Bruce Paul Merkel, age 78, of Hutchinson, passed away Thursday, July 19, 2012, at his home in Hutchinson.

Bruce Paul Merkel, age 78, of Hutchinson, passed away Thursday, July 19, 2012, at his home in Hutchinson. Funeral Services were held Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 10:30 a.m. at the Dobratz-Hantge Chapel in Hutchinson, with interment in the Fort Ridgely Cemetery in Ridgely Township, Nicollet County, Minnesota at a later date. Pastor Brian Brosz officiated the ceremony. Arrangements by the Dobratz-Hantge Chapel in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Online Obituaries and Guest Book available at  Please click on Obituaries/Guest Book.          

Bruce Paul Merkel was born on November 7, 1933, in New Ulm, Minnesota. He was the son of Paul and Lila (Pickle) Merkel. Bruce was baptized as an infant and later confirmed in his faith as a youth. He received his elementary education at country school in rural Sleepy Eye, Minnesota and was a graduate of the Sleepy Eye High School Class of 1951. After graduation, Bruce farmed on the family farm.  He was united in marriage to Kayla Storm and they lived in Sleepy Eye. They were later divorced and on August, 19, 1978, Bruce was united in marriage to Linda Kill, at the Congregational Church in Sleepy Eye. Bruce and Linda resided in Sleepy Eye and later moved to Hutchinson, Minnesota in 1983.  They shared over 33 years of marriage. Bruce was employed at LTP Enterprises as a Well Driller. He drilled for both water and oil in Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana. He retired on his sixty second birthday. Bruce was a member of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Hutchinson. Bruce loved baseball and softball and was a coach and manager for teams in Sleepy Eye. He also enjoyed watching all sports on television and liked to go hunting and fishing whenever he could. Bruce especially enjoyed spending time with his family, grandchildren, and friends. He will be truly missed by his cherished dogs, Chole and Loosie his faithful companions. Bruce lost his courageous battle with cancer and passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 19, 2012, at his home in Hutchinson, at the age of 78 years. Blessed be his memory.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Linda Merkel of Hutchinson; children, Laurie Bennett of Rochester, Linda Brandl and her husband, Mike of Sleepy Eye, Lisa Trottot and her husband, Gene of West Fargo, N.D., Tina Kill Lenling and her husband, Steve of St Paul, Jennifer Kill and her husband, Ivan Pezelj of Chandler, Ariz.; 11 Grandchildren, Katie Tostenson and her husband, Justin, Jamie Burnes, Daniel Bennett, Leah Trottot, Lila Trottot, Megan Lenling, Jacob Lenling, Angie Lenling, Isaac Lenling, Emily Pezelj, Abigail Pezelj; 4 Great Grandchildren; Kaylee Tostenson, Blake Tostenson, Cheyne Burnes, and Colby Burnes; Nieces, Nephews, many other relatives and friends.

Bruce is preceded in death by his Parents, Paul and Lila Merkel; Sister, Janice Fritz; Granddaughter, Elizabeth Bennett.