Merle Eggen

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 29, 2009

Merle Russell Eggen, age 80, of Mankato, Minn., formerly of San Antonia, Texas passed away on Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, at the Hillcrest Health Care Center in Mankato. 

Merle was born on July 6, 1929, on the family farm in Otranto Township, Mitchell County, Iowa, the son of Walter R. and Clarise M. (Hanson) Eggen. Merle was baptized at the Mona Lutheran Church in Mona, Iowa and was confirmed at the Six Mile Grove Lutheran Church in Lyle, Minn., where his great-grandfather was a pastor.   Merle attended elementary school in Pine Hurst and graduated from Lyle High School in Lyle in 1947. 

Following his graduation, Merle attended the Dunwoody Institute for two years prior to entering the United States Army in February 1951.  While in the service, Merle was stationed in Korea and was honorably discharged in February 1953.  After being discharged , Merle returned home to Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota where he earned his Electrical Engineer degree.

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On Sept. 13, 1958, Merle was united in marriage to Eunice Zieman in Fairmont, Minn.  Together the couple made their home in Wisconsin where Merle was employed with Wisconsin Energy for 34 years.  Following their retirement, Merle and Eunice moved to San Antonio where they lived until Eunice passed away in September of this year.  After her death, Merle came to Mankato to be closer to family.

In his spare time, Merle enjoyed photography and working on stain glass.  He was a perfectionist and took great pride in working on home improvement projects.  Merle and Eunice loved their dogs and for many years raised show dogs.  The couple celebrated 51 years of marriage together just prior to Eunice’s passing.

Left to cherish his memory is a sister: Beverly Lee , Mankato, Minn.; sister-in-law: Crystal Zieman, Weslacoe, Texas; brother-in-law: Harold (Marlys) Thompson, Caledonia, Minn.; nieces and nephews: Jeffrey (Dawn) Thompson Sr., Winona, Minn., Julie (Pat) Thompson Lynch, St. Cloud, Minn., Alan (Carolyn) Lee, Mankato, Minn., and Wendy Lee, Mankato, Minn.; as well as many other extended family and friends. 

Merle is preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Clarise Eggen; wife, Eunice Eggen; and a sister, Elaine Eggen Thompson.

Graveside services were held Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009, at 10 a.m. at the Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery in Fairmont.  Full military graveside rites were performed by the Lee C. Prentice American Legion Post # 36 and the Martin County VFW Post # 1222 of Fairmont, MN.   Merle The Lakeview Funeral Home of Fairmont is assisting the family with arrangements.