Merle A. Kratzke
Age 91, passed away peacefully at home on April 13, 2023 after a brief illness. A 35-year member of the Iron Workers’ Local #512, Merle served his country as an Army Sergeant and carbine specialist during the Korean Conflict and was a proud 70-year member of the American Legion. Other activities important in Merle’s life included more than 50 years as an active member of the Elk River Sportman's Club, the American Bowling Congress, the Amateur Trap Shooter’s Association, various local trap shooting leagues and competitive events. He also spent more than 40 years as a volunteer Youth Firearms Instructor, a 6-term board member during the formative years of the Elk River Country Club and a lifetime member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Elk River.
Merle was always happiest spending time with family and friends in the great outdoors - shooting, hunting, fishing, golfing, studying the daily or weekly newspaper or simply watching the wonders of nature in his back yard. Everyone having had the privilege of knowing Merle will remember his wit, his wisdom, his uncanny ability to recall details and reminiscences of local history or days gone by. Merle lived a good life and will be fondly remembered by all. Merle is survived by his wife of more than 65 years – Marilyn, daughter Jeanne, sons Steve (Beth), Tom (Robin) and Tim (Shelly), 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Great-grandson, Emmett, in heaven.
A funeral service celebrating his life will be held at noon on Tuesday April 18, 2023 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 1506 Main Street Elk River, MN with a gathering at the church prior to the service starting at 11:30 am. Thereafter, a lunch will be served at the church followed by a private family burial. In lieu of flowers, Merle’s family requests memorials which they will forward in his honor. Thank you to AccentCare Hospice, especially Sandra and Heidi for the loving care given to our Dad and family.