Gerald Eugene Mikels, age 89 of Centerville, passed away Thursday, November 5, 2020 at Golden Age Care Center in Centerville.
Gerald was born on March 2, 1931 in Exine, Iowa, the son of Perry and Freeda (Smith) Mikels. He graduated from Moravia High School with the Class of 1949. On June 7, 1951, Gerald was drafted into the United States Army. He spent 5 weeks at Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri for training, before he was sent overseas. During his service, he served in South Korea. Gerald was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. He was transferred to the Army Reserve on May 1, 1953. Gerald was honorably discharged on April 1, 1957.
Gerald was united in marriage to Mary Montegna in November, 1957 and to this union, two children were born, Karen and Rodney. She passed away in September of 1978. He then met Rosemary Quick Miller. They were united in marriage in May of 1981, and to this union, the two families became one, with the addition of Paula, Dana, Rachel and Dorothy.
In 1985, Gerald and Rosemary opened their home and hearts to children in need, by registering as Foster Parents of Iowa. Over the 22 years, they were blessed with nearly 500 foster children. The love and compassion they showed, earned them the “Foster Parents of the Year” award, as well as several different Volunteer of Iowa awards. The couple also mentored parents to foster care licensure, and gave birth parents skills training for raising their children.
Gerald worked for Carter Waters Rock Quarry as a heavy equipment operator from the company’s opening to its closing-which spanned over 28 years. He then worked at Orscheln Farm and Home in Centerville for a period of time.
In his free time, he enjoyed gardening with his foster children, and rebuilding old cars. Gerald was also a member of the United Methodist Church in Cincinnati.
Those left to honor Gerald’s memory are his children, Karen (Chester) Engle of Centerville, Rodney Mikels (Sara Brummett) of Exline; his step-children, Paula (John) Wells of Cincinnati, Dana (Mike Meredith) Carrillo of Centerville, Rachel Collins of Centerville, Dorothy (Danny) Sager of Lafayette, Indiana; two sisters, Carletta Stocker of Moravia and Marvelee Davis of Sarasota, Florida; grandchildren, Jill Wells of Cincinnati, Iowa, Sabrina (Jason Oglesby) Wells of Cincinnati, Iowa, Angela (Justin) Beals of Unionville, Missouri, Lydia Wells of Cincinnati, Iowa, Callie Collins of Albia, Iowa, Tucker Collins of Centerville, Cherody Shiltz of Centerville, David Sager of Nashville, Tennessee, Dawn (Nathan) Adams of Florida; DeAnna Sager, and Denae Sager, both of Lafayette, Indiana, Jared (Delaney) Engle, Travis Engle, Benjamin Engle all of Centerville, Joe (Michaela) Mikels of Centerville, Tony (Katey) Mikels of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Nick Mikels of Ballwin, Missouri, and Angie Widmer of Moulton, Iowa; a special niece, Tena DeVore of Norwalk, Iowa; and his Great-grandchildren, Bradyn, Kennedee, Maddi, Rowdy, Harvester, Blayne, Burkley, Damian, Jaismine, Jordan, Trenton, Emily, Alex, Everly, and Dana.
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, Perry and Freeda Mikels; his first wife, Mary (Montegna) Mikels in September of 1978; his second wife, Rosemary (Quick) Mikels in October 2015; two siblings, Patsy Williams and Curtis Mikels; and a grandson, Craig Delbert Engle.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00AM, Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville with Pastor Danny Sager officiating. Burial with military rites will follow the service at Main Station Cemetery. Visitation will take place Monday, November 9, 2020 at the funeral home in Centerville, with the family greeting friends from 5-7 PM. Memorials have been established to the American Legion, Post #214, and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, C/O Mikels family, 1900 South 18th Street, Centerville, Iowa 52544. Condolences may be shared online at www.langefh.com.
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