Kathryn L. Merkel

Kathryn L. Merkel, 65, of Menomonie entered into eternal life peacefully and surrounded by family Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, Minn.

Kathryn was born Oct. 28, 1953, in Cudahy, Wis., to John and Matilda (Matzke) Misun. She grew up in Cudahy, graduating from Cudahy High School in 1971. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in art education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, she began her career in 1976, teaching in Wautoma and Menasha, Wis. She met Dennis while attending UW-Oshkosh and Oct. 23, 1976, they married. After welcoming their daughter, Erin and son, Jesse, they relocated to Menomonie in 1988, and Kathryn taught art 8 at Highland Park Junior High School in St. Paul, Minn., until retiring in 2011.

Kathryn loved gardening, cooking, sewing, traveling, planning special events and spending time with her family. She used her art background to make incredible, unique and personal gifts for her family and friends. Kathryn was a positive influence on everyone around her.

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Kathryn is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Dennis; her two children, Erin (Joseph) Shermak of Elk River, Minn., and Jesse (Mollie) Merkel of Minneapolis; her six grandchildren, Carter, Bennett, Milo, Elizabeth, Fletcher and Hazel; her sister, Sue Walden (John Shirey) of Mequon, Wis.; her brother, Charles (Kathleen) Misun of Menasha; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents.

Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Sept. 28, at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Menomonie. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. A celebration of life, with a meal will follow at the UW-Stout Memorial Student Center ballroom. All are invited to attend. Kathryn was adamant that survivors celebrate her life and accomplishments.

Those who wish to make a memorial donation in Kathryn’s name may donate to Heifer International, www.heifer.org. Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Menomonie is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.rhielfuneralhome.com.

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