HAWARDEN—Carlyle “Swede” Duane Dirks, 87, Hawarden, died Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, at Hillcrest Health Care Center in Hawarden. Services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Faith Lutheran Church in Orange City, with the Rev. David Daumer officiating. Following a luncheon, burial will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Ireton, with military rites conducted by the Heeren McHalz Wilkens Post 724 of Brunsville. Visitation will begin at noon Friday, Nov. 8, with family present 5-7 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m., at Porter Funeral Home in Hawarden.
Condolences may be sent to www.porterfuneralhomes.com.
Carlyle “Swede” Duane Dirks was born Jan. 31, 1932, the son of Fred and Margaret (Renken) Dirks. He grew up on a farm near Ireton and was baptized and confirmed at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ireton. He attended country school through the eighth grade, at which time he returned home to help on the farm.
Swede married his true love, Ihlo M. Johnson, on Feb. 5, 1953, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ireton. Later that year in June, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He did his basic training with the Fifth Armored Division at Camp Chaffee, AR. He served overseas in Germany and was honorably discharged May 5, 1955.
Following the return from his service, Swede and Ihlo were blessed with four children, Duane, Roxann, Angela and Steven. Swede was employed as a lineman for the city of Hawarden and later as a foreman at Coilcraft. In 1969, Swede and Ihlo moved to Orange City where Swede managed the Coilcraft and where they raised their family. He was also employed at K-Products, Vogel Paints and Krayco Janitorial Supplies.
They lived on an acreage south of town that was known by and started by Swede as the “Boots & Wheel Ranch.” Swede would receive worn out boots from around the country and Swede would place them on fence posts around the acreage. He loved bailing hay and feeding small groups of cattle, enjoyed fishing and dancing with his wife, which is how they met — at a dance! He was a huge fan of the New York Yankees. Swede took great pride in his lawn and cleaning his vehicles. In 1989, they sold the acreage and moved into town. Swede and Ihlo moved into the Hillcrest Health Care Center in Hawarden in 2017.
Swede and Ihlo were among the six couples who were charter members of the Faith Lutheran Church in Orange City. He was an awesome grandpa; he loved each one of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Swede went to every event his grandkids were in; he was so proud of them.
Swede is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ihlo M. Dirks; daughters, Roxann Dobesh and Angela (Ernest) Gradert; son, Steven (Amy) Dirks; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sister, Della (Brad) Busch; sisters-in-law, Carol Pearson, Dorothy Lee Hendricks and Dorothy Ann Johnson.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Margaret; son, Duane Dirks; siblings and their spouses, Howard and Arlene Schulz Dirks, Mildred and Ed Burleson, Reva and Art Albright, Darrel and Neva Dirks, Myrna and Vernon Howard, and Pearl and Al Eilers; and also Ihlo’s family, her parents, Edwin and Bertha Johnson, Merrill Johnson, Phillip Johnson, Wendell Pearson and Robert Hendricks.