Obituary: Kenneth J. Merkel
This Sussex-area resident passed away at 85-years-old after living an extraordinary life in politics.
August 9, 1926 - April 23, 2012
Kenneth J. Merkel passed away on Monday, April 23 at 85-years-old.
Loving husband of Clemie (nee Schneider) for 55 years. Cherished father of Brian (Pamela), Jessica, Sally (Thomas) Williams, Kathryn and Charles (Sandra). Grandfather of Adam, Victoria, Corynn, Samantha, Conrad, Nathaniel, Nicole, Luke, Jacob, Sarah, Patrick, Clarissa, Abigail and Megan. Brother of Marian (John) Nikolai. Further survived by other relatives and many friends. Preceded in death by his siblings Jean, Donald, and Floyd.
Ken served in the Army Air Corps in 1944 and 1945. Following his military service, he attended Marquette University and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He was employed at Kearney and Trecker for 35 years where he designed control systems for machine tools.
Ken was active in state and local politics throughout his life, serving in the Wisconsin State Legislature from 1964 through 1974. He also served a number of terms as an alderman in the city of Brookfield. As a staunch conservative, he was well respected by members of both political parties.
In addition to his involvement in politics, Ken was an active and loyal member of both the American Legion and Knights of Columbus for many years. His hobbies included fishing, hunting, golfing, carpentry, playing the violin and gardening. He enjoyed cross country skiing and completed the Birkebeiner ski race numerous times.
Ken will be remembered for his strong work ethic, integrity, sense of humor, and ceaseless dedication to his family.
Visitation on Friday, April 27 from 10:30 a.m. until time of mass of Christian burial at 1 p.m. at St. Gabriel Parish, 1200 St. Gabriel Way, Hubertus. Burial will take place at St. Hubert’s Cemetery.