Merle J. Schwarten, 86, of Wakefield, Nebraska died on Friday, August 14, 2015 at the Wisner Care Center in Wisner, NE. Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at Salem Lutheran Church in Wakefield; Pastor Barbara Hansen will be officiating. The visitation will be held on Monday from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m, with a brief prayer service at 7:00, at the Bressler – Munderloh – Smith Funeral Home in Wakefield. Burial with military honors will be in the Wakefield Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation.
Merle was born on August 6, 1929 in Wakefield, Nebraska, the son of Charles and Anna (Gradert) Schwarten. He attended Wakefield High School, graduating in 1947. On August 17, 1951, he was united in marriage to Lois Stipp at Papillion, NE. In 1951, Merle entered the United States Army serving during the Korean War. Merle and Lois lived in Wakefield where Merle owned and operated a gas station and a tank wagon service, delivering fuel to farmers. He later drove school bus, worked at CVA, Salmon Well, helped many farmers, and was the church custodian. On September 13, 1996, Lois passed away. On November 14, 1998, he was united in marriage to Mae (Salmon) Pearson.
Merle was an avid fisherman, hunter, bowler, loved to play baseball in his younger years and watch Legion baseball. He enjoyed baking and was known to have the best rye bread in town. He enjoyed traveling, watching Husker volleyball and football, spending time with family and friends, visiting and playing cards. He was a member of the American Legion Anton Bokemper Post #81, a lifelong member of Salem Lutheran Church, and an active community member.
He is survived by his wife Mae of Wakefield, sons, Randy (Christine) Still of Denver CO, Doug Schwarten of Lincoln, NE, and a daughter Kathy (Randy) Bird of Wayne, NE, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He is also survived by a daughter-in-law, Vickie (Mike) Loofe of Wakefield and sister-in-law Betty Schwarten of Wakefield.
Merle was preceded in death by his parents, wife Lois, son Brad Schwarten, granddaughter Megan Schwarten, and his brother Weldon Schwarten.