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Kathryn L. Merkel

Kathryn L. Merkel

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

Kathryn was born on Oct. 28, 1953, in Cudahy, WI, 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, WI. She met Dennis while attending UW-Oshkosh and on 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, MN, 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.

Kathryn is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Dennis; her two children, Erin (Joseph) Shermak of Elk River, MN, and Jesse (Mollie) Merkel of Minneapolis, MN; her six grandchildren, Carter, Bennett, Milo, Elizabeth, Fletcher and Hazel; her sister, Sue Walden (John Shirey) of Mequon, WI; 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 at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Menomonie on Sept. 28 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM. The Memorial Service will begin at 11:00 AM.  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, https://www.heifer.org/

For out of town guests there are accomodations are available at the following Hotels: 

Please request the Funeral Rate.

Best Western Plus-320 Oak Ave. -715-235-5664

Cobblestone Inn & Suites -149 Main St. E.  -715-233-0211

Hampton Inn & Suites - 2017 Stout St.  -715-231-3030


  1. Andrea (Ricciardi) Wawrzyn

    As kids, Kathy and I played together everyday in our wonderful neighborhood. Some of my very best memories. My thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones.????

  2. Lela Wilson

    Kate was so sweet and such a beautiful person. My thoughts and prayers are with the Merkel family. God Bless You.

  3. John Fojtik

    I was saddened to learn of Kathryn's passing. We grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same schools together from kindergarten on thru high school. My condolences to the family. May you all be blessed with peace and love.

  4. Annette Hefti

    Kate was such a lovely soul, her light shined brightly for all of us. What a blessing it was to have known her. My deepest sympathy to the entire family.

  5. Victoria M Reasby

    Dennis, Erin and Jesse,
    I don't know if you remember me, I was Vicki Widi before I remarried, I am so sorry to hear about Kathy's passing. She was a best friend to me and I love her. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers always.

  6. Judith Scheid

    I am so sorry to hear of Kate’s loss. I taught with her for 15 years at Highland Park. She was a great teacher and loved by both her students and colleagues. Kate had a wonderful spirit. I will miss her. She left this earth way too soon. RIP beautiful Kate.

  7. Juli Kannenberg

    Oh my gosh, I am incredibly saddened to hear of Kathy's death. What a wonderful attitude and zest for life she had and I always look back on our college days together with alot of happiness. Please know I am thinking of you, Dennis, as well as the rest of the family. I am unable to attend the service as I am out of the country at that time but will be thinking of her and all of you.cybo

  8. Terry Roy Beirl

    So sorry to hear about Kate - one of my best buddies in high school - all my best to Dennis and their family.

  9. Mary Karcz Brown

    Kathy was a former high school classmate of mine. She was a very loving and caring person. My sympathy to her loving family at this sad time. May you rest in peace

  10. Cindy Warner

    Bill and I were so saddened to hear about Kate’s passing..Jesse was one of Jeff’s first friends so we spent a lot of time over at the Merkels...Kate was such a beautiful person inside and out and our prayers go out to Dennis,Erin, and Jesse and their families....

  11. Linda Chase

    Kate was my first friend when we moved to town in 1993. I always admired her strength, creativeness and kindness. She was a wonderful friend and I will miss her so much! God bless you my friend!!

  12. Karen Kluck Buege

    My deepest condolences and prayers go out to Kathy’s family. While it’s been many years since we graduated from the same high school class in Cudahy, I remember her fondly. I am so sorry for your loss.

  13. Ken Sajdak

    Kathy was my third cousin. While she was two years behind me at Cudahy HS, we joked about our relationship.

    Her smile was always contagious, and she always made a room brighter while she was there.

    Sorry we lost touch, but she was always in my thoughts. After all, we were family.

    My condolences to all who knew her.

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