Merlin D Wenger, 87, of Sabetha, Kansas was born on November 9, 1932, in Sabetha, Kansas. He was the son of Solomon and Lydia (Brunner) Wenger. Merlin was raised on the family farm northwest of Sabetha and attended Sabetha Public Schools. He graduated from Sabetha High School with the class of 1950.
Merlin entered active duty in the U.S. Army on February 9, 1955 where he took basic training at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas and transferred to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was honorably discharged on February 8, 1957. Following military service, he returned to Sabetha where he mostly farmed and performed handyman services the rest of his life. Merlin was an active member of the Church of Christ, Kiwanis, and NEK-CAP.
On April 21, 1955, Merlin was united to Mavis Marie Edelman, daughter of Emma and Jake Edelman. This union birthed three daughters: Cynthia Marie, Anne Melissa and Mary Jane, whom all were approximately five years apart. The Wenger and Edelman families regularly visited on the farm together. They grew their own produce, farmed their livestock, shared chores, and life lessons. The elders preferred to speak German so little ears couldn’t ask questions. Life on the farm was bountiful as were the memories made. Unfortunately, tragedy struck as Mavis lost her battle with cancer on October 21, 1973. Years later Merlin married Fern Adele Fisher on September 5,1976. The two raised Anne and Mary, as Cindy was grown up ready to marry that same year. Fern and Merlin enjoyed becoming grandparents together. Merlin shared his craftmanship skills, squeaky clean jokes and a memorable laugh—a-hee-hee-hee!. Fern loved to sing at the Church of Christ, teach Sabetha Fifth graders, and she too, loved Merlin’s corny jokes. Speaking of corn, Merlin and Fern would register their corn sheller into the Sabetha Rodeo Parade annually—an event their grandchildren were eager to spectate. Their 24-year marriage came to an end as Fern passed away on October 17, 2000. Merlin was later united in marriage to Retta Moore in September 2004. The couple spent fifteen years together traveling across the U.S. and visiting their grown families. Retta passed away April 27, 2019.
On Friday, July 31, 2020, Merlin was called home to his Father’s House. He took his last breath while being cared for at the Midland Hospice House in Topeka, Kansas. Merlin’s faith in Christ, is the reassurance his family needs, knowing their Dad is where he is meant to be.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Vernon Wenger, sister Alda Spellmeier, brother-in-law Alvin Spellmeier, and son-in-law Mike Rowland.
Merlin is survived by his daughters: Cindy (Bruce) Snyder of Sabetha, KS; Anne Rowland of Sabetha, KS; Mary Heier of Eudora, KS; grandchildren: Jeff Snyder of Sabetha, KS; Crystal (Nick) Painter of Topeka, KS; Kayla (Jason) Hubbard of Olathe, KS; Ashli (Kyle) Niehues of Kelly, KS; Tyler (Jennifer) Rowland of Sabetha, KS; Kaitlyn Heier of Ames, IA; Hunter Heier of Eudora, KS; five great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Beverly Wenger of Sabetha, KS; and many other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
A “Drive-Through” visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, August 21, 2020, on the east side of the Church of Christ in Sabetha.
Private Family Memorial Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 22, 2020, at The Church of Christ, 310 Oregon Street, in Sabetha, Kansas with Don Fischer officiating. A livestream broadcast of the service can be seen at www.wherrymortuary.com or Wherry Mortuary Facebook page.
Inurnment will be at the Sabetha Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Sabetha Church of Christ or the Sabetha EMS.
Honorary Pallbearers are Jeff Snyder, Tyler Rowland, Hunter Heier, Nick Painter, Jason Hubbard and Kyle Niehues.
Condolences can be shared online at www.wherrymortuary.com.
Services entrusted to Wherry Mortuary-207 Nemaha ST.-Humboldt, Nebraska 68376 (402) 862-2915.
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