Francis Peter Merten, 87

Published 7:35 am Friday, July 4, 2014

Francis Peter Merten, 87, of Austin, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, surrounded by his loved ones.

 Francis Merten

Francis Merten

Francis was born Jan. 29, 1927, in Austin to Peter and Lucy (Reinartz) Merten. He graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1945 and after graduation he enlisted in the United States Navy. Upon returning home he chose to make a life on the family farm. Soon after, Francis met the love of his life, Shirley Lieb, with the help of his sister, Mary Lou Rysavy. They were united in marriage on July 14, 1952, and settled into their home on the family farm where they raised eight children. Nothing was more important to him than his faith, his family and the farm. Francis could not imagine doing anything else.

Francis cared for the farm until it was time to pass it on to the next generation. He was truly blessed.

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Survivors include seven children, Deborah (Charles) Voogd, Austin, Minn., Anthony (Renee) Merten, Austin, Minn., Michael (Diana) Merten, Austin, Minn., Joseph (Jill) Merten, Austin, Minn., Mary (David) Kline, Lyle, Minn., Julie (Todd) Enger, Lyle, Minn., Jennifer Merten (Greg Denisen), Austin, Minn.; daughter-in-law, Mary McGee Merten, Albert Lea, Minn.; 17 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; three sisters, Barbara Landherr, Rose Creek, Minn., Mary Lou Rysavy, Austin, Minn., Lucille Kaye, Oregon; two sisters-in-law, Marie Lieb, Forest Lake, Minn., Lorraine Meyer, Austin, Minn.; nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Merten; beloved son, Peter Merten; parents, Peter and Lucy Merten; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Isadore and Mary Lieb; three brothers-in-law, Norbert Landherr, Donald Rysavy, Brian Fischer.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated 11 a.m. on Monday, July 7, 2014, at St. Augustine Catholic Church with Father Jim Steffes officiating. There will be a 1 p.m. rosary and a 3:45 p.m. wake service on Sunday at Mayer Funeral Home where friends may call from 1 to 4 p.m., and also one hour before the service at the church on Monday. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery with military rites by American Legion Post No. 91.

The honorary casket bearers will be Michael Merten and Michael Kline. The casket bearers will be Matthew Voogd, Peter Merten, Andy Merten, Brian Merten, Thomas Merten, John Kline, Nicholas Enger, Joseph Bumgarner, and Benjamin Bumgarner. Condolences may be left online at