Cleo Joanne Sterling, 80, of Sylvan Woods in Ottumwa, Iowa, Reece Funeral Home

Wikimedia Commons / MGN Online

Cleo Joanne Sterling, 80, of Sylvan Woods in Ottumwa, formerly of Farson, passed away peacefully on May 31, 2018, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Joanne was born on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1937, near Hedrick to Rex and Hazel Moore Dickey.

She graduated from Farson High School and married Harry Robert Sterling, Jr. on June 5, 1954. He preceded her in death February 11, 2003.

Joanne and Bob farmed in the Farson community and operated Bob Sterling Grain, Inc. in Farson. She was a member of the Farm Bureau and The American Contract Bridge League, having achieved Life Master. She was a 4-H leader and Township Clerk for Competine Township. She was a member of the First Christian Church in Packwood, the Ottumwa Women's Club and was involved with numerous bridge groups.

Surviving are her children, Debra and her husband Gerry Wordehoff of Cedar Rapids, Kathryn and her husband John Elsey of Flower Mound, Texas, and James and his wife Joan Sterling of Farson; six grandchildren, Lesley (Brian) Mullan of Cedar Rapids, Matt (Jen) Wordehoff of Lenexa, Kansas, Hanna Elsey and Payton Elsey of Flower Mound, Texas, Jaime (Andrew) Vandehaar of Hedrick, and Josh Sterling of Martinsburg; three great grandchildren Emma and Will Wordehoff, Leo Vandehaar and Baby Vandehaar due in October; Joanne's sister, Janice Handy of Burnsville, MN; her brother-in-law, Gary Sterling and sister-in-law, Karen Gooden both of Hedrick.

She was preceded in death by her husband Bob and an infant son, Robert Cleo Sterling; a great- grandson, Harlan Robert Mullan; her parents and her brother, Loren Dickey.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Frosty Van Voorst officiating. Burial will be in Deuser Cemetery.

Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Monday with the family present from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday.

Memorials may be made to University of Iowa Center for Advancement for the Supportive and Palliative Care Unit.

Special thanks to the Palliative Care Team and Iowa City Hospice.

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