James E. Merkel, 83, Jasper

James E. Merkel, 83, of Jasper, died Saturday, February 16, at his home. He was born in Celestine April 5, 1935, to William and Mary (Sander) Merkel. He married Virginia Kreilein September 25, 1958, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Jasper. She died May 24, 2013.

James was a lifelong farmer. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957. He was a member of American Legion Post 147 in Jasper and was a member of the N.R.A. He was a member of Holy Family Church. He enjoyed contributing to local faith-based charities , spending time with his family, and attending his grandchildren’s sporting events.

He is survived by one son, Greg Merkel and wife Peggy, Jasper; two daughters, Kathy Sternberg and husband Dave, Jasper, and Angie Welp and husband Albert, Schnellville; five grandchildren, Brad, Abby, and Ryan Merkel and Megan and Rachel Sternberg; one great-granddaughter, Emery Merkel; six sisters, Esther, Rita, and Joan Hasenour, all of St. Anthony, Mel Sermersheim, Newburgh, Mag Buechlein and husband Ronald, Jasper, and Clarissa Patterson and husband Louis, West Baden; and two brothers, Bob Merkel, Huntingburg, and Ron Merkel and wife Judy, Alfordsville.

In addition to his parents and wife he was preceded in death by one sister, Sandra Stetter, and two brothers, Ambrose and Melvin Merkel.

Friends may call from 3-8 p.m. Thursday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper. Members of Holy Family Parish will lead a rosary at 2:45 p.m. Thursday. Memorial contributions can be made to Holy Family Church or to a favorite charity. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the church with burial following in Fairview Cemetery. American Legion Post 147 will conduct military graveside rites.

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