July 13, 1923 – September 25, 2013
Myron W. “Bill” Stearns was a man who impacted many lives for good. His earthly life began July 13, 1923 as the firstborn of Charles D. and Estella M. Stearns in Creston, Iowa and completed on September 25, 2013 at the VA Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.
During his 90 years on earth, he graduated from Creston High School in 1941, attended Iowa Teachers College, served his country in Europe in the Army as a Private First Class and in the Military Police during WWII, graduated with a B.S. and M.S. in Education from Drake University, and later earned his Specialist in Educational Counseling degree from the University of Northern Iowa.
In the late 1940’s, Bill danced with a girl, swept her off her feet, and on May 22, 1949, he and Helen Carlson committed their lives to each other in holy matrimony. A short while later, they bought a house on 49th Street, and for the next 63 years they would make memories there. Family dinners, Christmas celebrations (with the ever present family pictures and 16mm home movie camera), backyard baseball, Indian Guides activities, and all the joys, thrills, and challenges of raising five sons would be theirs. Over the years, their home was open to many, including Michael Au, a Drake exchange student from Malaysia, who entered the family in the early 1970’s and has remained close ever since.
Scott, Brent, Brion, Mark and Gregg were blessed by Bill and Helen’s love, care, wisdom, and guidance. During the years, somehow Bill found time to be the Principal of Mingo High School and Bondurant High School, and serve as a Guidance Counselor to the thousands of young lives he influenced at Meredith and Weeks Junior High. He loved to teach, and even continued substitute teaching after retiring.
Whether the game was Pinochle, cribbage, Uno, dominoes, chess, or any other, Bill was always up for it. His kind smile and playful wink often hid his competitive spirit, as he worked to make the game fun for everyone.
Bill faithfully served his church, First Federated, as an elder; he also enjoyed distributing Bibles as a member of the Gideons; he attended CrossTrainers, and he was also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Disabled American Veterans.
Those who miss him here include his wife, Helen; sons, Scott (Mary), Brent (Kim), Brion, and Gregg (Mindi) and daughter-in-law, Barbara. His nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren were his pride and joy. Bill’s brothers-in-law, Jim Percival and Tom Keenan, as well as his nephews, nieces, and their families, and many friends are also among those who will miss his smile.
When Bill arrived in heaven, those who greeted him included his parents; his daughter, Suzanne; his son, Mark; and his sister, Donnabelle Percival.
Visitation will be held at Merle Hay Funeral Home, 4400 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines, on Sunday September 29 from 2-5 p.m. Funeral service will be held at First Federated Church, 4801 Franklin Ave. in Des Moines, on Monday, September 30 at 10 a.m., followed by lunch and entombment.
Memorials may be made to the First Federated Church Missions Fund or Gideons International.Information provided by: Merle Hay Funeral Home 4400 Merle Hay Road Des Moines, IA 50310 www.meaningfulfunerals.net