Michael Earl Bechtel, age 71 of Cherokee, IA, passed away Sunday, January 2, 2022, at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center in Cherokee. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, January 6, 2022, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee. Father Dan Guenther, Monsignor Kenneth Seifried, Father Gene Sitzmann will officiate. For those unable to attend, the Mass will be livestreamed on the Greenwood-Schubert website at greenwoodfuneral.com. Burial will be at Maryhill Visitation Cemetery, rural Cherokee. Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, with family present from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Wednesday night at the Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee. Due to vulnerable family members, the family requests that masks be worn but are not required. There will be a 4:00 p.m. rosary and a 7:00 p.m. prayer service Wednesday at the funeral home. The Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.greenwoodfuneral.com.
Michael Earl Bechtel, the son of Gerald and Betty (Brenneman) Bechtel, was born January 6, 1950, in Cherokee, IA. His childhood years were spent in Cherokee, where he attended school and graduated from Washington High School in 1968. He then attended Iowa State University and graduated with a BS in Animal Science. After graduation, Mike moved to Colorado and worked for Hutchinson Western and sold farm and ranch equipment. He later transferred with the company to Salt Lake City, Utah for a year. He moved back to Cherokee to manage C-Lect Pigs Inc.
On July 10, 1976, Mike was united in marriage to Joyce Messerole at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee. They resided on the family farm near Cherokee, where he raised pork from farrow to finish. Mike was a member of the Cherokee County Pork Producers, and In 1989, was named Master Pork Producer. The family moved to Cherokee in 1999, and Mike continued to work in agriculture until his retirement in 2012.
Mike was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee and the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed woodworking, feeding birds and squirrels, watching sports, and rooting on the Iowa State Cyclones. Most of all, he cherished the time spent with his family and friends, especially his grandchildren.
On January 2, 2022, Mike passed away peacefully at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center surrounded by his family at the age of 71. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jerry and Betty Bechtel; brother-in-law, Chuck Spence; mother and father-in-law, Gordon and Gertrude Messerole; and in-laws, Bob and Sheryl Messerole, Red and Mary Messerole, Jesse Messerole, Tiny and Gayle Messerole, and Tom Selk.
He will lovingly be remembered by his wife, Joyce; three daughters, Amy (Allen) Diercks of Marion, IA, Sara (Jason) Kohn of Cherokee, IA, Jennifer Bechtel of Whiting, IA; 16 grandchildren, Alena, Brady, Matt, Michael, Ron, Mary Louise, Luke, and Evelyn Diercks, Jacob, Adam, Kelsee, Tyler, Ryan, and Katie Kohn, and Jaden and James Bechtel; four sisters, Linda (Denny) Timmins of Cherokee, IA, Diana (Jerry) Thorne of Wisconsin, Denise Green of Cherokee, IA, and Kris (Wayne) Meylor of LeMars, IA; one brother, Dan (Sue) Bechtel; two sisters-in-law, Elaine Messerole and Gert Selk; along with several nieces, nephews, and friends.