clipping from unknown newspaper

"Spider" Scherdin Meets Death in Parachute Jump

"Bound to Get It Sooner or Later," He had Told Reporter Few Days Before--Was Resident of Osceola Few Years Ago.

"Well, you know I'm bound to get it sooner or later," F. F. (Spider) Scherdin, former Osceola boy and famed parachute jumper, told newspaper reporters last week. Sunday afternoon "Spider" was dead. He "got his" in an attempted parachute jump, when the straps of his "chute" broke just after he had stepped over the edge of the cockpit of the plane flown by Franklin of Kirkwood, Ill. over the Burlington airport.

"Spider" made one of his last jumps over Osceola. He was here for the two-day celebration during the week of the Fourth and during that time made several jumps. He remarked at that time that his chute was becoming somewhat worn, according to reports. Until a few years ago he was a resident of this city when he moved to Burlington and started to work on the night shift in the C. B. & Q. railroad shops.

"Spider" barely escaped injury here during the celebration. He made a jump at low altitude and the parachute brought him almost directly down. He lit in a small tree between the Reinhart Furniture Store and the Hawkeye Lumber Company barely escaping being thrown against a garage.

Scherdin has nearly three hundred jumps to his credit. His career in this unusual hobby started when he was fourteen years of age when he made a jump from a balloon at a picnic at New Virginia. He jokingly accepted an offer of $150 to make the jump when the regular parachute man failed to appear and the man took him at his word.

He is survived by his wife and a small son. His wife is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Cook of this city and lived here all of her life until she moved to Burlington. He is the son of Dan Scherdin also of Osceola.

During the summer months "Spider" made leaps at fairs and homcomings but always managed to get back to Burlington in time for work at night. As a sideline he built houses. He built three houses since last fall without any help, two of which he sold and was living in the third.

Another parachute jumper is particularly mourning Spider's death. The is "Spot," Spider's dog, who like his master was a trained jumper. He has made a score or so jumps and was a feature here two weeks ago.

The body was brought to Osceola yesterday morning and funeral services were held that afternoon from the M. P. church. Members of the American Legion and Fire Department served as pallbearers. Interment was made in Maple Hill cemetery.

(Maple Hill records give his dates as 1895-1930)
Another story from Register's Special Iowa News Service and datelined Burlington -


This is the story of a man who has had more falls than the worst wrestler in the world, and who always came back for more.

F. F. (Spider) Scheridan of Burlington has made nearly 300 parachute leaps and still has time to work the night shift in the railroad shops here and build and sell houses as a sideline.

During the summer months, Scheridan makes leaps at fairs and homecomings, but always manages to get home in time for work. Since last fall he has built, without any help, three houses. He has sold two of them and lives in a third.

Trade, Sideline and Hobby

"Working at the shops is my trade, building houses is a sideline and you might call making parachute jumps my hobby," says Spider.

Spider made his first jump when he was 14. He is 33 now. It happened at New Virginia, Ia. at an old settlers' picnic. The featured balloon jumper had been killed and the owner of the old fashioned hot air balloon approached a crowd of youngsters, offering $150 to one of them to take the place of the man who had been killed.

"Spider" now says he was only joking when he accepted the offer. But the man took him, literally, and before he knew what was happening, "Spider" found himself several hunded feet above the gay crowd, lemonade stands and the free acts. He tried to recall the man's parting words of advice. "Well, here goes," he said and jumped out.

"Easy Money After That"

That was his start. "It was easy money after that," says Scheridan.

"My wife used to object to my jumping, but she's gotten over it now." When asked why he did not give up his other work and make jumping his vocation, he became thoughtful.

"Well, you see I know that I'm bound to get it sooner or later. We all get careless now and then. I've got a certain goal and I've got to leave that behind for the wife and kid."

Just Fate

While no other member of his family has taken up flying, Spider's dog, "Spot," has made nearly a score of leaps and has a specially made chute. Scheridan formerly lived in Osceola and recently stunted there, being the feature attraction.

As most flyers and darevils admit when "ground flying," the majority of the boys expect to get theirs in the air. "If we die in a crackup or in making aleap, it's not because of that. It's just fate and happens to all of us sooner or later," says "Spider."

from Osceola Sentinel, Thursday, Feb. 2, 1978

Stroy Services held January 27

Memorial services were held for Dr. H. E. Stroy of Osceola on Friday, January 27, at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Rev. R. W. Loose, Pastor of the church, led the worship service and preached the sermon on the theme, "The Heavenly Mansions." Dr. Stroy died at the home of his son, Dr. Donald Stroy of Council Bluffs, on Sunday January 22. A funeral service involving members of the immediate family was held in Council Bluffs on Wednesday, January 25, and interment was Thursday, January 26, at the local cemetery.

Dr. Stroy was born in Murdock, Nebraska, on March 29, 1898 to Mr. and Mrs. John Stroy. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church and attended Lutheran parochial school during his early elementary years. He remained a member of the Lutheran Church throughout the years, and was instrumental in the founding and development of the local Lutheran Church.

Dr. Stroy was married March 27, 1923. He is survived by his wife, Marvel (Trojan) Stroy, two children, a son Dr. Donald Stroy (wife, Dorothy), a daughter, Donna Goo (husband, Ben) of Scottsdale, Arizona; five grandchildren, Cindy, Jim and David Stroy, Eric and Tai Goo, and one sister, Clara Henderson of Winter Haven, Florida. Preceding him in death were his parents, a brother and a sister.

Dr. Stroy served the Osceola community as a medical doctor for over 50 years. During this time he also served on the State Board of Health for 20 years (1934-1954), the longest tenure of any doctor in the state. Locally he has served a number of years on the school board and in many voluntary capacities with the medical profession.

William "Tick" Moran has worked as Dr. Stroy's technician and custodian for the past 25 years, and Mrs. Estella Moran has worked as Dr. Stroy's nurse since 1933.

The family suggests that memorials be designated for Immanuel Lutheran Church.