Herb Stettler, 88, of Kasilof, Alaska, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, after a short stay at Prestige Care and Rehabilitation Center in Anchorage, Alaska.
Herb was born June 3, 1931, to John G. Stettler and Irene (Dee) Stettler in Oskloosa, Iowa. He lost his mother in 1935 and he and his sister spent much of their childhood living with their grandparents in Williamsburg, Iowa. Herb had to grow up quickly when his dad joined the Navy in World War II. After the war, his dad bought a small farm in Rochester, Minn., and remarried. Herb spent his summers in Rochester but attended high school in Iowa.
In 1952, he was drafted into the Army and sent to fight in Korea. He was assigned to Company D 279th Infantry as a heavy machine gun operator and saw more than his share of action. His experiences in Korea greatly impacted his life and he was drawn to help fellow vets through the VFW, American Legion and the Senior Center. He served as VFW Post 10046 chaplain and veteran service officer and was recognized as the "flag expert." He loved to visit area schools and teach flag etiquette to the next generation. Herb also was known for his annual Memorial Day recitation of "In Flanders Fields."
In 2012, Herb's trailer caught fire and was a total loss. Generous friends and neighbors raised the funds to build him a new cabin. Herb couldn't understand that they were simply reflecting the generous volunteer contributions and caring actions that were a large part of his life.
He will be greeted in heaven by his mother, Irene Stettler; his dad, John Stettler; his stepmother, Vivian Stettler; and his brother-in-law, Ron Remerowski.
He is survived by his sisters, Shirley (Wayne) Walters and Carol Remerowski; his brother, Glenn (Judy) Stettler; and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and their families.
The family wants to thank Hal Smalley, Dave Moynihan, Joe Warchola and the many others who helped Herb live independently in the state he loved.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the VFW and the Soldotna United Methodist Church-Food Pantry program in Herb's name.
Services with the Rev. Karen Martin-Tichenor officiating will be announced at a later date.
Arrangements are being made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.