Merle F. Lorenzen, age 94 of Rhinelander, died Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. He was born Oct. 16, 1921, in Freeport, Ill. to Fred and Anna (Kelly) Lorenzen and into a family of 12 children.
Merle entered the U.S. Army Air Corps on Sept. 11, 1942. He served with the 49th Bomb Squad during World War II; earning the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with two silver and one bronze Battle Stars, five Overseas Service Bars, and one Service Stripe. He was honorably discharged on Oct. 7, 1945. Many years later, he proudly was able to join his comrades on a Veteran Honor Flight to visit the memorials in Washington, D.C.
Merle married Arlene Dockendorf May 17, 1947, in Milwaukee and together they raised their family of five children. Merle was employed with the Milwaukee Public School System. In the late 1990s, he and Arlene moved to Rhinelander. Merle was a member of Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church and the V.F.W. Ray Rousseau Post 3143 where he could be found working Wednesday night Bingo games and serving as a member of the Post’s funeral honor guard .
Merle is survived by his daughter, Cheryl (Pete) Laabs of Carol Stream, IL; two sons, James Lorenzen of Bay City, Texas and Paul (Angela) Lorenzen of Rhinelander; his grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and brother, Edwin (Nancy) Lorenzen of Rockford, Ill.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Arlene on Feb. 13, 2015; two sons, Richard and Gregory; and his siblings.
A memorial service for Merle will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Carlson Funeral Home with Father Randy Knauf officiating. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of service Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, at the funeral home. Military honors will follow the service. Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is assisting with arrangements and condolences to the family may be directed at www.carlsonfh.com.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family suggests contributions in Merle’s name be made to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, P.O. Box 5056, Wausau, WI 54402-5056 or to your local Honor Flight chapter.