Dr. Michael K. Eberle, DVM

Dr. Michael K. Eberle died peacefully at home on September 14, 2020, at the age of 73, with Paula Feltner, his wife of 46 years, at his bedside, following a period of illness during which many friends and family had the opportunity to say goodbye to him. Michael was born in Clinton, Iowa, on November 11, 1946, the oldest of five children. He is survived by his wife, brothers Steve Eberle (Leah), Terry Eberle (Susan) and sisters Sherri Klassi (Larry) and Debbie Huff (Don), his many nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as his sister-in-law, Dr. Isobel Osius, his lifelong brother-in-fact Richard Hodges and his wife Kathleen, and the family he fervently chose to cherish, Kevin, Lauren and Kennedy Patrick and their extended family members.

Michael always stated that he felt himself to be fortunate in his life, to spend his life with the woman he loved above all else and to be able to do so many of the things he loved with the people he cherished throughout his life. One of his earliest loves was athletics and he began an outstanding sports career in grade school in Clinton, playing football, baseball and basketball, and going on to letter in all three sports in high school. As a senior, he was recruited by several universities; his sense of adventure led him to choose an athletic scholarship at the University of Wyoming where he played both basketball and baseball during the years 1964 to 1969. His basketball career was distinguished by numerous honors, including all-conference honors each year, serving as team captain as a senior, becoming the seventh player in Wyoming history to score over 1,000 career points, receiving a team MVP award, being selected for the North-South All-Star game, winning the Admiral Land award for outstanding student athlete, being chosen for the all-American first team, being selected for the NCAA District all-American team and being chosen for the Look Magazine all-American team. In 2019, Michael’s athletic accomplishments were forever memorialized in his induction to both his high school’s and University’s Hall of Fame.

Wyoming also gifted Michael with the great love of his life. He met his wife-to-be, Paula Feltner who also attended the University and was a year behind him in graduation. After graduation, Michael was hired to coach the Freshman Basketball Team at the University of Wyoming and was drafted by two basketball teams including the Los Angeles Stars (now Utah) & the San Francisco Rockets (now Houston), and was also invited to the Yankees summer camp for baseball. However, at the same time, a competing employer appeared and the couples’ plans were put on hold when Michael was drafted by Uncle Sam. Coming from a family who served, Michael answered the call. Michael completed Airborne and Ranger training and served in the U.S. Army for three years as Battery Commander, Field Artillery, 3rd Armored Division. He also played on both the Army basketball and baseball teams, leading both to Battery Division championships.

After Michael was honorably discharged in 1972, Michael spent a year in Kentucky where Paula was finishing graduate school and returned to Iowa to continue his education at the Iowa State University Veterinary Medicine School, graduating in 1980 with the Upjohn Award for Clinical Proficiency. Upon graduation, Michael made his home with Paula in Des Moines, where he owned and operated a small-animal practice, Eberle Animal Hospital, until retiring in 2017. His work as a veterinarian was also a source of great satisfaction for him; he loved by his clients and hopefully was loved by their owners. He also began a career of community service which lasted until his death. He was a member of the Des Moines Veterinary Medical Association, serving as President in 1983-1985, founded the annual Dog-Jog fundraiser for the Animal Rescue League, served as chair of the Legislative Committee for the State Veterinary Medicine Association for four years, sat on the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for nine years, during which he chaired the board for six years, was a board member and president of Wakonda Golf Club, served as a board member for the Des Moines Center for Performing Arts, acted as president of the Friends of Des Moines Parks, founding their annual fundraiser, Fore the Parks, and being named Volunteer of the Year by the Parks Board. He was a board member for the University of Wyoming Alumni Association and their Midwest representative for three years, board president for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa for nine years, as well as heading their fundraising drive for construction of the first Central Iowa brick facility.

Retirement was another enjoyable phase in Michael’s life. He enjoyed traveling, both domestically and abroad, following sports, fishing, hiking, biking, playing golf as often as possible and of course spending his time with beloved family and friends, as well as volunteering. He particularly loved watching Kevin and Lauren building their new life in Des Moines and watching Kennedy develop, grow and thrive.

Because of the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, there will be no services at this time. Instead, the extended family will announce and hold a celebration of life at a later time when people are able to gather more freely. The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude friends that made his life so happy and full to the very end of his life and his caretakers during his illness, especially, Maria Nieto and Gonzalo Guittierez and their family who he loved dearly and were always there for him, Cindy Jordan from Home Instead, as well as the Sun Crest hospice team and his beloved Dr. Yogesh Shaw. If you wish to commemorate Michael, donations may be sent to The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, The Friends of Des Moines Parks, The Companion Animal Fund at Iowa State Veterinary School, Broadlawns Medical Center, or Iowa Public Television.

Service Details

Because of the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, there will be no services at this time. Instead, the extended family will announce and hold a celebration of life at a later time when people are able to gather more freely.
Final Disposition
Hamilton's Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
(515) 243-5221

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