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James "Jim" J. Merkel
May 25, 1932 ~ October 19, 2022 (age 90) 90 Years Old
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James Joseph Merkel passed away on October 19, 2022, at the Classic at Hillcrest Greens in Altoona, WI.
Jim was born on May 25, 1932 to Jacob and Winnifred (Holm) Merkel in Chippewa Falls, WI, and lived in Chippewa Falls through high school.
Jim entered service in the US Navy in 1949. Following his service, he worked as a telegrapher for Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, paying his way through Wisconsin State College at Eau Claire (UWEC). Jim graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1962. He taught high school science in Wausau, Waupaca and Chippewa Falls.
Jim married Betty Jean Campbell in 1954. In 1963 Jim and Betty lost their infant son, Stephen James Merkel. Later in that same year, Betty passed away due to an acute illness.
Jim pursued a graduate degree from the University of Mississippi and in 1966 earned a Masters of Combined Sciences degree. His career then shifted to teaching Physics and Astronomy at Wisconsin State University – Eau Claire (UWEC), retiring in 1994.
In 1969, Jim married Nancy Ann Anderson. Jim and Nancy were blessed with nearly 53 years of marriage, during which their lives centered on church, teaching and travels.
During retirement years Jim volunteered at Beaver Creek Reserve, Eau Claire Farmers’ Market, Community Table, helping friends with fruit and berry harvests. He was active in the Masonic Lodge for many years. Jim had been an active member of First Baptist Church, and later Bethesda Lutheran Brethren Church.
Jim is survived by his loving wife Nancy. He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Betty and infant son, Stephen.
Nancy would like to express her deep appreciation to all his caregivers over the past year, especially those with Mayo Hospital and Clinic, Mayo Home Health and Hospice, Recover Health, Milestone Senior Living, and The Classic at Hillcrest Greens.
Funeral Service for Jim will be held at Bethesda Lutheran Brethren Church, 123 W Hamilton Ave., Eau Claire, WI on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Interment will take place at Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire, on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Nancy would like donations to directed to Bethesda Lutheran Church or Beaver Creek Reserve.
Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.
Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the family with the arrangements.