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Harold L. Ellerbach

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Harold L. Ellerbach, age 92, of Sherrill, Iowa, was called home peacefully at 9:39 a.m., on Saturday, July 15, 2017, at Stonehill Care Center, surrounded by his loving family. To honor Harold's life, funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at Ss. Peter and Paul Church, 5131 Sherrill Road, Sherrill, Iowa, with Rev. Noah J. Diehm officiating. Family and friends may visit from 10:00 a.m., until the time of services at 11:00 a.m., on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Sherrill. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, where full military honors will be accorded by the Dubuque Marine Corps League. Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, is in charge of arrangements.

Harold was born on October 16, 1924, on the family farm in Sherrill, son of John and Mary (Freiberger) Ellerbach.

Harold proudly served his country with the U.S. Navy during WWII, and maintained a strong sense of patriotism throughout his entire life. He naturally became a hard worker at a young age who devoted his time and talents at the Dubuque Battery Factory to help support his family. After the War, he worked at John Deere Dubuque Works for over 30 years until his eventual retirement. Harold loved being in the great outdoors, whether it be tending to his bountiful gardens, or just sitting and enjoying the warm sunshine on his face. He also had a great love of children and revealed it in being the "favorite" uncle.
Harold practically circumnavigated the globe as a Navy man (both theaters of battle). He left San Diego and was the first warship to pass through the Panama Canal. Harold had several crossings of the Atlantic ferrying supplies to Europe and bringing German prisoners back to the states. "The U-boats left us alone when we had prisoners on board." Among those 19 trips, a German prisoner in the ship's hold called out his name, "Ellerbach." "He saw my name on my shirt. His name was Ellerbach, too!" Harold recalls. "I think he was glad to be alive."
After Europe, his ship steamed through the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal and on to the Pacific and New Guinea. His ship, the USS Bliss, was heading north to prepare for the invasion of Japan when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima ending the War in the Pacific. "I could feel the ship turn around in the middle of the night," he recalled. "We were heading home." During his service he saw much of England and Europe including Italy, Egypt, India, Burma and several Islands in the Pacific
Harold has been blessed with 92 years here on this earth, and while we will miss him deeply, we look forward to one day being reunited with Harold, and all of our loved ones, for all of eternity.

Those left to cherish Harold's memory include

his siblings,
Leona Breitbach, Dubuque, IA
and Ray Ellerbach, Dubuque, IA;

his 12 nieces and nephews,
Sandy, Judy, John, Debbie, Richard, Sharon, Pam, Dennis, Joe, Nancy, Linda and Merlin;

and his numerous great-nieces and nephews.

Harold was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, John Ellerbach Jr., Joseph (Catherine) Ellerbach, Eileen (Merlin) Renkert; a sister-in-law, Virginia Ellerbach; and a brother-in-law, Francis Breitbach.

A Harold L. Ellerbach memorial fund has been established, which will be distributed among his favorite charities.

Harold's family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the nurses and staff of Stonehill, especially Al, Luther Manor Home Care, especially Kay, and Hospice of Dubuque, for all of their kind and compassionate care of Harold, and his family.