Merlin Oehler, 65, of Holmen died Saturday, July 20, 2013, in his home after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer.Â Â Merlin was born on May, 18 1948 in La Crosse to Earle and Leona (Hummel) Oehler.Â Â Â Â Merlin graduated from Holmen High School in 1966.Â He served in the Army and was honorably discharged.Â He started working at Raatzâ€™s horse farm at age 13 cleaning horse stalls.Â He worked a few jobs before starting his job at Trane Company in 1969.Â Merlin worked at Trane Company for 39 years before retiring in 2008.
Merlin married Diane Hanson in 1978 and they later divorced.Â He married Alice R. â€œBeckyâ€ Belt on November 2, 2000 who he shared many loving years with.
Merlin will be remembered as the best son, husband, brother, father, uncle, grandfather and friend anyone could ever imagine.Â He completely adored his grandchildren and his face lit up whenever they were around.Â He was always the first person to help anyone who needed help, often without being asked.Â To say that Merlin had a lot of friends is an understatement.Â Everywhere you went with him, he knew someone!Â He had the Oehler gift of being able to talk to anyone and he always greeted everyone by their name.Â He could fix anything.Â He had a love of older classic cars and trucks and he owned several of them.Â Merlin and Becky were able to spend the last years of his life on the family farm in Moe Coulee.Â Throughout his life he spent most of his free time at the farm, finally being able to purchase and live there the last 8 years.
Merlin is survived by his wife Becky, daughter Karrie Olson (friend Dale Clingenpeel) of La Crosse, WI her children Nicole and Tyler; son Chad Oehler (Jennifer Kuster) of Holmen, WI her son Anthony Fry, their children, â€œPapaâ€™s girlsâ€, Kiara, Miah, and Genayah; brother-in law Rodney Nicolai of Bangor, WI, children Cory (Julie), and Ryan; brother Gary (Teri) Oehler Onalaska, WI; brother Jerry (Marcy) Oehler, his son Michael Oehler and their children Emily and Megan of Melrose, WI ; sister Charlotte (Michael) Stange, their children Jenna, Zachary, and Tyler of La Crosse, WI; sister Lorraine Oehler of Onalaska, WI, brother Konrad Oehler of Onalaska,WI, and his best friend, Jim â€œWallyâ€ Mitchell (Karen) of La Crescent, MN.Â Also surviving are many sisters and brothers-in law, and nieces and nephews on his wifeâ€™s side.
Merlin was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Arlan and Ronald, sister Mae Nicolai, niece Lisa Nicolai, and many aunts , uncles and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in the Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, 1501 West Ave. So., La Crosse, Wis. Rev. Tom Meyer will officiate with burial with military rites by the Roy L. Vingers American Legion Post 52, in Long Coulee Cemetery, Holmen, Wis. Family and friends may call from 4 to 8:00 PM today at funeral home. Family and friends may also call from 10:00 AM until the time of services at the funeral home on Tuesday.
Merlin â€˜s last ride will be in a classic car he loved.Â His family is encouraging you to join the procession with your classic vehicle.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.