Merly M. Duerst

Merlyn M. Duerst

Merlyn M. Duerst, loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather passed away peacefully on August 31, 2013. He was born April 12, 1922 to the late Margaret S. (Itten) and the late John M. Duerst in New Glarus, Wisconsin. He graduated from New Glarus High School in 1940.

Claire Ehinger and Merlyn Duerst were united in marriage on June 9, 1946 at the United Church of Christ in New Glarus.

He served in World War II in the Army attached to the 9th Air Force in England, France, and Germany.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree from U.W. Platteville and his masters degree in guidance from U.W. Madison. He completed additional studies at Ripon College, U.W. Milwaukee, U.W. Green Bay, and the University of Minnesota.


Mr. Duerst was a teacher, coach and guidance counselor for Kiel High School for 34 years. He also developed the guidance program from kindergarten through high school. Merlyn was a member of the National Education Association, Wisconsin Education Association, Kiel Education Association, American Personnel and Guidance Association, American School Counselor Association, and the Wisconsin Personnel and Guidance Association.

He was a member of St. Peter United Church of Christ having served on the consistory for four years.

He was a member of the Kiel Kiwanis Club since 1968, Past Distinguished President, and received one of Kiwanis' highest honors (Nixon Fellowship Award) he also served as secretary for many years.

Merlyn served on the Board of Directors of the Kiel Area Association of Commerce and was its President in 1967.

Merlyn was an avid Chicago Cub fan since 1934 and enjoyed Badger football and basketball.

He is survived by one son, Jim (Gail) Duerst of Sarasota, FL, one daughter, Jane (Don) Reid of Neenah, grandsons, Matthew and Michael Reid, Steven Duerst, and granddaughter, Jenna Duerst.

He was preceded in death by his dear wife, Claire, whom he shared sixty-one years of marriage, in 2007.

Funeral services for Merlyn will be held at 2:00pm, on Thursday September 5, 2013at Meiselwitz-Vollstedt Funeral Home, 815 6th Street, Kiel, with pastor Fred Coleman officiating. Military graveside services by Kiel VFW Post 6707 and burial will take place in the Kiel City Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home from 12:00 (noon) until the time of service.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for the Kiel Public Library.

Online condolences at


Funeral Home

Meiselwitz-Vollstedt Funeral Home - Kiel
815 6th St. Kiel, WI 53042

Published in Sheboygan Press on Sept. 2, 2013