John James Sterling, son of Harold and Lulu (Hughes) Sterling, was born in Williams, Iowa on February 14, 1917. He was raised in a loving home there, along with his sister, Ann and brother, Eugene "Pink".
On August 21, 1940, John married the love of his life Mary Lucy Flaherty in Fort Dodge, Iowa. John and Mary Lucy were introduced through family friends and courted in Williams and Fort Dodge. Here they enjoyed frequent dinners together with family, friends, and of course polka dancing. The happy couple made their home in Eagle Grove, where they continued to proudly run the family business, Sterling Hardware, for 46 years. Over the years at Sterling Hardware he earned the nickname "Honest John" and was the "Go-to Paint Expert" in town. John was a loving, devoted father of four, and a respected member of the community. John's kindness touched so many in his long, healthy life. He was a strong and modest man always putting others first and understood how fortunate he was to have such a large family, grateful for eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He spoke often of his family and surrounded himself with photos and letters.
John and his family were devout members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Eagle Grove, where all of his four children attended school.
John served honorably in the United States Navy, from February 1944 to December of 1945 on a command ship, the USS Teton, as a radio operator. During his deployment John sent countless love letters home to his darling Mary Lucy.
John passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, in Kyle, Texas at the age of 96. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, H. Eugene Sterling; sister, Ann M. Sterling; wife, Mary Lucy Sterling on December 27, 1989; son, John Sterling, Jr. on July 31, 2006; and granddaughter, Melanie Anne Hanson on December 6, 1983.
John is survived by his children: Marie Jackson and husband Tom of Omaha, NE, Anne Hanson and husband David of Kyle, TX and Joseph Sterling and wife Marie of Burnsville, MN; ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Services will be held in Eagle Grove at a later date in the spring.
Foust Funeral Home of Eagle Grove is in charge of arrangements.