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Services for Earl Stottler, MSUM's first national wrestling champ

Services have been announced for Earl Stottler, Minnesota State Moorhead's first national wrestling champ, who died in his home Saturday. He was 76.

Earl Stottler
Visitation will be held Friday, May 19 from 5 - 7 p.m. at Minnewaska Lutheran Church in Starbuck, Minn., as well as one hour prior to the funeral service Saturday, May 20 at 1 p.m. at Fron Lutheran Church in Starbuck.

Stottler won the 123-pound title at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) national wrestling champions in 1961, becoming the Dragons' first national titlewinner in the sport.

Earl Lester Stottler was born in November 1940 on a farm near Clontarf, Minn. He was a Minnesota state wrestling champion at Princeton High School as a senior in 1958. Stottler went on to wrestle for the University of Minnesota, then at what was then called Moorhead State College in Moorhead, where he made history by claiming the wrestling program's first national crown.

After graduating from North Dakota State University in 1969, Stottler began his teaching career, first in Milbank, S.D., then in Starbuck, where he taught and was head wrestling coach and assistant football coach for many years. In 1986, health concerns forced Stottler to give up coaching, but he continued to teach until his retirement in 1996.

Stottler was welcomed into a number of Halls of Fame, including the David Bartelma MWCA (Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association) Hall of Fame, MSUM Athletics Dragons Hall of Fame, and the Minnesota Chapter of NWCA (National Wrestling Coaches Association) Hall of Fame.

Stottler is survived by his wife of 54 years, Kathleen; two sons; four grandchildren; and six siblings.

Condolences may be posted at the funeral home website.

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