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Merle Rients

Merle Arthur Rients, age 87, died Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, at Clarendale of Algonquin in Algonquin, IL. He was born to Louie and Anna Rients on Oct. 14, 1930, in Rost Township, MN. He is survived by his wife June Anderson Rients of Clarendale of Algonquin, IL; his five children Steve (Sam Martin) of Merrimac, NH, Tim (Teena) of Peru, NE, Bill (Barb) of New Glarus, WI, Rick (Kate) of Lakeville, MN and Deann (Dave) Nicholson of West Dundee, IL; 16 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Earl of Kasota, MN. Merle is preceded in death by his sister, Clarabel Steffen and brother Lester Rients.

Merle Rients
Merle Rients

Merle and June lived much of their married lives in Charles City, IA; Red Wing, MN and Hager City, WI, moving to Algonquin, IL in May of 2018. He was a loving husband and father. Over the years, Merle engaged in many occupations doing whatever it took to provide for his family: teacher, farmer, trucker, factory worker, road construction, and carpenter. He even built two of their homes in Charles City and Red Wing.

Merle found joy in his work and in many other interests including wood working, fishing, camping, singing, dancing, gardening and cooking (especially for large groups) all with June at his side. When visiting his grown children, he would use his amazing carpentry skills to help improve their homes. Merle didn’t just do the work, he taught his children along the way and gave them the courage to start new projects on their own.

Merle advised one of his sons, who at the time was in his 20’s and thought he was omniscient, “The older you get, the smarter I’ll be.” He was right. Merle will be missed immensely.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 425 East Ave in Red Wing, MN. Visitation will be for two hours prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at Sunnyside Memory Gardens in Charles City, IA. Memorials are preferred to the church. Arrangements handled by Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel. Online condolences may be sent to the family at