Through faith in his Savior Jesus, the Lord called home the soul of Wesley Dale Heller, 89, on Sunday, August 21, 2016. Wes died at his home of acute leukemia. He was born at the Heller farm near Ladora, Iowa on April 27, 1927, the son of Lloyd and Emma (Dusil) Heller and was a lifelong resident of Iowa County. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Rev. Andrew Gray officiating. Visitation will be from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Marengo. According to his wishes, a graveside service and burial at sunset will occur at the Marengo Cemetery with the Rev. Dr. Wilfred Karsten officiating. A light supper will be served at the church fellowship hall, following the committal service. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to St. John’s service recording system or Lutheran Hour Ministries. Kloster Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Wes was baptized at the Koszta Methodist Church, and for 68 years faithfully attended St. John’s Lutheran to hear God’s Word. Even when he became physically weak he read his Bible daily, secure in God’s love and trusting in the salvation won for him through Christ’s suffering and death.
At a young age, Wes began to help with the work on his parent’s farm as well as on neighboring farms. He attended Honey Creek #11 School and graduated from Marengo High School in 1945. After graduation he worked at the Marengo Hatchery. Later he was employed by Phillips Petroleum and eventually purchased the Shell Oil jobbership. He, along with his wife, operated Heller Oil Co. on 201 East Main Street for 31 years.
On June 24, 1948, Wes married Marietta Seckel in a double wedding ceremony with her sister and brother-in-law Bonnie & Robert Pierson at St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Rev. C. Thomas Spitz officiating. Wes was an active member of St. John’s from the time he was confirmed there in 1948 by the Rev. Spitz – Bible study, Christian Couples Club, dartball and softball teams, usher, and chairman of the congregation. He was also a Cub Scout leader, long-time member of the Marengo Kiwanis Club, volunteer fireman for the Marengo Department, instrumental in forming the Iowa County Underwater Search and Rescue Scuba Team, and enjoyed bowling. He spent many hours with his son and grandson fishing and hunting deer, pheasant, and turkey. He regularly attended the activities of his children and grandchildren. Wes enjoyed family vacations, trips to the Caribbean to scuba dive with his son and daughter, and numerous trips to Maryland to visit his daughter and family. He also enjoyed family gatherings at their house on the hill and at the Heller farm.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Junior (killed at Iwo Jima), Ernest, and Elvin; his sister Mary; sister and brother-in-law Alice and Elbert Morton; sister-in-law Zelma Heller; and sister-in-law and husband Bonnie and Bob Pierson. He is survived by his wife Marietta; son Steve of Marengo; daughter Lynette (Wilfred) Karsten of Moline, IL; grandchildren Anna Karsten, Rachel (Matthew) Gerhardt, Blake Heller, and Lisa Heller; great-grandchildren Maddex and Easton; brothers George (Vava) and Frank Heller; sister-in-law Nancy Heller; many nieces and nephews.
Marietta expresses her thanks to her family for all of their help enabling Wes to remain at home for his final days; also to Pastor Gray, Dr. Miller, Marengo Hospital staff and lab, and Essence of Life Hospice.