R. Michael Diercks

Friday, February 25, 2011

Robert Michael Diercks, 57, Storm Lake, died Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, at University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha from complications of a stroke.

A visitation was held Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, at the Elks Lodge from 4-8 p.m., where Mike had served as Exalted Ruler. A memorial Mass was held Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Storm Lake, with Rev. Jeremy Wind principal celebrant and Rev. James Smith concelebrant.

Mike Diercks was born Jan. 27, 1954, to Claire (Hammond) and John P. Diercks in Greenville, S.C. The family moved for a short time to New York, and eventually settled in Indianapolis. The family moved to Storm Lake in 1969, where Mike started his first job by cleaning out service station restrooms around The City Beautiful.

He was graduated from St. Mary's High School in Storm Lake and pursued a business course of study for two years at Buena Vista College.

By 1972 he was selling cars for Rasmussen Ford-Mercury, and in 1981 bought an interest in the Rasmussen dealership in Cherokee. He managed that business until 1994, and worked there until 2001 when he joined The Storm Lake Times as sales manager, where he worked until his death.

He volunteered in myriad ways in his community. He was a reserve police officer while living in Alta. He was president of the Cherokee Area Development Agency, served on the board of the Cherokee Community Theatre and helped found the Cherokee Youth Bowling Association. Mike ran Storm Lake's Star Spangled Spectacular Big Parade for many years, helped organize the veterans memorial project at the Buena Vista County Courthouse, was an active member of the Storm Lake United Ambassadors and Retail Committee, was a past president of the Alta Kiwanis, was active in the Iowa Auto Dealers Association and the Iowa Newspaper Association.

He was a "fantastic father," his two sons agree, a grandfather, a husband, employee, crew chief and life coach for all who knew him, a friend like no other. He had the ability to make deep and sincere connections almost immediately upon introduction. His ever-optimistic and infectious smile was hard to resist.

Mike is survived by his wife, Linda (McGowan), his high school sweetheart; son R. Allen (Amy) Diercks of Marion and their children Alena, R. Brady, R. Matthew, Michael and another to be announced in August; and son R. Andrew (Makala) Diercks and their children, R. Alexander and Mekena. He also is survived by his siblings: Judith Claire (Robert) Baker, Mary Jo (Steve) Dare, John (Joan) Diercks and Dan (Becky) Diercks. He also is survived by a brother-in-law, Victor Anderson. Also, in-laws Sandy (Charlie) Nelson, Nancy (Kole) Kramer and Teresa (Tim) Peterson; and a godchild, Nichole Kramer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Claire, and his sister, Kate.

Memorials may be sent to Linda Diercks in care of The Storm Lake Times, PO Box 487, Storm Lake, IA 50588.