A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in St. Joseph, for Merl A. Gretsch, age 83, of St. Joseph. Merl passed away peacefully, with family at his side, on January 2, 2011 at the Talahi Care Center in St. Cloud. Burial will be 2 p.m. Friday, January 7 at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls with full military honors.
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Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Joseph. Parish prayers will be held at 6 p.m. followed by the American Legion Post 328 ritual at 7 p.m. and St. Joseph's Lions Club ritual at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday.
Merl was born March 4, 1927 in Albany, MN to Ferdinand and Ann (Litchy) Gretsch. He entered the U.S. Navy and served during WWII in Sicily and the South Pacific. He was involved in two atomic bomb tests. He married Fay Coe on September 14, 1948 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in St. Rosa. He owned and operated Gretsch Barber Shop in St. Joseph for 55 years and retired in 2008. He was a member of St. Joseph Parish, Lions Club and American Legion Post 328. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, golfing and wood carving.
Merl is survived by his daughters Linda (Nick) Prom of Sauk Rapids, Nancy Gretsch of St. Cloud and Gail (Brian) Bloch of Waite Park, six grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, brothers Leon (Maxine) of Bigfork and Duane (Joyce) of Richmond.
Preceding him in death were his parents, wife Fay (2002), son Mark, infant daughter, brother Ervin and sister Gerleen Warzecha.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Talahi Care Center for the wonderful care Merl received during his stay.
Published in the St. Cloud Times on Jan. 4, 2011