Archie Leroy Wierson, 92, of Ames, died peacefully June 11, 2012 at Bickford Cottage. Visitation is 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 14 at Adams Funeral Home. A celebration of his life will take place 10 a.m. June 15 at Bethesda Lutheran Church. Burial will be at Ames Municipal Cemetery.
Archie was born on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1919, during a blizzard, on the family farm in rural Wright County, Iowa to W. Martin and Sarah (Egemo) Wierson. He was the sixth of twelve children. He was a baptized and confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church, rural Kanawa, Iowa. He was a member of Bethesda Lutheran Church in Ames since 1936.
Archie was a born story teller, based on life. A favorite involved his Sunday School teacher dropping students off at home. Archie sat on the front fender and as they neared his home, one of the kids said, "This is where you get off, Wierson," and pushed Archie off the car before it stopped. As a result, he was run over by his teacher's Model T, which stopped on his head. It broke his nose and shoulder blade. That is why Archie had a crooked nose!
His family loved his delightful, off-key, uniquely goofy songs that brought joy to their lives!
The family moved to Ames in 1936, where Archie began work as a shoeshine boy at Goodyear Shoe Repair at 107 Welch Ave. He married Letha Richards at 1:20 a.m. on January 1, 1943. Archie volunteered for induction in the U.S. Army, and served in Europe during WWII as a Company Clerk. Following WWII Archie and Letha became owners of Archie's Goodyear Shoe Repair. They chose to employ and supervise people who had a special employment needs, as well as many ISU students. Following their retirement in 1986 and to this day, his daughters meet people who knew and appreciated his artistic ability with leather and shoes and his unique personality. Archie and Letha raised four daughters. They experienced many adventures together. He and Letha traveled extensively. Wherever they went in the world, Archie found someone who knew him! Archie was a Norwegian who loved spending time in Norway. They especially enjoyed their trips to the Lutheran Mission Fields of Japan and Eskimo Missions in Alaska.
Archie and Letha spend several months yearly at their second home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where he enjoyed swimming in the Hot Springs Pool. They were also active at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
Archie was active in many community organizations, including Red Friears, ACTORS, the Ames Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion, and a charter member of the Ames Golden K. He was a great supporter of Iowa State University, and repaired Cy's shoes for many years!
Archie and Letha were married for 44 years before Letha passed away in 1987. He married Norma Pestotnik Lackner January 15, 1988. They spent 16 happy years together traveling, and dividing their time between Glenwood Springs and Ames. Norma belonged to St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Ames, and following their marriage, they were active at both Bethesda and St. Cecelia in Ames, as well as the Lutheran and Cotholic Church in Glenwood Springs. Norma died in 2004.
Archie daily expressed gratitude to God for his loving family, his good life, and his two good wives!
Archie is survived by his four daughters, Laura (Larry) Rorem of Juneau, Alaska, Sheila (Ron) Liston of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Marcia (Hiroshi) Ide of Hawthorn, California and Barbara (Tim) Miller of Ryan, Iowa; two sisters, Vivian Moffitt of Raytown, Missouri and Sherri Morrison of Lincoln, Nebraska; brother, David Wierson, of Ames; fifteen grandchildren, Mark (Tonia) Rorem, Tanya Rorem, Mathew Rorem, and Angela (Larry) Rorem Owen of Alaska; Gabe (Danielle) Liston of Portland, Oregon, Caleb Liston, Solomon Liston, Rachael (Eli) Liston Jennings, and Levi Liston of Colorado; Jason (Vanessa) Ide, Nathaniel Ide and Chris Ide of Colifornia; Jason (Shonna) Miller, Andy (Sage) Miller, and Letha Miller of Iowa; 22 great grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wives, Letha and Norma, his parents, five sisters, and three brothers.
Memorials may be made to Bethesda Lutheran Church and St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Ames; Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and St. Stephens Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Online condolences may be made at www.adamssoderstrum.com. Adams Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.