Frank “Jerry” “Gizzi” Merkel

SEARLES – Frank “Jerry” “Gizzi” Merkel, 73, of Searles, died Friday, March 14, 2014 at his home in Searles.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m., Thursday, March 20 at Redeemer Lutheran Church in New Ulm with Pastor Grant Bode officiating.

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday and 7:30-8 a.m. Thursday at the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home, NORTH CHAPEL, in New Ulm and will continue for one hour prior to the time of service at the church on Thursday. To leave an online condolence or to sign the guest book for his family go to

Jerry is survived by his wife, Deanna Merkel of Searles; sons and daughter-in-law, Joe and Stacy Merkel of New Ulm, Brett Merkel and special friend, Nicole Emerson of New Ulm; four grandchildren, Riley, Tanner, Brooke, Madelyn; sister, Clara Lee (Earl) Hebeisen of Plymouth; brother, James Merkel of Renville; brother-in-law, Ron Rutjes of Mankato; nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Don and Jack Merkel.

Frank Jerome Merkel was born on January 18, 1941 in Gaylord to Frank Joseph and Ellen Charlotte (Allanson) Merkel. He graduated from Gaylord High School with the class of 1959. On May 15, 1965, Jerry was united in marriage to Deanna Sue Rutjes in Mankato. Jerry worked for Bob Dittrich Trucking for many years, then for Wayne Transport and Hoffman Construction until his retirement. He was a hard worker who enjoyed reading, fishing, and hunting. In his younger years, Jerry also enjoyed snowmobiling and working on old cars. Recently, Jerry found much pleasure in spending time with his four grandchildren.

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