Ray Merkel
Ray Merkel
Ray Merkel, 76, of Spring Valley, died Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester.

He was born March 12, 1936, at St. Ansgar, Iowa, to Milton and Rosena (Priem) Merkel, and moved with his family to the Spring Valley area at a young age. He was baptized at the First English Lutheran Church in Spring Valley and on May 31, 1957, he was united in marriage to Eilene Lange at the First English Lutheran Church parsonage in Spring Valley, to this union three children were born: David, Edith and Dean.

He farmed in the Spring Valley area all his life and was currently working at D&R Grain in Racine. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, working and tinkering on his farm, and going for rides on his Ranger.

Survivors include two sons, David and Dean, both of Spring Valley; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; a son-in-law, Greg Ballinger of Racine; four sisters, Rose Polikowsky and Arlene Starkson, both of Rochester, Shirley Schroeder and Lorraine (Bob) Reiland, both of Eyota, Minn.; brothers, Paul (Donna) Merkel of Spring Valley and Art (Sharon) Merkel of Rochester.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Eilene, in July of this year, a daughter, Edith, two sisters, Mae and Irene, and three brothers, Harvey, Clifford and Kenneth.

A graveside service was held Friday, Oct. 5, at the Hamilton Cemetery near Racine, with the Rev. Larry LaDossor officiating.

Condolences may be left at www.Hindtfuneralhomes.com.