The first Cubs fan in heaven to report the score of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series was Darel Sterner, and boy was there a raucous celebration up there.
Sterner, 85, of West Liberty, Iowa, ran a barber shop for 61 years — the final 20 from the basement of his home. He brought in his favorite barber chair from his shop — made in 1900, eight years before the Cubs’ previous World Series win.
But Sterner suffered a stroke on 2015, and his health had been on the decline ever since. He was in hospice care when the World Series began, and during Game 7 his family gathered around him to keep him apprised of the score.
He hung on to hear the final, 8-7 … and died three hours later.
“They won,” his son Durk said in his ear. “The Cubs won the World Series!”
It’s a moment, Durk said, that will stay with him forever.
“We all believe he is in heaven, one of the first Cubs fans there to see them win the World Series before passing away,” Durk said.
A Cubs’ World Series champion T-shirt will be placed in his coffin, and Monday he will buried with it.