Merle W. Nordeen, of Minneapolis, died Sunday August 2, 2009 at his home in Minneapolis. He was 86 years old.
FUNERAL SERVICES will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, August, 5, 2009 at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Braham, with Father Nicholas Zimmer and Deacon Tom Pinataro officiating.
VISITATION will be from 5 to 7 PM on Tuesday, August 4, at Rock Ingebrand Funeral Home in Braham and 1 hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.
INTERMENT will be at 2:00 P.M. at Sunset Memorial Park in Minneapolis.
Merle Willard Nordeen, of Minneapolis, MN passed away at home on August 2, 2009 at the age of 86. Born in Braham, MN on March 6, 1923. Preceded in death by parents, Paul Adolf and Myrtle Elizabeth, siblings Evelyn and husband Marvin Johnson, John and wife Willie, Kermit and wife Alice, Marge and husband Berl House, Phyllis Lammi and sister-in-law Jean Nordeen. Survived by loving and devoted partner Kay Norheim; children and grandchildren: Paul (Allison and Andrew), Mark and wife Kathy (Joshua (Shanna), Jamie (Tommy), Jeremy (Lindsy) and Jerred), Lisa and companion Kimberly Mikaliunas, Ann and husband Ken Johnson (Alayna and Valerie Bombard) and their mother, Frances Nordeen; Kay’s children; Deb and husband Darin Bradley (Molly), Mike and wife Brenda (Eric), Ken and his fiance Becky and her son Parker; and three great-grandchildren: Savannah, Cole and Theja; siblings Duane, Jim and his wife Carole, Laurel and his wife Viola May and Elaine and her husband Jerry; brother-in-law Matt Lammi; many nieces and nephews.
Merle graduated from Braham High School in 1942. During his 38 years in the contracting business he was responsible for the construction of many schools, hospitals, nursing homes, apartments, etc. The project Merle was most proud of is the St. John’s University Library. In 1984, Merle suffered a stroke which forced him into retirement.
Five years later, on a regular weekend drive to Mille Lacs, Merle decided he and Kay should stop at the Roger’s Threshing Show. This brought back memories of his Cockshutt tractors and inspired him to begin his quest to find a Cockshutt to restore. Over the next several years, Merle collected 14 tractors – 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, a 50, a 550 and a Golden Arrow. Merle and Kay brought Molly to a few shows when she was very little. Merle didn’t know it at the time, but for the rest of his life he would have a true tractor buddy – it started with Merle giving Molly rides and, as it got harder for Merle to get on the tractor, ended with Molly giving Merle rides on the seat made specially for him. They were in the process of restoring a Cockshutt 40 when Merle was diagnosed with lung cancer on June 26. He was able to make it to the Little Log House show in Hastings on July 25. On July 26 he was able to experience the joy of seeing the 40 they had been working on finally running. His passion for these tractors was unbelievable.
One of the many highlights of Merle’s life was attending all the sporting events of his children and grandchildren. He was so proud of each and every one of them. Merle always enjoyed visiting with his many friends. His smile, sense of humor, friendship and determination will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
A special thanks to Dr. Jack Beaird, Dr. Casey Lawler of the Minneapolis Heart Institute, and the nursing staff at Abbott Northwestern Hospital for the care and support they have provided. Memorials preferred to Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, 920 E. 28th St., Minneapolis, MN. 55407.