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Darel Sterner held on through the dramatic ending because he had waited for decades for the Chicago Cubs jerseys to win a World Series.

On Wednesday night during Game 7, his family surrounded him, whispering the score in his ear. Three hours later, he died. They believe he is in heaven celebrating.

Sterner, 85, of West Liberty was a well known barber in town, running his shop for 61 years. A Cubs jerseys banner hung on the wall and many ballgames of near misses and stubborn hopes were analyzed between the snaps of the shears.

was an ornery cuss. He played pranks on everybody that came in there, said his son Durk, of Sterner Barber Shop, in downtown West Liberty. stories that came in and out of that place a lot of we never hear. took his family to games in Chicago through the years and they adopted his passion. The family of uncles and cousins and kids would regularly gather on Sunday afternoons to watch the Cubs jerseys game.

Sterner brought his 1900 barber chair and Cubs jerseys banner to his West Liberty home when he closed the downtown shop and continued to cut hair in his basement for the last 20 years.

Each year, Sterner hoped for better for the Cubs jerseys while lowering ears.

He suffered a stroke the day before Christmas last year, and while it slowed his work, it didn squelch his enthusiasm for this year team. He really liked those boys, especially .

His health faded as the playoffs wore on, and the family gathered in his home as he took hospice care. By Game 7 of the World Series, he was drifting in and out.

Donna Sterner, his wife of 62 years, was there to watch the deciding game, as were children Durk and Darla, Durk wife Jill and their two adult children, Holli and Nick. A few feet away in the bedroom, Darel had his own TV near the bed, the Cubs jerseys game against the Cleveland Indians jerseys roaring in his ears.

The broadcast on his TV was delayed a few seconds, so the family silently cheered each pitch in the next room. They checked on Sterner as he drifted out, whispering the score in his ear. Hospice workers told them that hearing was the last thing to go.

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