formerly Hinton, Iowa
Darrell E. Roepke, 90, formerly of Hinton, passed away on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at a nursing facility in Le Mars, Iowa.
Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Trinity Lutheran Church, east of Hinton, with the Rev. Steven Stoll officiating. Burial will follow in the Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery beside the church. Visitation, with the family present, will begin 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, before the service. Nelson-Berger Northside Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at www.meyerbroschapels.com.
Darrell was born on Feb. 20, 1929, in rural Plymouth County, Iowa, to Henry and Elfrieda (Porsch) Roepke. After receiving his education in county schools, Darrell joined his father farming in Plymouth County. During his time on the farm, he grew to love horses, and was injured from having been fallen upon by a horse, and had to have a metal plate placed in one of his legs.
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Having played baseball on local teams and developing his pitching skills, Darrell was recruited by the New York Giants baseball team. He and his father drove to Florida, where Darrell, at age 18, pitched for the Giants' practice team. He had pitched well, and had one more throw to out the competition, when the batter connected with Darrell’s pitch, and the ball hit Darrell in the leg that had surgery. This ended Darrell’s baseball career.
Darrell returned to Iowa, grew his love for horses, owning and racing horses at several tracks, including Aberdeen, Ft. Pierre, and Park Jefferson. He married Charlene Oltmanns on Sept. 8, 1948, in Le Mars, Iowa. After Darrell’s racing career, he continued his love of horse racing by being the Gate Starter at tracks across the country, including Park Jefferson before it closed. He loved the St. Louis Cardinal Baseball team, enjoyed playing cards, especially Euchre, and enjoyed fishing and hunting. Darrell’s family was his pride and joy, and he cherished every minute he spent with them all.
Darrell is survived by his daughters, Pam Stoltze of Hinton, and Jeri Lynn (Jerry) Dahl of Arlington, S.D.; sister, Helen Sargisson of Kingsley, Iowa; 13 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Darrell was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Charlene on June 4, 2015; sons, Darrell Jr. and Gary Roepke; son-in-law, Mark Stoltze; daughter-in-law, Carole Roepke; and great-grandson, Briggs Allen.