Donald Lee Merk (1936 - 2016)

Obituary
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The Celebration of Life Memorial Service for Donald L. Merk, 80, were conducted by Pastor Steve Daiker on Saturday afternoon April 22, 2017, at 2 p.m.. at the Ross Calvary United Methodist Church in Ross. A private family interment of the cremains will be in the Hamlin Lutheran Cemetery east of Hamlin, at a later date.
Donald Lee Merk, the son of Raymond and Marie S. (Koenig) Merk, was born Aug. 4, 1936, at his parents' home in rural Audubon County, and died Dec. 21, 2016, at the Friendship Home in Audubon, at the age of 80 years, 4 months, and 17 days.
Don was baptized and confirmed at the Ross Calvary United Methodist Church in Ross. He attended rural Audubon County schools then graduated from the Audubon High School with the Class of 1955. Don then attended Iowa State University where he studied agriculture. He returned to Audubon and farmed with his father. In 1957 he was awarded the American Farmer Degree by the Future Farmers of America.
On Dec. 16, 1962, he was united in marriage to Linda Northup at the Hamlin Lutheran Church in Hamlin. They were blessed with three children Stephen, Paul, and Jennifer. They purchased the family farm where they grew row crops and raised livestock for many years until Don had to retire due to his failing health. In the summer of 2000, he entered the Salem Lutheran Home in Elk Horn, where he lived for a short time then moved to the Heritage House in Atlantic, and finally settled in the Friendship Home in Audubon.
Don was an active member of the Ross Calvary United Methodist Church in Ross. He taught Sunday school and volunteered on several committees. When he was younger he had served in the Army National Guard for eight years. Don was a long time member of the Farm Bureau. Next to his family, farming was the second most important part of his life.
Preceding him in death was his son Stephen Merk; his parents; his sister Edith Fiscus; his brother Leroy Merk and his father-in-law and mother-in-law Dick and Evelyn Northup.
Survivors include his wife Linda Merk of Audubon; his children Paul and wife Penny Merk of Audubon, and Jennifer and husband David Govek of Seattle, Wash.; his grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Zack and wife Jen Merk and their daughters Aurora and Hannah Merk all of Little Canada, Minn., Jessica and husband Justin Kramer and their daughters Grace and Lucy Kramer all of Lone Rock, Wisc., and Rachel and husband Ryan Schaden and their daughters Nora and Hazel Schaden all of Stillwater, Minn.; his step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren: Tash and husband B.J. Poe and their children Kali and Kael Poe all of Solon, Misty and husband Mike Austin of North Liberty, and Tiffani and husband Paul Altvater and their son Uriah Altvater all of Littleton, Colo.; Susan Merk of Eau Clair, Wisc., Brenda and husband Roger Hansen of Ames; his brother Norman and wife Venita Merk of Audubon; his brother-in-law Larry and wife Sherry Northup of Ames; his sisters-in-law Mary and husband Colin Leist of West Des Moines, and Sharlene Merk of Audubon; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Apr. 28 to May 5, 2017
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