Sterling Gillingham, 84

Sterling Hart Gillingham, 84, of New Prague, MN, passed away at the Lutheran Home in Belle Plaine, MN, on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013.

He was preceded in death by his parents , Theron and Helen Gillingham, and his brothers Wendell and Willis.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Sharron, sister Ruth Ann (Gillingham) Coleman, sons Cary (Nancy Woelffer Gillingham), Mark (Beth Urech), Todd (Kristen Kollitz Gillingham), and daughter Ellen Gillingham O'Neill; and grandchildren Ashley, Colin, Kaitlyn, Daniel, Madalyn, Sophia, David, Benjamin and Jacob.

Gillingham was born on the family farm in Gillingham, WI, graduated from Richland Center High School, and attended the University of Wisconsin- Madison. From the one-room schoolhouse, he rose through the ranks to successfully lead a large agricultural business cooperative in New Prague, MN for many years. He enjoyed being an active member of the community serving as a Rotarian, a member of several church councils, and a director at Marquette Bank and the University of Minnesota. His love for family, the land, his willingness to help, and friendly smile will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

A celebration of his life was held at the Pratt Funeral Home, 120 N Park St. Richland Center, WI, at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, with visitation at noon.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association National Office, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601; 24/7 Helpline: 1-800-272-3900, www.alz.org.