Arnold E. "Arnie" Merkel, 80, Bismarck, formerly of Minot, died March 3, 2014, in a Bismarck nursing care center.
Arnold was born Oct. 4, 1933, in Arena, the son of John and Erna (Weisenberger) Merkel. He was raised in Arena and educated at Wing schools, graduating from Wing High School in 1952. Arnie entered into active duty service with the Air Force in 1953 and honorably served his country during the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged in 1957 and returned to North Dakota.
Arnie was united in marriage to Beverly Brych on April 15, 1956, in Bismarck. They made their home in Bismarck where he was employed with Meyer Broadcasting, before moving to Minot in 1957. He continued working for Meyer Broadcasting doing various jobs including working on microwave towers and selling advertising for the company.
Arnie received his real estate license during the 1970s and began his career at Investors Management & Marketing (IMM). He started Real Estate 100 (which became Century 21).
Arnie worked in residential and commercial sales and later in residential appraisals. He also owned and operated several businesses in the Minot area including: Arnie's Rite Way Cleaning, Twist In, Maid for a Day and Personnel Services. Beverly died June 11, 1978. Arnie moved to Bismarck in April 2012.
Arnie was a former member of Augustana Lutheran Church, Minot, along with the Minot Elks Lodge, Eagles Aerie and Moose Lodge. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, active in local bowling leagues and enjoyed spending time at Lake Sakakawea with his family.
Arnie's loving family includes: sons, Brian (Stacy) Merkel, Minot, Brad (Heidi) Merkel, Barry (Lilly) Merkel, both of Sioux Falls, S.D.; 7 grandchildren, Dawn (Ben) Bodtke, Tanner Merkel, Tyler Merkel, Kendra Merkel, Ashley Merkel, Noah Merkel and Landon Merkel; two great-grandchildren, Harleigh Port and Kaydence Bodtke.; sisters, Ilene Trusty, Marlene Eckholm, and Arvada Johnson, all Bismarck, Geraldine (Bud) Germundson, Minot; sisters-in-law, Darlene Merkel, Devils Lake, Debby Brych and Susie Brych, both of Bismarck; and several nieces and nephews.
Arnie was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Beverly; son, Brett, infant son, Michael; and brother, Leroy.
Funeral service: Friday, March 7, 2014 at 1:30 p.m., in First Assembly of God Church, Minot.
Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Today, March 6, from 2 to 7 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: Are preferred to Special Olympics.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).