Cover photo for Michael Keith Fleming's Obituary
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1953 Michael 2021

Michael Keith Fleming

July 1, 1953 — February 1, 2021

Sibley, IA 

     Michael K. Fleming age 67 of Sibley, Iowa died Monday, February 1, 2021 at Osceola Regional Health Center in Sibley, Iowa.

     Private Family Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:00 AM, Saturday, February 6, 2021 at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Sibley, Iowa.

     Burial will follow at the St. Andrew’s Catholic Cemetery in Sibley.

     Public visitation will be Friday, February 5th from 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM at Jurrens Funeral Home of Sibley. Masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed. Family will not be present.

     In lieu of flowers memorial may be directed to Osceola Regional Health Center, Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District, or St. Andrew’s Catholic Church.


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     Michael Keith Fleming, was born in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO to Judith (Merrick) and Loren (Big Mike) Fleming on July 1st, 1953.  His early years were spent in various locations and eventually his family landed in Sibley, Iowa in 1959, where his grandparents Keith and Jane Merrick were living and running a small print business.  

     Michael grew up with the tenacity to be involved in many activities at Sibley High School where he was President of his graduating class of 1971. This was also where he met the love of his life Lois (Marnach).  The high school sweethearts would be married in 1973 and spent 50 wonderful years together.  

     The year they were married the couple moved to St. Petersburg, Florida where Michael began a promising career as a professional baseball umpire. He quickly moved up the ranks to the American Association (Class AAA) and by age 24 had begun teaching the craft of umpiring at the Bill Kinnamon Umpire School. Michael was looking forward to a bright future in baseball and to eventually get “called up” to the Major Leagues. 

     In 1978, due to the unexpected death of his father, Michael and Lois returned to Sibley where they continued to grow their family and he started a lifelong career in the family business which had been started by his grandparents in 1933. Over the next 40 years, he led the Keith M. Merrick Company to substantial growth in the variety of products and services the company offers to customers throughout the US. Today the company has a workforce of 50 people. In 2017, Michael was honored to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Casket and Funeral Supply Association of America (CFSA), where he served on the executive board for a number of years and eventually was elected as the organization’s President. 

     Michael has served the community he loved in a number of capacities.  In addition to coaching various youth sports teams, he was an active member of the Kiwanis Club and Bank Board of Directors as well as spending 22 years on the local board of education.  Michael and Lois always found time to raise money for the community including chairing the Osceola Community Hospital’s capital campaign for hospital improvements. He also set up a number of college scholarships for the arts and athletics for graduates of the Sibley-Ocheyedan school system.  Michael was an active member of St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, where he served as a lector, Eucharistic minister and member of the choir.  

     In their spare time, Michael and Lois loved to travel and spend time with their family and friends. Bumpa and Nana never missed an opportunity to create memories and share extraordinary experiences with their 4 children and 6 grandchildren. 

     Michael maintained his love for sports as he continued to officiate high school athletics for years. As a season ticket holder for the Minnesota Twins and Vikings, some of his favorite memories were with his family cheering on his favorite teams. 

     On February 1st, Michael passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife and children. 

     Surviving is his wife Lois Fleming of Sibley. Four children, Nathan of Baltimore, MD. Rebecca (Tom) Gacke of Kearney, MO. Patrick (Ashley) of Des Moines, IA, and Ashley (Bob) Azar of St. Paul, MN, and 6 grandchildren Cole, Merrick, and Macy Gacke. Nilsson Tape Fleming, Cyrus and Daria Azar as well as his mother, Judy Fleming, his sister Nancy (Marty) Gillespie, and brother Tim (Joan) Fleming, and many nieces, nephews, and other extended family and friends.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, February 5, 2021

4:30 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Jurrens Funeral Home ~ (Former Walton - Roste & Andringa Funeral Home)

505 9th Street, Sibley, IA 51249

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Private Funeral & Committal Service

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

St. Andrew's Catholic Church

708 8th Street, Sibley, IA 51249

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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