John Briggs Sheeler died in Marshalltown at the age of 91 on March 13, 2013 after a long bout of leukemia at the Iowa River Hospice.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 am, Saturday, March 16, at the First Presbyterian Church of Marshalltown on Center Street. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Friday, March 15 at the Mitchell Family Funeral Home at 1209 Iowa Avenue West, Marshalltown. Memorials should be directed to the Iowa River Hospice or the First Presbyterian Church of Marshalltown.
John was born in Anita, Iowa on October 25, 1921. He graduated High School in Davenport, Iowa (1939) and St Ambrose College (1941) and then enlisted in the Marine Corps that same year. John served in the South Pacific campaign as a Heavy Machinegunner with Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment and initially saw action during the campaign at Guadalcanal in 1942 and 1943. Later in 1943 he went ashore in the assault on Tarawa and in 1944 was in the lead assault in the invasion of Saipan. He was twice wounded in action against the enemy and counts among his decorations two Purple Hearts and two Presidential Unit Citations. He was also Marine Division boxing champion in 1944. Sergeant Sheeler was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1947. He returned to graduate studies at Iowa State University and was awarded his Masters and PhD in both Chemical and Soils Engineering in 1956. Dr. Sheeler joined the faculty that year and taught there until his retirement in 1986. He was awarded professor Emeritus status. In addition to his academic duties he coached the ISU NROTC pistol team for 36 years with the Team being awarded 15 National Championships.
John and Irene Squire Kinney Sheeler were married on July 18th, 1970 in Boone Iowa.
They lived happily in Ames and later Marshalltown. A previous marriage to Charlsee Pitt on January 26, 1946 ended in divorce in 1961.
Dr. Sheeler was predeceased by his parents Dr. Ivan and Mildred Sheeler; his brother and sister-in-law, Max and Dorothy Sheeler of Ames, Iowa; and son John R. ("Johnny") Sheeler of Colo, Iowa. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mary Irene Sheeler and seven children: Daniel Sheeler, Anne Tiller (Larry), Robert Sheeler, William Sheeler (Jenny), Diana Hora (Randy), James Kinney (Felisa) and John Kinney. John and Irene have 21 grandchildren, 26 grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.