Lester O. Stierlen, 86

Lester O. Stierlen, 86, died June 14, 2013 at the Heart of the Ozarks Care Center in Ava, Missouri.

The youngest of seven children born to Anna Clara (Naiman) and Wilhelm John Jacob Christopher Stierlen, Lester Otto was born January 10, 1927 at Paxton, NE. He grew up and attended school in Nebraska. During his youth, Lester survived a rattlesnake bite and having been struck by lightening. He often said he thought it would have been easier to die than it was to live through the long, painful recovery from those burns inside and out.

In 1946 Lester was united in marriage to Donna Armstrong in Kansas. They had three daughters, Judy, Kathy, and Gale. In the early 1950s Lester and his young family moved to Lake of the Woods County, MN. During the years spent there, Les farmed, logged, worked as a builder, and worked for the forest service. He, along with brother Walter, played music for various gatherings. Les was active as a 4-H leader and helped his daughters with 4-H projects, especially livestock.

In the 1960s, Lester, a skilled welder, went to North Dakota where he became an ironworker, welding in the missile silos there. Throughout his career, Lester worked all over the western two thirds of the US and eventually attained his 40 year ironworker pin. For many of those years, Lester’s home was at Globe, AZ.

While in North Dakota, Lester was united in marriage to Inez (Klien) Brandner in 1967, adding step-sons Donnie and Randy, and an adopted daughter, Paula, to his family.

Lester never quite stopped being a farmer and during retirement years he and Inez spent a month or so each fall in Lake of the Woods County, MN to help with harvest. Les also enjoyed hunting, fishing, panning for gold and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Lester was preceded in death by his wife, Inez in 2007, five brothers, one sister, and several nephews.

Survivors include his daughters: Judy (Skeeter) Bastin and Kathy (Robert) Potter, all of Ava, MO, Gale (Dennis) Johnson of Williams, MN, and Paula (Ron) Welch of Springerville, AZ; two step-sons, Donnie (Jan) Brandner of Fargo, ND, and Randy (Cecilia) Brandner of Miami, AZ; eleven grandchildren, several great-grandchildren; one sister-in-law, Jean Stierlen of Colorado; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Services were held Tuesday, June 18, 2013 from Clinkingbeard Funeral Chapel at Ava, MO with interment in Girdner Church Cemetery, rural Ava, MO.

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