Jackie Merkes passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on Thursday, January 27, 2022, at the age of 86, in her home surrounded by family. Visitation will be held on Friday, February 4, 2022, 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Bohnenkamp-Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Manchester. Additional Visitation is from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 5, 2022, at the Funeral Home followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church with Reverend Gabriel Anderson officiating. Livestream of the Mass may be viewed at https://blessedtrinitycluster.com/livestream-mass. Burial will take place at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Manchester. Bohnenkamp-Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.
Jackie was born on June 22, 1935, in North Fork Township in Delaware County on the family farm. Daughter of William C. Werner and Rose R. (Whiting) Werner. Jackie was the oldest of 9 children. She started Kindergarten at five years old and continued her education until she completed 8th grade at the Lebo Country School #9.
During her early years she spent her time playing with cousins and fishing on the family pond. In the winter, they enjoyed skating on the creek that ran through the homestead and sledding on the hills across the road. In Jackie’s teenage years she spent most of her time babysitting for neighbors, reading books, and gardening. As the oldest daughter of 9, she was a role model and a giver; she spent most of her time helping her mom with her siblings as well as helping other members of her family. When Jackie turned 18, she loved to care for families having new babies and earned $1.00 per day to help with the cleaning, cooking and babysitting until the babies were 2 weeks old.
In the summer of 1958, she met the love of her life, Arnold N. Merkes, of Farley, Iowa at a dance in Worthington. Jackie was married to Arnold Merkes on October 27, 1959. They were married at the Immaculate Conception Church in Sand Springs, Iowa. The many years that followed were spent raising their 6 children gardening, cooking, reading and bird watching.
Jackie and Arnold moved several times in the first 6 years of their marriage. Their first home was a trailer in Delhi, Iowa just south of the lake. They moved 6 more times before settling into their forever home in Manchester in 1965.
Jackie received her GED in 1982. She also helped her husband with lawn and garden work for his small business. In 1984 Jackie started at Wee Christians Preschool as a teacher’s aide and continued until 1995. During her time there, she had the pleasure of teaching three of her granddaughters Brandi, Shari and Sam. After working at the preschool for 11 years, she stayed home and babysat her grandchildren Cody and Emma.
In addition to her family and work life, Jackie enjoyed her friendships and made several trips with her best friends Neena and Paul Peterson. They traveled to special places including states out west, Niagara Falls and Hoover Dam. The time they spent together was as beautiful as the places they’ve seen.
In her later years, she adored spending time with family. She enjoyed crosswords, dancing, riding bikes, cooking with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved taking drives with no destinations, and leaf looking at state parks, especially arboretums. Her passion was creating a beautiful walkway of flowers for all to enjoy in front of her house. Whenever we see a row of flowers, we will always remember how powerful a flower can be. No one said it better than Jackie herself when she said, “I did the best I could with what I had and I tried to make the world a better, prettier place with the flowers.” She did indeed bring beauty and joy to this world through her spirit, love, strength, and kindness. Jackie made this world a better place.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Cedar Valley Hospice and to Michelle Recker for their loving care and for helping us get through the loss of our mother.
Jackie is survived by her husband, Arnold Merkes; children, Nancy Merkes, Marcia (Lee Knutson) Nefzger, Amy (Dan) Hahesy, Daryl (Linda) Merkes, Jennifer (Rodney) Ingles, Jon (Jenni) Merkes; siblings, Ed Werner, Bob (Cheryl) Werner, Susan (Ron) McDermott, Richard Werner; in-laws, Marilyn Werner, Linda Werner, Beth (Edwin) Whisler, Theresa Merkes, Joel Glennon; grandchildren, Brandi (Mike) Nefzger, Shari (Garrett) Soppe, Samantha (Cody “Juice”) Christen, Tyler Ingles, Amber (Connor) Koth, Cody (Staci) Hahesy, Emma Merkes, Carter Knutson, Hallie Knutson, Gwen (Michael) Luton, Matt (Kayla) Kremer; great-grandchildren, Quinn, Finley, Graham, Griffin, Arrissa, Raven, Octavia, Athena, Maize, Rhett, Colson, Lucas, Nora, Reylan; and many close family friends, Neena and Paul Peterson, Mary Fonck, Grace Munson, and the family of Ben and Michelle Recker.
She is preceded in death by her parents, William C. Werner and Rose R. (Whiting) Werner; brothers, Daniel Werner, Pat Werner, Steve Werner; sister, Janet Mescher; in-laws, Margaret and Peter Merkes, Joe and Catherine Foxen, Melvin and Clara Weis, Ambrose and Sylvia Merkes, Art and Dorothy Merkes, Leonard and Theresa Foxen, Pete and Yvonne Merkes, Al Merkes, John and Lucille Merkes, Mary Jane Glennon, Dave Mescher and Sue Werner.
Written by Jackie Merkes
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