelk was born on Nov. 24, 1932, to William and Bertha (Johnson) Stoelk near Carroll, Iowa. He attended and graduated from Westside Community Schools. In his high school years, he started working at the Westside State Savings Bank and drove the school bus until he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He honorably served during the Korean War from February 1953 until December 1954. He was proud of his military service.
Wesley was married to LaVonne “Bonnie” Christiansen on May 31, 1958, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Denison by Father Casey. The couple settled in Westside and were blessed with the birth of four children. He was a member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Vail and served as a member on the church finance board for many years. He worked at Westside State Savings Bank and drove school bus for over 40 years. He was a volunteer firefighter and a lifetime member of Alfred Rossman American Legion Post 196, serving as secretary.
He was a humble man and was uncomfortable being in the spotlight, but relished seeing people around him succeed. A favorite pastime was driving around checking crops and livestock, as he cherished life on the farm. Attending auctions and bringing home many treasures was a well-known hobby.
Wes was committed to his family and enjoyed following his grandchildren’s activities. He was also dedicated to his community and his dog(s), Partner. He channeled his adventurous spirit and traveled to many different places. Some of his favorites were antique tractor shows, car shows, swap-meets and visiting Army buddies. He spent time tinkering with Model T’s and Massey-Harris tractors and making gifts. Wes is well-remembered for his quips and one-liners. Above all, he enjoyed socializing and looked forward to visiting friends at their homes or the care center and spending time with his family.
Wesley passed away on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, at Eventide Lutheran Home in Denison, Iowa, at age 89.
Wesley is survived by his children: Scot (Lisa) Stoelk of Westside, Lisa (Steve) Clausen of Denison, Jim (Teresa) Stoelk of Ankeny and Tim (Annette) Stoelk of Urbandale; 11 grandchildren: Courtney (Nick) Fara, Nicole (Joe) Ferguson, Jennifer (Chris) Nelson, Ryan, Brittany (Kyle) Rosauer, Austin, Samantha, Emma, Katherine, Jessica and Wesley; eight great-grandchildren; special friend Audrey Phillips of Aspinwall; two sisters-in-law: Betty Eggers and Alice Christiansen, both of Denison; and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife: Bonnie Stoelk, in 2003; grandson William Stoelk in 2005; and sister Letty (Dale) Gerdes.
Mass of Christian Burial was held Wednesday, Jan. 19, at St. Ann Catholic Church in Vail, Iowa. Father Michael Cronin served as celebrant of the Mass with interment in the Westside Cemetery in Westside, Iowa. Organist Irene Feilmeier provided accompaniment for the St. Ann choir and soloist EveVonne Muff. Serving as honorary casket bearers were Wesley’s granddaughters as well as Fred Fitzsimmons, Joe White, Connie Schoessler, Morrie Heithoff, Daryl Rohe, Pat Malloy, Terry Strathman, Mark Ragaller and Jon Schaben. Serving as casket bearers were Austin Stoelk, Ryan Clausen, Wesley Stoelk, Mark Stoelk, Randy Stoelk, Mike Barry, Kim VonGlan and Jim White. Military honors were by members of Alfred Rossman American Legion Post 196 and Iowa Army National Guard honor guard.
Huebner Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.