Merlin Victor Imoehl, 84, of Decorah, IA, formerly of Luana, IA, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, November 10, 2017, at Barthell OES Home. Merlin was born on May 27, 1933, to Frank and Angela (Hageman) Imoehl of Festina, IA. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Lady of Seven Dolors in Festina, where he also graduated from the eighth grade. After school, he helped on the family farm before serving in the U.S. Army from January 27, 1954, to January 12, 1956 in Heidelberg, Germany. During his service, Merlin obtained his G.E.D.
On June 1, 1957, he was joined in marriage with Anita Evelyn Reicks at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in St. Lucas, IA. They farmed together near Festina until 1962 when they purchased their farm by Luana and dedicated themselves to building their farm and raising their family. In 1990, they moved to Postville, IA, and then to Decorah, IA, in 2008. Even after retirement, Merlin was often found on the family farm during the planting and harvesting seasons.
Merlin valued many things, with God, family and farming at the top of the list. He was never one to turn down a card game, share a joke with friends or trade philosophies on life. To many he was a soft-spoken man with an easy smile. Merlin enjoyed softball in his younger years, fishing (though he rarely found the time) and golfing. He loved music, and often whistled while he worked in a way that sounded like a baby bird chirping. Merlin wished he had learned to play an instrument, but he made up for that with singing and dancing, and he especially loved to polka. He was always willing to lend a hand, enjoyed coffee with friends, riding his bicycle to visit buddies at Eastern Star, and drives through the countryside to look at farms and the progress of crops. He was a proud, humble man who tried to live honestly and do what was right.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 60 years, Anita of Decorah, IA; six children Cheryl (Martin) Evans of Bloomington, MN, Linda (Gary) Hooper of Luana, IA, Donna Imoehl of Eden Prairie, MN, Ellen Imoehl of Decorah, IA, Bob (Denise) Imoehl of Luana, IA, and Beth (Scott) Feickert of Bloomington, IN; seven grandchildren Alison (Austin) Warren, Zyann Hooper, Kara Hooper, Brandon Imoehl, Grant Imoehl, Seth Feickert, and Greta Feickert; great-granddaughter Crosby Warren; brother Nilus Imoehl; brother and spouse Laverne and Leonilla Imoehl; sister Corrina Steinlage; and sisters-in-law Alvina Imoehl and Arlene Wilusz.
Merlin was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Angela (Hageman) Imoehl; parents-in-law James “Jake” and Eleanor (Busche) Reicks; brothers Jerome Imoehl and Ralph Imoehl; sisters and their spouses Valeria and Gordian Lensing, and Eleanora and Guido “Pete” Franzen; brother-in-law Leo Steinlage; and sister-in-law Jeanette Imoehl.
Visitation will be Friday, Nov. 17, from 4 to 8 p.m., with a 4 p.m. rosary and 7 p.m. Scripture service at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Monona. There also will be a one-hour visitation before Mass at the church on Saturday.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Monona, with the Rev. Phillip Gibbs as celebrant. Burial will follow at St. Patrick Catholic Church Cemetery, Monona.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Winneshiek Medical Center Home Health and Hospice, WMC Rehab Department, Barthell OES Home and St. Benedicts Church, Decorah, Iowa.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Monona, is helping the family with arrangements.