Obituaries: John Sickels

John W. Sickels, 84, formerly of Douds, IA, left this life at the Bloomfield Care Center to be with his Lord, on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.  Funeral Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at Cranston Family Funeral Home in Eldon, IA.  Visitation will begin at 10:00 am on Saturday, April 1, 2017 and last until the time of service.  Burial, with Military Honors, will be held immediately following the service at Mt. Moriah Cemetery near Douds.  Memorial contributions in John’s honor may be directed to the Ottumwa Legion Post 3, Ottumwa VFW Post 775, or the Des Moines River Primitive Baptist Church.  Friends may sign the online guestbook at

John William Sickels was born January 3, 1933 in rural Davis County to William B. and Martha “Hughes” Sickels.  He entered his first school year at Fieldler School.  The family soon moved to Eldon, where he continued his schooling and graduated from Eldon High School in 1951.  John started working at John Morrells, and met his future wife, Barbara Thompson soon after.  When he was drafted into the United States Army in February of 1953, she wrote to him and waited for his return.  He spent part of that time in Germany, and after his Honorable Discharge the two were married on March 19, 1955.  They spent the first ten years of their marriage in Eldon.  They moved to their farm near Douds in 1966, where they lived for over 50 years.  John and Barbara were delighted to be able to raise their seven children on the farm.  When Morrells closed, John worked at American Chain and Cable in Fairfield for a year before going to work for John Deere Ottumwa Works, where he remained until retirement.  John was a born mechanic from the time he was a teenager, and loved to repair cars and trucks.  After he retired from John Deere, he was busy in his mechanic repair business when he wasn’t doing all the farm work, which he also enjoyed.

John is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; three daughters, Deborah (Leon) Surbaugh of Krum, TX, Linda Bates of Waukee, IA, and Kaye (Stuart) Gilbert of Stockport, IA; four sons, John Jr. (Rhonda) Sickels of Muscatine, IA, Bill (Lorie) Sickels of Birmingham, IA, David (Trudi) Sickels of Stuart, IA, and Murl (Jenny) Sickels of Gentry, AR; fourteen grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and many extended family and friends.