Merlen Albert Grunklee, 82

Published 10:39 am Thursday, July 14, 2011

Merlen Albert Grunklee, 82, of Blooming Prairie, died at Owatonna Hospital early Wednesday morning, July 13, 2011.

Merlen Grunklee

Born Jan. 1, 1929, to Ernest and Edna (Hargefeld) Grunklee in Aurora Township, Steele County, Minn., Merlen attended St. John’s Parochial School in Claremont. He married Jean Warner in January of 1952 at St. John Lutheran Church, rural Claremont. They later divorced. Merlen farmed with his father and worked at Owatonna Tool Company (OTC). He married Mary Ann (Pagel) Stark on June 30, 1964. They farmed, and Merlen worked as a milk truck driver for Farmers Butter Dairy of Bixby until 1984 when he became an employee of AMPI in Owatonna where he was promoted to manager. After his retirement in 1994, he worked for Central Co-Op until 2008. He was a member and past president of St. John Lutheran Church, on the school board and enjoyed fishing, playing cards and spending time with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Merlen and Mary Ann also loved to travel and enjoyed camping for many years.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann of Blooming Prairie; seven children, Vicky (David) Kelsey of New Buffalo, Mich.; Keith Stark of Medford; Kathy (Gregg) Anderson of Owatonna; Kristine (Chris) Kenow of Owatonna; David (Julie) Grunklee of Reinbeck, Iowa; Mike (Rachel) Grunklee of Blooming Prairie; Scott (Lana) Grunklee of Claremont; 12 grandchildren, Melanie (Brian) Burmeister, Michelle (Michael) Heller, Jeff (Chelsea) Grunklee, Adam Grunklee, Cassandra Kenow, Carly Kenow, Nicholas Grunklee, Amanda Grunklee, Mackenzie Grunklee, Korey Grunklee, Lauren Grunklee, Megan Grunklee; eight great-grandchildren; one sister, Viola Matson of Albert Lea; brother-in-law, Jim (Sue) Mollenhauer of Crystal. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Edna Grunklee; son, Roger; sister, Kathryn Coughlin; two brothers-in-law, Leo Coughlin and Curt Matson

Email newsletter signup

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 16, at St. John Lutheran Church, rural Claremont, with The Rev. Warren Schmidt officiating. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Worlein Blooming Prairie Funeral Home and at the church one hour prior to the service. Interment is at St. John Lutheran Cemetery, rural Claremont. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at