Merlyn Edward Goetsch, age 90, of Watertown, SD passed away on Sunday, February 16, 2020, at a local care center. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 21, 2020, at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown. Rev. Scott Dempster will officiate. The family is requested to meet at the chapel on Friday by 10:00 a.m. for a prayer service.
Visitation will be at the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel on Friday, prior to the service, starting at 9:00 a.m.
Burial will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Military graveside honors will be conducted by Codington County Post #17 of the American Legion, Watertown, and Military Funeral Honors Team of the SD Army National Guard. Active pallbearers will be Merlyn’s grandsons: Chance Ziegler, Aric Rude, Bryan Varilek, Nathan Stern, Nicholas Stern and Derrik Kumm.
Merlyn Edward Goetsch was born February 9, 1930 to Theodore and Marie (Hillman) Goetsch in Altamont SD. There he attended school in Deuel County until the 8th grade. He then farmed with his brothers near Clear Lake SD.
Merlyn served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War from November 9, 1951 until August 7, 1953. He received the Korean Service Medal, Bronze Service Medal, and United Nations Service Medal.
When he returned home he married Betty Keener on September 13, 1953. They farmed near Goodwin SD. Three children were blessed to them Charlene, Debra, and Tammy. They moved to Watertown in 1957. Merlyn was employed at Community Oil then became a truck driver for Sioux Valley Coop.
He married Fern Kumm on July 28, 1973 and became a father figure to her children Patricia, Dennis, Linda, Donald, and Mike. Merlyn worked on the I-29 interstate, Quadee, Nutting Co, and retired from U.S. Lawn. After retirement Merlyn worked at Bramble Park. He enjoyed being around the animals.
Merlyn kept busy with many things. He loved to go fishing, and tending to the flowers that were planted in the yard and gardening. Music was also something Merlyn loved. His daughters have fond memories of him yodeling. He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church for many years.
Merlyn went to his heavenly home on February 16, 2020 at the age of 90 years 7 days at Jenkins Living Center.
He is survived by his children: Charlene Block of Watertown SD, Debra (Michael) Lien of Nashville TN, Tammy (Glenn) Ziegler of Tripp SD, Dennis (Pat) Kumm of Tucson AZ, Donald Kumm of Portland OR, Linda (Ron) Stern of Henry SD and Mike (Linda) Kumm of Hutchinson MN; 15 grandchildren; several great grandchildren; his sister Irene Beavers of Twin Falls ID; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his former wife, Betty; his wife, Fern; brothers Walter, Earhardt, Arnold and Roland; sisters, Edna and Irma; brother and sisters- in- law; daughter- in-law, Shirley, step-daughter Patricia, son-in-law Tom, and 2 great grandchildren.
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