Merle Martinson, 1924-2018

Published 1:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2018

Funeral services for Merle L. Martinson, 93, of Alden will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Alden. The Rev. Daphne Hamborg will officiate. Interment will be at Alden Cemetery. Military honors will be accorded by the Alden American Legion honor guard. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church Saturday. Online condolences are welcome at

Merle Martinson

Merle died Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at The Woodlands/St. John’s on Fountain Lake.

Merle L. Martinson was born Oct. 7, 1924, in Scarville, Iowa, the son of Ingebrit O. and Gladys M. (Larson) Martinson. He grew up in Lake Mills and attended country school near Scarville and in Lake Mills.

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In October 1944, Merle enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. He was honorably discharged in November 1946. On July 8, 1948, Merle was united in marriage to Phyllis A. Frantum at Wells Methodist Church. Merle worked as a plumber for Ebert Plumbing & Heating and then operated his own business, Alden Plumbing & Heating. Merle was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Alden. He was very active in the Alden community. He was a member of the American Legion, where he held the positions of commander and adjutant. Merle also served on the school board and the city council. He enjoyed fishing, dancing, hunting and playing cards. Merle loved his favorite car, a ’35 Ford Coupe with a rumble seat.

Merle is survived by his wife of 70 years, Phyllis; son, Ross (Carolyn) Martinson; daughter, Linda (Dean) Mattson; grandchildren Tara (Brad) Haugen, Chad (Jenni) Mattson, Karen (Jeremiah) Cherwien, Kristen (Zachary) Willems and Scott (fiancee, Abby Bohleen) Martinson; 13 great-grandchildren, Blake, Anika and Chase Haugen, Landon, Addison and Caleb Mattson, Hannah and James Cherwien, and Naomi, Thalia, Griffin, Evie and Cosette Willems; siblings Gordon Martinson, Phyllis Quam, Gloria Kvale and Jerry (Barb) Sveen; and sisters-in-law Mary Ann Martinson and Gloris Frantum.

Merle was preceded in death by his parents; mother-in-law and father-in-law Ray and Amanda Frantum; brother, Orin Martinson; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Hazel Martinson, Bill Quam, Jim Kvale, Leo and Luella Hagmann, Ken and Marge Frantum and Clifford Frantum.