Merle was born to William P. and Ethel Brewer Aug. 20, 1924 in Maysville, Okla., and moved with her family at an early age to Oklahoma City where she spent her childhood. Her education included receiving a certificate in electrical engineering at the University of Oklahoma.
In 1943 Merle met a serviceman stationed at Tinker Air Base and on April 3, 1943, married Walter K. Hesse. Following his discharge from the Military they purchased a farm in the Stacy, Minn. area where they raised a family and spent their lives together. Merle and Walter joined St. John Lutheran Church – Weber where they made sure their six children received instruction in God’s Word. Merle remained a member there until her death.
Merle enjoyed a number of activities, but was often found baking something special for someone. She was always busy making birthday cakes for her grandchildren, or a chiffon cake for a church or family function. Every summer found Merle gardening and canning to provide food for the coming winter. She also enjoyed doing needlework and crafting, but her favorite thing involved music, either listening to her children sing or play instruments or singing with them. Music remained an important part of her life until her death, especially those times when the church would come to her door caroling at Christmas.
Merle is survived by her six children; Cheryl Bistodeau (Steve) of North Branch, James of Lyndon Station, Wis., Roy (Ginger) of Stacy, Lois Dahl (Craig) of North Branch, Elaine White (Bryon Kubiszewski) of North Branch, and Donald (Dorothy) of Stacy, 21 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews from all over the U.S. Also surviving is one sister Jewel Bennett of Oklahoma City; sisters-in-law Clevanel Brewer, Lucille Hesse, Eleanor Hesse, and brother-in-law Adolph Carlson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Walter, brothers Barney, Cleddie, Billy and Kenneth, sisters Bessie Mae, Lenora, and Wilma.
Funeral Services will be held Monday, September 19, 2011 at 11 a.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Weber with Rev. Kevin Zellers officiating. Scripture readings will be done by Rev. Brian Hesse and special music will be provided by Craig Dahl. Pallbearers are Gary Dusbabek, David Hals, Jacob Hesse, Nicholas Hesse, Paul Hesse, and Macks Lovelace. Interment is in St. John Lutheran Cemetery. The family gratefully acknowledges the wonderful care provided by Suite Living of Hugo and North Branch, and St. Jude Hospice. Arrangements were under the direction and care of the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.