Merle G. Knox, 89

Merle G. Knox, 89, of West Bend, passed away on Sunday, July 3, 2011, at the Cedar Lake Health and Rehabilitation Center in the town of West Bend, joining his beloved wife Ruth.

He was born on Nov. 17, 1921, in South Milwaukee to Glenn and Myrtle (nee Megow) Knox. In school Merle was a track and cross country star. He set records at South Milwaukee High School, University of Wisconsin-Madison and San Jose State University.

Merle served his country honorably during in World War II in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1944 to 1946. In 1948, he obtained his teaching degree at San Jose State University.

Merle again served his country honorably as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War from 1950 to 1954.

On July 1, 1957, he was united in marriage to Ruth Rosnow in Milwaukee. Later that year, Merle became a teacher and coach in the Oak Creek School System. In 1963, He earned his masterís in education from Marquette University. Merle retired from the Naval Reserve in 1968.

He was an active competitor in the Masters Track and Field Club, competing in the senior division for many years. He was a dedicated Boy Scout leader of Troop 106 for 31 years and was awarded the "Silver Beaver Award" by the Boy Scout Council for his dedication and many years of leadership.

Merle was a member of the American Legion Cudworth Post 0406 in Milwaukee. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite, where he served on the lodge council chapter consistory, and Tripoli Shrine. He was a former member of the Kenwood United Methodist Church in Milwaukee, Zion United Methodist Church in Colgate and Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church in West Bend.

As a musician, Merle played the flute and piccolo. He was a member of the Tripoli Shrine band, Cudworth Post American Legion Band and West Bend River City Irregulars.

Merle and Ruth traveled throughout the world where they served working missions for the United Methodist Church. They also served several working missions at home as well as volunteered for the Children of the Rock after school program and helped in summer programs at Pine Lake Lutheran Summer Camp.

Merle enjoyed playing cribbage, camping, canoeing, fishing, gardening and being involved in the music programs at Cedar Communities. He will be missed by his loved ones.

He is survived by his son, Walter (Harriet) Knox of Hawaii; daughter, Chere (Rodney) Iverson of Nevada; stepsons, John (Margery) Wahlen of Mayville and James (Sharon) Wahlen of Hubertus; nine grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; a brother, the Rev. Howard Knox of West Bend; many nieces and nephews; and best friends, Charles and Janis Hayden of Fredonia.

Merle is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ruth; sisters, Eleanor Knox and Marion (Casey) Marifke; a brother, Clyde (Ilene) Knox; and a sister-inlaw, Pearl Knox.

A memorial service in remembrance of Merle will be held on Thursday, July 28, 2011, at 11:30 a.m. at Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church, 323 S. 5th Ave., West Bend. The Rev. Jeremy Deaner will officiate. Burial will be in Zion Church Cemetery in Colgate. Visitation will be at the church from 10:30 until the time of the service.

Myrhum-Patten Funeral & Cremation Service is serving the family. Online guest book and condolences may be found at