Merlin Beenken

Dec. 24 1935 - Oct. 4, 2018


Merlin Harvey Beenken, 82, of Wesley passed away peacefully at the Kossuth Regional Health Center on Thursday, October 4, 2018 surrounded by his family.

Merlin Beenken was born on December 24, 1935 on his parents’ farm South of Woden. He was the oldest child of Henry and Virgie (Kardoes) Beenken. He attended the Ramsey Reformed and Woden Christian Reformed Church when growing up. He was a baptized and confirmed member of the Christian faith.

Merlin attended country school for 4 years and then went to school in Woden. He graduated from Woden High School in 1954. After graduating, he stayed home and farmed with his dad, and also helped area farmers. He served his country by joining the United States Army, and served from August 1958 to October 1959. He returned home so he could help on the family farm when his father fell ill.

On October 7, 1960, Merlin married the love of his life, Marlis Sveen, at West Prairie Lutheran Church in rural Leland. In 1962, they welcomed their first son while living and farming in Hancock County. The family expanded in 1964 with the addition of their second son. The family relocated to the Wesley area in 1971 where he continued to farm and worked nights at Winnebago. Shortly after relocating, the final addition to their family was added with the birth of their third son.

Merlin was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He loved his family and loved spending time with them. He was very close to his brothers and sisters his entire life. He taught by example and enjoyed simple pleasures and moments of life.  He would say he was blessed and wanted to share those blessings with others.

Merlin worked hard, but loved harder. He loved the outdoors, gardening, sharing his produce, carpentry work, and cheering on the Hawkeyes and Cyclones. Merlin was a very active member of the Wesley Evangelical Free Church from 1971 to 2002 prior to joining the First Lutheran Church in Algona.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of almost 58 years, Marlis of Wesley; sons, David (Sheri) of Algona, Dan (Cindy) of Ames, and Dean (Amanda) of Wesley; grandchildren, Holly Beenken, Ryan (Dara) Beenken,  Amber (Justin) McClellan and Axton Beenken; great-grandchildren, Aubrey Rae and Raelynn Joy; siblings, Sharon (Dennis) Heinen and Daryl (Nancy) Beenken; brother-in-law, Philip Luppen; sister-in-law, Luming Beenken; a step brother, two step sisters, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Virgie; step mother, Ella Eden Beenken, sister Wilma Luppen, brother Wayne Beenken, and a grandson, Louden Beenken.


Kossuth County Advance

14 E. Nebraska St.

Algona, IA 50511  

Phone: (515) 295-3535

Fax: (515) 295-7217

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