Virgil L. Brockel, 97, of Le Mars, Iowa passed away on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at the Happy Siesta Health Care Center in Remsen, Iowa. Funeral services will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, September 28, 2020 at the Presbyterian United Church of Christ in Le Mars. Masks and social distancing will be required. Rev. Jan Christensen will officiate. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars. Wasmer Post #241 of the American Legion will conduct military honors. Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, 2020 at the Mauer – Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars. The family will be present to greet friends from 4-6 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:00 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral service on Monday.
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Virgil Lee Brockel was born on September 8, 1923 in Portal, North Dakota to Jacob and May (Guinn) Brockel. He graduated from Portal High School in 1941. Following high school, he moved to Los Angeles, California and worked at Douglas Aircraft Factory for 11/2 years. Virgil served his country in the U.S Air Force from 1943 until 1945. He flew with the 8th Air Force in the ETO for one year, completing 30 combat missions over Germany in B-24 and B-17 bombers. For his service, he was awarded several USAF combat medals and decorations. From 1945-1949 he attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND, graduating with a degree in commerce and a minor in business administration. During his college summers, he worked for the Soo Line Railroad in Portal.
He was united in marriage to Mary Cummins on July 29, 1950 in Sidney, Montana. The couple moved to Le Mars in January 1962. Virgil was a member of the Presbyterian United Church of Christ where he served as an Elder, Deacon, and a Commission member. He was a member of the American Legion for over 70 years. Virgil held life membership in the BPOE organization and served as a Trustee and other various officer positions with the Elks. He was a longtime member of the U.S. Air Force Association, a member of the Eagles Club as well as a member of the WWII Last Man’s Club. He served on the election board for more than 20 years and over the years he belonged to various civic organizations where he was very active.
Virgil worked for International Harvester Company from 1949-1979 where he held various sales management positions. During these years, he lived and worked in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Iowa and Illinois.
He was an ardent sports and outdoor fan, participating in baseball, football, golf and softball for many years. Virgil enjoyed hunting and fishing in his younger years. He also loved yardwork and gardening.
Virgil is survived by his son Brian Brockel of Kennesaw, GA; daughter Patti Tobin of White Bear Lake, MN; grandchildren; great grandchildren; sisters, Jackie Richardson of Minot, ND and Gwen Thompson of Denver, CO; sister-in-law, Rose Stahlecker of Oakes, ND.
Preceding Virgil in death are his parents; his wife Mary on February 12, 2001 and his daughter Peggy Ann Brockel on November 14, 2015.