Sterling Duane "Buddy" Fjerstad, 88, passed away peacefully Sunday, June 9, 2019, in Deer River surrounded by his loved ones. He was born on June 1, 1931, to Selmer and Emma (Langseth) Fjerstad and grew up on the family farm in Hayfield. In 1952-1954, Sterling enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as an ambulance driver stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, Gibbs Barrecks, 4th Infantry Division during the Korean War. He married Shirley Ann Steile on Aug. 13, 1955, in the Little Brown Church.

Sterling was a man of many faculties during his lifetime. They lived in West St. Paul, where he worked road construction. They then moved to Stewartville, where he owned a Tastee-Freez restaurant. In 1970, they moved to St. Francis, where he owned several businesses before becoming a real estate business broker.

Sterling purchased a cabin on Sand Lake in Squaw Lake, Minn., and eventually moved to Coleraine, Minn., where he continued his real estate career. Upon selling his cabin on Sand Lake, he purchased another cabin on Little Sand Lake, where he enjoyed many sunsets on the porch.

He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing and camping with family and friends. He loved country music, playing his guitar, singing, and would gladly pick a song for anyone who would ask. He loved his family, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and often said holding a child in your arms is as close to Heaven as you can get. Children would bring a wonderful smile and happiness to his heart.

Sterling is survived by two sons, Neal (Kelly) and Gregory; two daughters, Benita and Karrie (Frank) Prebeck; grandchildren, Amanda (Mike) Erke, Emily, Jesse (Amanda) Hoffmeister, Justin Gully, Felicia (Nick) Loney and Fallon (Zack) Ratzlow; and 10 great-grandchildren.He is also survived by brothers, Donald (Mickey) and Kenneth (Barb); sisters, Betty Andrist, Glenda (Paul) Flores and Judy (Gary) Lorimore; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; sister, LaVonne; and brothers, Richard and Farrell.

"Go rest high on that mountain. Son your work on earth is done. Go to heaven a-shoutin' Love for the Father and the Son."

Visitation will be at 1 p.m. Saturday July 20, at the Carroll Funeral Home in Deer River. Service will follow at 2 p.m.

Burial Service to be held at 1 p.m. July 27, at the Hayfield American Legion Post, Hayfield, where he will be laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery in Hayfield.

Arrangements by Carroll Funeral Home, Deer River and Bigfork.