Merlin Hermsen

Merlin G. Hermsen

Saturday, January 3rd, 1925 - Saturday, November 21st, 2020
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Merlin G. Hermsen, 95, of Independence, IA, died on Saturday November 21, 2020 at Lexington Estates in Independence, IA.

Merlin was born on January 3, 1925 in Holy Cross, IA the son of Alphonse L. and Olivia H. (Wernke) Hermsen. He attended elementary schools in rural Dubuque County. In 1937 his parents purchased a farm southeast of Independence, and he began attending St. John’s Catholic School. He joined the United States Army in 1946 and served in Korea, during the peacetime occupation prior to the Korean War. After his service he returned to Independence to help take care of his family and the farm. He started working at John Deere in Waterloo, IA in 1951, and he retired in 1983. On July 19, 1975 he married Clara Hoeger at the St. Columbkille Church in Dubuque, IA., and together they purchased a home in Independence, IA. Clara died on June 11, 1988. He married Jeanne Frances (Robinson Connell) on September 24, 1994 at the St. John’s Catholic Church in Independence. Merlin was a member of the St. John’s Catholic Church, Catholic Order of the Foresters since 1952, and the Knights of Columbus since 1957.

Merlin loved to stay busy with his hands and was an avid woodworker. Many of his projects throughout the years he did for family or friends. He also donated several projects to St. John’s Church. He collected John Deere Toy Tractors and memorabilia and would often go to farm toy shows throughout the state.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanne Hermsen, Independence, IA, three step-sons; Michael (Ava) Connell, Decorah, IA, Patrick (Anna) Connell, Marana, AZ, and David (Kris) Connell, Lakeville, MN, three step-daughters; Kathleen (Rocky) Hettinger, Gilbert, AZ, Dianne (Chip) Davis, Van Meter, IA, and Krista James, Winthrop, IA, twenty step grandchildren, twenty seven step great grandchildren, two sister Anna Mae Strawn, Oelwein, IA, and sister-in-law, Florence Hermsen, Independence, IA, and twenty four nieces and nephews.

Merlin is preceded in death by his parents, Alphonse and Olivia Hermsen, his first wife, Clara Hermsen, three brothers, James Hermsen, John (Lois) Hermsen, and Kenneth Hermsen, a sister Alvera (John) Hickey, a step grand daughter, Ashley Cooper, a brother-in-law, Delbert Strawn, and two nephews, Jerry and Steve Strawn.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM Wednesday November 25, 2020 at the St. John’s Catholic Church in Independence, IA with Rev. David Beckman Presiding. Burial will be held at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Independence. Visitation will be held from 3 PM until 6 PM on Tuesday November 24, 2020 at the Reiff Family Center - Funeral Home & Crematory in Independence.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 | 3:00pm - 6:00pm
    Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 3:00pm - 6:00pm
    Reiff Family Center - Independence
    216 3rd Ave SE
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 | 10:30am
    Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 10:30am
    St. John's Catholic Church
    209 5th Ave NE
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. David Beckman
  • Interment

    St. John's Catholic Cemetery
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


  • Catholic Order of Foresters
  • Knights of Columbus
  • US Army


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Donna Jensen

Posted at 08:15pm
My sincere sympathy to Jeanne. I did not know Merlin, but I did know Jeanne. GOD BLESS

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