Harold Stille

Harold Dean Stille was born in one of the bedrooms of a farmhouse in Sac County on April 29, 1930. He was the third son born to Herman August and Loretta Lavina (Burkhardt) Stille. He attended public school in a rural school district near Storm Lake,  called Hayes, and graduated in 1947.

He graduated from Buena Vista University in 1951. It was at the university where he met his future wife, Marilyn McLaughlin, where they both sang in the choir. After a nine month courtship, they were married on Aug. 12, 1951 in the church where Dean was baptized and confirmed. They moved to Plymouth, Wis., where Marilyn taught school for three years. Dean studied theology at Mission House Theological Seminary and graduated in 1954. In September 1954, they moved to Princeton, N.J., where Dean studied at Princeton Theological Seminary. In September  1955, Dean accepted a call to serve at Hope Evangelical and Reformed Church in Harbine, Neb., where he ministered until 1959. He was then called to service at Peace Church in Minnesota Lake, Minn., and served there from 1959 to 1988. During that time he also served as an interim minister at St. Paul’s UCC in rural Minnesota Lake. He was then called to minister the United Church of Christ in Jewell and did so until 1996 with Marilyn. They retired and moved to Wells, Minn.

During his ministry, he served on various boards and committees on the association and state levels. He served on the board of directors of the conference. He was very active on the board of Christian education in both the conference and association level, and was very active in youth ministries. He also served on the committee to elect a new conference minister. He served on the church and ministry committee on both the conference and association levels; and served as the moderator of the association. He served on other various committees.

Dean also served on numerous committees in the Minnesota Lake community, the community education committee, the Lions Ambulance, the Minnesota Lake Centennial committee, and provided leadership for the formation of the Meals on Wheels program there.

Dean enjoyed working with young people. He and they made a number of trips to Missouri and South Dakota, to mission stations to the Boot Heel of Missouri, Shannondale, Mo., and to St. Louis.

Dean enjoyed singing, along with Marilyn they sang at a number of events and services. Together they enjoyed southern Gospel music. He also enjoyed whistling, mostly Christian hymns and songs, and he told himself this was one way of witnessing to his Lord that people could enjoy and be reminded of their faith. He also enjoyed his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, reading, wood working, fishing, visiting, walking, gardening, especially the roses, and keeping the place neat.

His life came to an end on earth on Oct. 1, 2019. By the grace of God, his life continues on in glory.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn Stille; daughters: Claudia (Gary) Smith, Cindy Stille (Jack Gillespie) and Cathy (Patrick) Neuwirth; grandchildren: Erin (Joshua) Lutterman, Preston Smith, Catherine Wisecup and Jessica Neuwirth; great-grandchildren: Rachel and Alison Lutterman and Andrew Wisecup; and sisters-in-law, Joyce and Judi Stille.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son Scott Stille; and two brothers, Dwayne and Daryl Stille.

Memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Mankato. Interment will be held at Immanuel Reformed Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be held at the church for one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.

Memorial gifts may be directed to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or the American Heart Association.

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