Merlin Raymond Wilkens, 90
June 16, 1925 — Dec. 4, 2015

Merlin Raymond Wilkens, 90Merlin Raymond Wilkens, 90, of Newburg passed away peacefully surrounded by family at the Samaritan Health Center on Dec. 4, 2015. He was born to Frank and Mary (nee Moss) on June 16, 1925, in Fillmore. He attended West Bend High School. Merlin married Myrtle (nee Kirmse) on June 16, 1945, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Newburg.

Merlin was a loving father, grandfather and friend. He loved being a firefighter, coming in contact with so many people and sharing his humor with all. He enjoyed traveling, bowling, fishing and, later in life, his grandchildren then great-grandchildren. He never said no to anyone who needed a helping hand. Being a farmer’s son, he learned to love the land. “Family — God — Community” is what he believed in and taught his children. He was married to Myrtle for 68 years, enjoying their time together. They had a cabin near Rice Lake, where they enjoyed the peace and quiet of a small lake. His smile and jokes will be missed, but the memories will never die. He passed into God’s hands with family holding his hands. His family extends a special thanks to St. Joseph’s Hospital ICU staff. They made his last hours peaceful and comfortable.

Merlin was a volunteer fireman at the Newburg Fire Department for 65 years. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1946, and was part of Legion Post 36 Honor Guard. He was employed at the Cheeseville Cheese Factory in Fillmore. He retired from Tecumseh in Grafton and later worked for Johnson Bus in Fillmore. He is survived by his two children, Margo (Russell) Hanson and Larry (Judy) Wilkens; his grandchildren, Scott Hanson, Nicole Vetter, Ryan Thompson, Cassie (Daniel) Wilkens-Harris and Greg (Brittany) Wilkens; great-grandchildren, Jocelyn, James, Teddy and Lucy; and sister-in-law, Bernice Wilkens. He is further survived by his nephew, Mike Wilkens, other relatives and friends.

Merlin is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Mary Wilkens; his wife, Myrtle; his in-laws, Elmer and Julia Kirmse; brother, Milton Wilkens; sister, Lucille Kremsreiter; and special friend, Kathy Kies.

A private family burial will take place Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Newburg.

Memorials are appreciated to the charity of your choosing in Merlin’s name.

A special thank you to Fields of Washington County, Samaritan Health Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital ICU for their care and tender love.

The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family: 262-338-2050 or www.phillipfuneralhome.com.