Cover photo for Kenneth H. Merkel's Obituary
Kenneth H. Merkel Profile Photo

Kenneth H. Merkel

December 30, 1942 — June 22, 2023

Kenneth H. Merkel


Gretna -

Kenneth Henry Merkel, 80, loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, relative, and friend was surrounded by his loving family when he entered into eternal rest on Thursday, June 22, 2023. He was born December 30, 1942, at the family farm near Menominee, Nebraska to Lawrence and Madeline (Kathol) Merkel. He attended a country school through the 8th grade and graduated from Crofton High School in 1960.

In his early years, Ken enjoyed playing baseball, pool, cards and poker club, shuffleboard as well as bowling, golfing, hunting, fishing and going to dances. He worked in construction after high school. He met Barbara Eggerling in 1963 and they were married June 9, 1964. The couple lived on a farm near Menominee and in Norfolk, Stanton, Crofton and Gretna. In 1971 he opened Merkel’s bar in Stanton, Nebraska. He worked hard to restore and build a thriving business in the community. He thoroughly loved and enjoyed serving and visiting with his patrons.

In 1974, Ken was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). His passion in life then shifted to helping others fight MS. During this time, he was president of the MS Support Group in Norfolk. He spearheaded, organized and was a successful fundraiser for the Annual MS Walk for many years.   

Ken was a devout Catholic and faith was always at the center of everything in his life. He was very active in the Cursillo Movement. He worked many of these weekends and found joy cooking meals for the people making a Cursillo weekend. He was an active member and volunteered many hours with the Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree. Additionally, he was very active with the annual white elephant sale at Sacred Heart Parish.

Ken had a passion for life and his family; he loved his beloved wife, five children and their families. He had a wonderful sense of humor. He fought MS 49 years, never giving up nor complained. His fight and spirit was/is an inspiration to all who were honored to know and love him. He loved his trucks, watching westerns, reading western books, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He so enjoyed hunting with his sons over the years. He took pride in his workshop and made many amazing wood toys and projects over the years. He planned many adventurous camping trips and vacations. He was an incredible role model and instilled his values, such as work ethic and faith, in all his children.

Ken leaves behind his wife, Barbara, son and daughter-in-law Mark and Janette Merkel of Kansas City, Kansas; son and daughter-in-law Brian and Jenni Merkel of Chuluota, Florida; son and daughter-in-law Keith and Peggy Merkel of Lincoln, Nebraska; daughter and son-in-law Pam and Brian Foral of Omaha, Nebraska; daughter and son-in-law Shelly and Don Evans of Omaha, Nebraska and 9 grandchildren: Caroline and Jake Merkel; Allie (Blake) Altermatt and Brock Merkel; Brady and Kaitlin Foral; Corbin (Bethany) Merkel, Alexis and Chase Evans. Great grandchildren: Lucas and Emery Merkel. Sister Joyce Gentrup of Hartington, Nebraska; brother Dennis (Bev) Merkel of Yankton, South Dakota; Dale (Marianne) Merkel of Crofton, Nebraska; Dean (Karen) Merkel of Kansas City, Missouri; John (Linda) Dickes of Anoka, Minnesota; Jan (Kevin) Sivertson of Yankton, South Dakota; 48 nieces and nephews.

Ken was proceeded in death by his beloved parents Lawrence and Madeline Merkel, and Raymond Dickes; father and mother-in-law John and Clara Eggerling; granddaughter Josephina Foral; brother Lawrence Merkel; brother Ronnie Merkel; and brother-in-law Robert Gentrup.



Visitation Tuesday 5:00 - 7:00 PM with Vigil Service 7:00 PM at Roeder Mortuary. Funeral Service 10:00 AM Wednesday (6/28/23) at St. Patrick Catholic Church 508 Angus St. Gretna, NE. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.  Memorials to the family to be determined later.



Roeder Mortuary, Inc. - Gretna Chapel

11710 Standing Stone - Gretna, NE - 402-332-0090

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