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Ronald LeRoy “Rusty” Mohler

Ronald LeRoy “Rusty” Mohler, age 71, of Dassel, formerly of Storm Lake, Iowa, died Sunday, March 20, 2008, at his home in Dassel.

He was born Nov. 29, 1936, in Palo Alto County, Iowa, to Kenneth L. and Bernice L. (Richardson) Mohler. Rusty attended grade school in Sioux Rapids and Laurens, both in Iowa, before graduating from Laurens High School in 1954.

He earned a football scholarship to attend Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1958. In 2006, Rusty was inducted into the Morningside Football Hall of Fame.

Rusty was united in marriage to Diane L. Osier April 10, 1959, in Laurens. The couple was blessed with one daughter, Callie.

The Mohler family made their home in Laurens from 1959 to 1968, when they moved to Storm Lake, Iowa. Rusty worked as district manager for Thermogas in Storm Lake until his retirement in 1995.

Rusty and Diane remained in Storm Lake until September 2007, when they moved to Minnesota to be closer to family.

Rusty had a true zest for life. He loved coaching softball, especially teaching youth how to pitch. His first pitching student was his daughter.

It was this talent which brought him to Buena Vista University, where he was the pitching coach for 26 years. In addition, Rusty pitched in Men’s Fast Pitch League for the towns of Havelock, Plover, Aurelia, and Alta (Iowa) for 27 years.

Rusty liked to bowl, and he immensely enjoyed working as a member of the pit crew for the Gale White Race Team of Laurens, Iowa. His love of life was evident by his membership in the Optimistic Club, and his belief in young people was clear by his work with the Partners for Youth organization. He also was a sponsor of the Storm Lake Balloon Days for many years.

The most important thing in Rusty’s life was his family. He was very proud of his grandchildren, and loved spending time with them. Most recently, Rusty was helping his grandson, Tanner, with baseball techniques, and was looking forward to working with Camryn in softball.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of almost 49 years, Diane, of Dassel; his daughter, Callie Sullivan and her husband, Craig of Dassel; two grandchildren, Tanner and Camryn; two sisters, Cynthia Anderson and her husband, Richard of Sioux Rapids, Iowa, and Julie Gisch and her husband, Kenneth of Laurens, Iowa; a brother, Barry Mohler of San Antonio, Texas; his stepmother, Stella Mohler; extended family, and a host of friends.

Rusty was preceded in death by his parents; and his stepfather, Floyd Dandy.

The funeral service was Monday, March 24 in Anderson Auditorium at Buena Vista University in Storm Lane, Iowa.