Charles Merkle

Charles Robert Merkle

October 28, 1926 - September 30, 2019
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On Monday, 9/30/19, we lost a true leader who is now a legend in his own time; Charlie Merkle “Merk”. He died peacefully at Locust Lodge near Annapolis, MD where his daughter, Missy and her family reside. He was born and raised in Madison, WI went to Catholic schools and became the head of household at the young age of 12 following the death of his father Charles Merkle Sr. He continued to care for his mother, Anne Prantner Merkle Aune and sister Patricia Merkle Bates. He attended Edgewood High School where he was an all-star athlete before enlisting in World War II where he served in the United States Navy on the USS Custer and Farragut in the Pacific theater 1945-47. Following his service he returned to marry the love of his life Joan “Ritz” Heilman on Feb. 13, 1947 at Blessed Sacrament church in Madison, WI. They were married 70, wonderful, enduring, years before the passing of “Ritz” in 2017. They were blessed with five children; Charles (Mike) Merkle, Mary Merkle Warmke, Marcie Merkle Statz, Mark Merkle and Melissa (Missy) Merkle Selick.

Charlie became a Madison, WI Fire Fighter and President of the Fire Fighters union 311. He also became Vice President of the 5th District International Fire Fighters union. He served over 30 years as a Fire Fighter before retiring. He was an avid fishermen, hunter and golfer who religiously went up to northern Wisconsin for the opening of deer hunting season and several Muskie fishing trips. He was also known as the “go to guy” if you ever needed anything fixed! Neighbors, and friends would say “Go ask Charlie, he will help you.” In addition to his fire fighter career, he was busy attending his son’s hockey games and tournaments, volunteering for the Southside Hockey Assoc., Edgewood High School functions, and several political campaigns throughout his years. He seldom rested, even after retirement, he always said “once ya sit down and stop doing things you’ll die.” Needless to say, he kept busy for the next 30 years after he retired and began spending 6 months in Florida. He started building furniture, remodeled their cottage on Lake Wisconsin, and volunteered as the neighborhood association President in Tarpon Springs, FL. He always liked being the leader. Many will remember Charlie from the many amusing sayings he had, e.g. “You are slower than molasses in January” or, “You are about as handy as a cub bear in overshoes!” and of course all the others. He was a tough guy with a great sense of humor.

Charlie Merkle; a son, a brother, a high school quarterback, a WWII Veteran, a husband, a father of five, a grandpa, a friend, a Lieutenant Fire Fighter, a Fire Fighter Union President, an International Fire Fighter Vice President, a carpenter, plumber, (Jack of all trades) the “go to guy”, may you rest in peace. WE WILL FOREVER LOVE YOU.

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Joan (Heilman) Merkle, sister Patricia Merkle Bates and his three beautiful children Mike, Mary and Marcie. He is survived by his son Mark (Peggy) Merkle, Marietta, GA; daughter Missy (Jerry) Selick, Annapolis, MD; his grandchildren Michelle (James) Hackworthy, (James, Cecilia, and Michael) Madison, WI; Shannon (Jason) Lessner, (Rowan and Eva) Madison, WI; Chris (Kate) Statz (Elijah, Seren, and Henry) Spokane, WA; Max (Jill) Merkle Portland, OR; Mallory Merkle Atlanta, GA; Madeline Selick Baltimore, MD and Sam Selick Philadelphia, PA

A visitation and mass celebrated by Father Rick Heilman (nephew) for family and friends will be held on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 3:00 and 4:00 respectively at Blessed Sacrament Church 2121 Rowley Ave. Madison, WI 53726. He will be placed by his beloved wife of 70 years in Dekorra Cemetery with a view of Lake Wisconsin, and the family cottage. Donations can be made in his name to Edgewood High School Athletic Association or Locust Lodge in Pasadena, MD; a cozy house where the most caring, supportive individuals care for those suffering with dementia.
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