Nov. 21, 2016 – Iron Ridge, WI – Francis J. Merkes age 94 of Iron Ridge passed away Monday, November 21, 2016 at the Aurora Grafton Medical Center with his loving family by his side.
Francis was born on July 27, 1922 in the town of Rozellville, Wisconsin to Michael and Marie (nee Hennes) Merkes. He was a WWII veteran who proudly served in the United States Army with one year in Japan. He was united in marriage to Lucille H. Lackas on September 1, 1945 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Stratford, WI.
He was a mechanic for 38 years at Chrysler Outboard Motor Manufacturing. He was a member of the Hartford V.F.W. and American Legion Post #62 and #19. Francis was member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Woodland since 1951 where he also served as treasurer for 30 years.
He volunteered with the Woodland Fire Department and was a member of the trap shooting league for 30 years. Francis also was the President of the Hartford Eagles (Aerie 1954) and the Senior Citizens Club of Iron Ridge for 10 years. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, wood-work, and playing cribbage. Francis loved spending time with his family and their vacations, including traveling to Alaska 3 times, spending his 50th Wedding Anniversary in Jerusalem in 1995, and most recently went on the Honor Flight in November 2011.
Francis is survived by his 10 loving children, Mary Frances of West Bend, Alan Merkes of Slinger, Francis Jr. (Phyllis) Merkes of Rubicon, Paul (Sue) Merkes of Orlando, FL, Carl (Janet) Merkes of Juneau, Susan Merkes of Waukesha, Mark (Deb) Merkes of Waupun, Leo (Chris) Merkes of Horicon, Earl (Kenn) Merkes of Orlando, FL, and Michael Merkes of Burnett; 17 cherished grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; dear brother, Leon (Grace) Merkes of Alaska and half siblings, Bernice (Ray) Sawicky of AL, Sylvan (Ellsie) Kaiser of Glenhaven, WI, Roger (Eileen) Kaiser of Edgar, WI, Alvin Kaiser of Edgar, WI, Geraldine Peelman of Glenhaven, WI, and Ellen Marie (Charles) Neu of Neosho. He is further survived by many loved nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law, Henry and Caroline (nee Kaiser) Lackas; his beloved wife of 62 years, Lucille; dear grandson, “Sonny” Alan Merkes Jr. and great-grandsons, James Merkes and Avery Fluhr; half siblings, Raymond Merkes and Helen Dosch; many siblings-in-law; and daughter-in-law, Mary Lange.
Mass of Christian Burial for Francis will be held on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church (W1170 Rome Road Rubicon, WI 53078) with Fr. David LaPlante officiating. Family will greet relatives and friends at the church on Tuesday from 10:00a.m – 10:45a.m.
Additional visitation will be held Monday, November 28, 2016 from 3:00-8:00 p.m. at the Shimon Funeral Home (824 Union Street Hartford, WI 53027)
Internment in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Woodland, WI.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. John’s Catholic Church in Rubicon for Masses in Francis’ name are appreciated.