Merrill P. Bjerkeset, age 91, of Granite Falls, died Thursday, January 2, at Morningside Heights Nursing Home in Marshall.  A private family service will be held in the spring.  Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Renville.  Arrangements are with Dirks-Blem Funeral Service, Renville.

Merrill P. Bjerkeset was born on August 19, 1928, in Sacred Heart, Minnesota to Ole Christian and Melvina (Melsnes) Bjerkeset.  He grew up in the Sacred Heart area and attended country school.  Merrill served his country in the United States Navy from December 21, 1945 to December 20, 1947, at which time he was honorably discharged.  He returned home to Sacred Heart and worked as an electrical contractor for many years.  Merrill was united in marriage to Matilda “Tillie” Kautzman on May 15, 1965, in St. Paul, MN.  They lived in Sacred Heart until 2003, when they moved to Marshall.  In 2006, they moved to their home in Granite Falls and he has lived in Granite Falls since.  Merrill enjoyed playing Pinochle, Bingo with his friends at Hardee’s, and spending time visiting with his many friends at Granite Ridge.  Most of all, he loved spending time with his grandchildren who were the light of his life.

Merrill is survived by his daughter and her husband, Bev (and Murray) Peterson of Marshall; his grandchildren:  Krystina (and Jonathan) Held of Crystal, Matthew (and Kara) Peterson of Sioux Falls, SD, and Janet (and LeRoy) Gruwell of St. Michael, MN; his great grandson Levi Gruwell, and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Tillie, his daughter AnnaMae Neubauer, and several siblings.

Blessed Be His Memory