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John Ehlers Mar. 21, 1917 - Jan. 12, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

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John Ehlers, age 92, of Sioux Rapids, died Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 at the Spencer Municipal Hospital in Spencer.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. at the Faith Lutheran Church in Sioux Rapids. Interment will be in the Lone Tree Cemetery in Sioux Rapids. The Sliefert Funeral Home of Sioux Rapids is in charge arrangements.

John Chris Ehlers, the son of Henry and Bertha (Ripke) Ehlers, was born in Newell, on March 21, 1917. He was baptized as an infant at the Zion Lutheran Church of rural Storm Lake, on April 19, 1917. He was confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church of rural Storm Lake on March 29, 1931. John lived his youth in the Newell area and attended the Zion Lutheran Parochial School through the eighth grade. He continued his education at Concordia Teacher's College in Seward, Nebraska. Following his education, John returned to help on his parent's farm.

John was united in marriage to Lavon Eyl on Aug. 20, 1944, in Battle Creek, Neb. Together this couple was blessed with seven children: Gerald "Jerry," Kenneth, Richard, Donald, Karen, Kevin, and Mark. John and Lavon lived on the family farm until 1946 when they moved to their farm near Sioux Rapids. Lavon died on Dec. 22, 1982. On April 28, 1990, John was united in marriage to Cleta Piercy. Cleta died on Jan. 31, 2000. John resided on his farm until 2008 when he moved to the Riverview Terrace in Spencer where he made his home.

John was a faithful member of the Faith Lutheran Church of Sioux Rapids, Farm Bureau, Sioux Rapids Dinner Date, and the Jolly Elders. Special interests and hobbies of John's included fishing, woodworking, and playing cards. He will be remembered by his family and friends as a man with a deep and abiding faith that sustained him through various challenges he faced throughout his lifetime.

Those who will always love and cherish his memory include his children: Kenneth (Debbie) Ehlers of Marathon; Richard (Marilyn) Ehlers of Laurens; Donald (Marjean) Ehlers of Maryville, Mo.; Karen (Rick) Smelser of Elkhorn, Neb.; Kevin (Bonnie) Ehlers of Sioux Rapids; his grandchildren: Jeremiah, Joshua, Sarah, Kristopher, Michael, Tami, Marcy, Justis, Jesmin, Jacob, Julia, Ryan, Eric, Katie, Beth, Brianna, Adam and Hallie; his great grandchildren: Nathan, Rena, Kaleb, Clayton, Allison, Adelyn, and Nolan; his sister, Viola Ehlers of Storm Lake; nieces; nephews; extended family and friends.

John was preceded in death by his parents; his two wives; two sons, Mark and Jerry; one brother, Helmuth; and two sisters, Clara Boettcher and Helen Pingel.