Merle Lee Oelke passed away peacefully at home, just before dawn on March 12, 2021 surrounded by family. After a two year battle with Lewy Body Dementia, he is at his eternal home with Jesus.
Private Memorial Service held at Freshwater Church in Waconia. In lieu of flowers memorials preferred to Park Nicollet Hospice https://secure3.convio.net/pnfou/site/Donation2?df_id=1904&1904.donation=form1&mfc_pref=T
Merle was born in Wausau, WI and played basketball at UW-LaCrosse where he met his cherished bride Liz. They recently celebrated 43 years of marriage. His quiver full of blessings included eleven and counting grandchildren. He was most full of joy spending time with his family.
Merle is preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Mae Oelke; sister, Laurie Hardinger; father-in-law, Richard Bernthal; brother-in-law, T. Kenneth Lewis.
Merle is survived by his loving family: wife, Elizabeth Oelke of Chanhassen; children, Jaime (Rodney) Simmons of St. Augustine, FL, Nick (Cara) Oelke of St. Paul, Katy (Justin) Sudlow of Carver, Allie (Liam) Dawson of St. James; grandchildren, Josiah Oelke, Micah Oelke, Isaac Oelke, Mya Simmons, Jase Sudlow, Quinn Dawson, Mary Oelke, Mariah Simmons, Isabelle Sudlow, Priscilla Oelke, Ryleigh Dawson and counting; sisters, Nyla Lewis and Nadine Oelke; brother, Verlyn (Kathy) Oelke; mother-in-law, Alice Bernthal; other relatives and many dear friends.
One of Merle's favorite Bible verses is Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Arrangements with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia. 952-442-2121 www.johnsonfh.com