Rolf Stierle, age 74, of Atlantic, Iowa, passed away Tuesday morning, April 17, 2012, at the Atlantic Nursing and Rehab Center.
Rolf was born in Stuttgart, Germany on December 23, 1937 to Otto and Elsa (Hofmann) Stierle. He grew up in Vaihingen, Germany. Rolf's father passed away when Rolf was nine years old giving Rolf the "man of the household" role for his mom and two younger sisters. While in Germany, his apprenticeship was in truck mechanics. Rolf worked with the Merchant Marines as a motorman and 3rd engineer. He also volunteered on the rescue squad. Leisure time was spent with family and friends and traveling to other surrounding countries. Rolf had a desire to travel and wanted to come to the United States. He was able to get a visa at that time to Canada. He arrived and went to work for a farmer in Sandy Lake, Manitoba. Eventually, he did mechanic work for a construction company. During this time, he was "learning" English as he went... with the help of his acquaintances. He became a permanent resident of Canada. After several years, Rolf, and several German speaking friends, went to Mexico. With the new language barrier an issue, the friends did not stay. Rolf loved Mexico and enjoyed the Mexican people. While attending a rodeo there, he met a man from Atlantic, Iowa and was invited to come and visit. Rolf came to Atlantic and worked as a farmhand and mechanic while joining in rodeos himself. In 1967, Rolf was married to Sharon Lee Esbeck. To this union, two daughters were born, Sonya and Nicole. Rolf enjoyed various jobs and they lived in several places. His favorite jobs were painting bridges and semi truck driving across the nation. Rolf raised his daughters himself for seven years and then he found his future wife. Rolf and Llesa Pedersen were married October 17, 1987 at Brayton Lutheran Church. They lived in Exira, Wiota and then Atlantic. While at their acreage, they enjoyed raising many animals, including many exotics. Rolf's favorite was his Golden Jungle cat. He never lost his unique accent and his blue eyes and smile could light up a room. Everyone enjoyed him for his orneriness whether during playful times or times when he wasn't feeling well. In the last three years, his caregivers became special in his life and ours.
Survivors include his wife, Llesa Stierle, of Atlantic; their daughters, Sonya (Stierle) Marson and wife, MaryAnn, of Council Bluffs, IA and their daughter, Shauna, and son, Justin and Justin's children, Taleah and Anthony; and daughter, Nicole (Stierle) Bradshaw and her daughter, Lilee, of Atlantic, IA; his sisters, Edeltraud Baittinger of Gaufelden, Germany and Ingeborg Deffner and husband, Heinz, of Stuttgart, Germany; nieces, nephews and cousins from Germany; his sister-in-law, Llala (Pedersen) Klein and husband John of Cuba City, WI and their children, Kalee and J. J.; his brother-in-law, Ryck Pedersen, and wife, Margy, of Lander, WY and their sons, Samuel and Eliah. He is preceded in death by his parents and his father and mother-in-law, Lloyd and Norma Jean Pedersen.
There will be open visitation at the Roland Funeral Home on Thursday and Friday from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm, on Saturday from 8:00 am to noon and Sunday from 1:00 pm until the family visitation which will be held Sunday, April 22, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Services for Rolf will be held on Monday, April 23, at 10:30 am in the Brayton Lutheran Church with Paster Steven Frock officiating. Committal will be at the Brayton Oak Hill Cemetery at a later date.
The Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic is caring for Rolf's family and his arrangements which are pending at this time. Condolences for the family may be left on their website at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.