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Roy Sires


Posted By: Errin Wilker (email)
Date: 2/3/2013 at 17:43:42

The Bible Thumper

Roy Sires is an insurance salesman, but he doesn’t know it. A deeply religious man, Sires offers a kind of fire insurance that only men of the cloth sell. Their policy is The Bible and premiums are paid in church pews. Instead of a piece of the rock, you get salvation.

Roy Sires believes in God. He’s a Bible-thumper.

When the good weather comes to stay and Hawkeye farmers turn the black gold called topsoil over with a plow, Roy Sires will head out to Charley McLeish’s farm near Alpha to construct a barn basement wall. He’s committed to do the job and although he is an expert plasterer of walls and an accomplished cementman, this commitment is unique. On March 10, Sires was 84 years old.

The McLeish job typifies the "never-say-die" spirit of this fine gentleman who lives at the northeast edge of Hawkeye. At an age when other men of 84 years can only watch the waning moments of lifetime flicker past their eyes, Sires has kept his good health and nimble mind and continues to put both to use. How do I know? The Bible makes Sires go.

"There ain’t nothing; absolutely nothing, that man can’t do if he puts his mind to it. It ain’t impossible if you got God’s help," Sires claims. "We make blunders, of course. Lord help me, do we make blunders. But, there’s always The Bible. That’s the roadmap through life!" Sires exclaimed, the index finger on his right hand emphatically thumping the Bible on the table before him. He has five of the books in his house. Countless artists’ conceptions of Jesus Christ are also there. A Seventh Day Adventist, Sires started out as a Methodist.

"I was born in Allamakee County on a farm near Dorchester. My mother and father, John and Catherine Sires are both dead now. I had two full brothers and eight half-brothers and sisters. One girl died when my mother did. They both had the Black Measles*," relates Sires. Educated in a one room schoolhouse near English Bench, the Sires family lived in an area populated largely by Presbyterians. As a young man, Sires went to the Methodist church and was given a license to preach, which he did for 12 years. Then, a switch occurred. "I observed that the other churches weren’t keeping all the commandments," Sires frankly explains. A Seventh Day Adventist was born.

[*Errin Wilker comment: It wasn’t his mother that died from Black Measles, rather his father’s first wife, Sarah Jane (Duff) Sires.]

Married to now-deceased Lena Hahn, a South Dakota farm girl on Sept. 25, 1907, nine children were born. The six girls and three boys grew up and left home to move to residences in Illinois, Oregon, Nebraska and Iowa towns. Roy farmed until 1948, when he quit to move into Hawkeye where he was a block layer with his brother Levi. The children were gone, Sires also lost his wife who died on Aug. 28, 1971.

Alone now in life, Roy Sires uses his Bible roadmap and takes directions from God. As a Seventh Day Adventist, Sires observes the Sabbath Day from sundown Friday night to sundown on Saturday. Because of his religion, he neither drinks liquor nor does he smoke. "The study of God’s word is a great comfort to me," Sires boasts. That and a handful of neighbors who look after the senior citizen of Hawkeye and his home.

Sires is an expert rug weaver operating a loom in the basement of his Hawkeye home. Rising early in the morning and retiring late at night, there are no slack moments for this 84 year old man, though there are lonely moments. "I’ll say I get lonely, around here. Losing my wife was a terrible blow to me. Towards the end, she was losing her eyesight and she and I would sit by the dining room table. I’d read the Bible to her. Then we’d say our prayers and go to bed, " recalls Sires, a tear forming in his right eye.

Able to quote Scripture at a tingle urging, this former second tenor in his church’s choir ideally fits the description of a Bible- thumper. When the end does come, St. Peter is going to welcome Roy Sires with open arms. Roy will probably be commissioned to weave a welcome mat outside the "pearly gates" and sing second-tenor in an all-angeI choir. That’s the vision one has of Roy Sires. Bible-thumping paid off.

~Oelwein Daily Register, Oelwein, IA, 30 March 1972

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Roy Sires Honored at Postville

The descendants of the three Sires brothers, James, Roy and Dan, gathered at Postville at the Memorial Hall on September 22 to surprise and honor Roy Sires of Hawkeye.

A potluck dinner was served at noon. A large cake decorated the head table with the inscription “Congratulations, Dad and Uncle Roy.”

A social hour was spent, with Tat Sires as master of ceremonies. Recordings of group singers were played. There were trumpet duets and group singing which ended the musical hour.

All families were introduced and pictures were taken with the guest of honor. Needless to say, a very pleasant afternoon was passed.

Attending were Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Grahlman, Mr. and Mrs. John May, Mr. Thomas Rocksvold, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald May, all of Clayton; Mr. and Mrs. Dervin Rocksvold of Prairie du Chien, Wisc.; Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Britain, Lincoln, Neb., Mr. and Mrs. Bert Pokorny, Joseph, Rick and Don, Havana, Illinois; Mr. and Mrs. Roy Thomas Sires, Waterloo; Mrs. Leo Edhe and Priscilla, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Grahlman, Postville; Mr. and Mrs. William Sires and Billy, Mr. and Mrs. Ron Stegen, Mark, Marty and Loren, all of Spring Grove, Minn.; Mr. and Mrs. William Behrends, Herbert, Marsha and Matt, Mr. and Mrs. Claude Grahlman, Mr. James May, Miss Alyce Gordon, Miss Gladys Sires, Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Gordon, Dawn, Wendy, Greg and David, all of Waukon; Mrs. Kathleen Brosius, Scott and Billy of Stoddard, Wisc.; Mr. and Mrs. Otis Britain, Mr. Ben Rosendahl, Dorchester; Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Middendorf, Caledonia, Minn.; Mr. Forrest Sires, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Sires, Mr. and Mrs. Cleon Sires, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Sires, Andy, Chad and Sarah Jane, Mr. and Mrs. Joel Sires and Joel Jr., Mrs. Alvin Sires and Mrs. Joe Crowley, all of New Albin.

Roy Sires was married to Lena Hahn, now deceased.

~Allamakee Journal, Lansing, IA, Sept. 1974

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Family and friends gathered for a potluck dinner Sunday, March 9 at the Farm Bureau building to celebrate the 92nd birthday of Roy Sires of Waukon.

Those attending were: Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Britain of Lincoln, NE; Mr. and Mrs. Glen Sanders of Nevada; Mr. and Mrs. James Sires of Marshalltown; Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Britain of Clear Lake, WI; Mr. and Mrs. Dervin Rocksvold and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Rocksvold and Annie of Prairie du Chien, WI; Mr. and Mrs. Ronald May and Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Grahlman of Clayton; Mrs. Clara White, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Jones, and Mr. and Mrs. Junior Kurth and David of Luana; Shelley Duncklee, Mr. and Mrs. Claude Grahlman, Lorraine Britain, Gladys Sires, Mr. and Mrs. James May and Jamie, Harold Britain, Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Herman, Mr. and Mrs. Stan Herman, Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Gordon, Greg and David, Mr. and Mrs. William Behrend, Herb, Marsha and Matthew, and Mrs. Pearl Ehde of Waukon; Mrs. Joe Crowley, Forrest Sires, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Sires and Joel Sires of New Albin; Mr. and Mrs. Bill Sires and Billy, Mr. and Mrs. Norval Britain and family, and Mr. and Mrs. Ron Stegen and family of Spring Grove, MN; Mr. and Mrs. Roy T. Sires of Waterloo, and the honored guest Roy Sires.

~Unknown Newspaper Clipping, March 1980

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Celebrates His 95th

Roy Sires celebrated his 95th birthday March 10 at his home in Waukon, with the following guests: Mr. and Mrs. James Sires of Marshalltown, Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Britain of Lincoln, NE, and Gladys Sires and Lorraine Britain of Waukon.

Sunday, March 13, a potluck dinner was held in his honor at the KC hall in Waukon. Eight of his nine children were there to help him celebrate: Sylvia May of Clayton; Goldie Rocksvold of Prairie du Chien, WI; James of Marshalltown; Opal Britain of Lincoln; Pearl Ehde and Emerald Grahlman of Waukon; Beryl Pokorny of Havana, IL and Roy T. Sires of Waterloo. Another son, Sardius Sires of Gleneden Beach, OR was unable to attend.

Other family members attending the dinner were: Mrs. James Sires, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Sires, Nannette and Jillisa Sires of Marshalltown, Mr. and Mrs. William Sires and Billy of Spring Grove, MN, Lowell Britain of Lincoln; Albert Pokorny of Havana, IL; Dervin Rocksvold and granddaughter Marianna Rocksvold, Prairie du Chien; Mrs. Deborah Jones, Julie and Justin, Luana; Mr. and Mrs. “Frosty" Sires, Mr. and Mrs. Cleon Sires, Mae Crowley and Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Middendorf of New Albin; and Mrs. Claude Grahlman, Gladys Sires, Lorraine Britain, Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Herman, Mr. and Mrs. Stan Herman, Mr. and Mrs. William Behrend, Herb, Marsha and Matthew, Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Gordon and David, Mr. and Mrs. James May, Jamie, Joey and Jon, and David Welsh, all of Waukon.

~newspaper clipping, March 1983

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The photo (below) of Roy Sires was taken at a 1982 Sires family reunion. A photo of Roy & his wife Lena is posted with his obituary.

Roy Sires obituary

Allamakee Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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