Lyle Earl Stoelk, 87

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Lyle Earl Stoelk, 87

Lyle Earl Stoelk, 87, passed away on March 22, 2018, in Austin, Minnesota.

Lyle was born on Nov. 12, 1930, in Audubon County, Iowa, the son of Charles and Augusta (Paape) Stoelk. The Stoelk family moved from their farm in Iowa to a farm near his grandparents in the Waltham, Minnesota, area when he was nine years old. He and his siblings attended school at District 110 in rural Waltham.

Throughout his life, Lyle had the good fortune to live in a community where he was surrounded by his many cousins, aunts, uncles and other relatives. Lyle farmed with his father until he was 21. At that time, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in November 1951. During his four years of service to his country, he served in Korea, Washington, D.C., and Texas. He saw active duty in the Korean Conflict, flying a total of 47 missions. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal for his act of heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant and was honorably discharged in November 1955.

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Upon returning home, Lyle worked construction jobs and obtained a degree in mechanics. In 1964, he returned to farming. On June 18, 1960, Lyle was united in marriage to Shirley Granquist at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church.

As children, both Lyle and Shirley were baptized and confirmed at St. Michael’s. A daughter, Cynthia, was born to this union. Lyle farmed the land through 1994. A few years later, he and Shirley moved to their current home in Austin.

Lyle was a proud member of the 13th Bomb Squadron Association. He travelled to several reunions throughout the country to reconnect with Air Force friends and comrades. Lyle was also recently recognized for his 60 years of membership to the American Legion Rothie Post 330, Hayfield, Minnesota.

Lyle is survived by his wife, Shirley Stoelk, Austin; daughter, Cynthia Stoelk Harty and husband, Kelly Harty, of Portage, Wisconsin; brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Judy Stoelk, of Hayfield; sister-in-law, Donna Stoelk, Austin; along with many nephews, nieces and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Orville Stoelk; and, his sisters, Esther Borkowski, Inez Mahnke and Dorothy Hillson.

The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 31, 2018, at St Michael’s Lutheran Church, 30450 570th Ave., Waltham, MN, with the Rev. Dwight DoBell and the Rev. Dean Bakken co-officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, March 30, 2018, at Czaplewski Family Funeral Home, 501 Second St. NW in Hayfield and one hour before the service at the church on Saturday.