Merlin P. “Merf” Ellinghuysen, age 79, of Winona, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack in Rock Springs, Wy., on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, while traveling back to Winona after wintering in Arizona.
He was born on March 14, 1939, in Plainview, Minn., to Paul and Elna (Braatz) Ellinghuysen. Merf attended St. Martin’s Lutheran Day School and was a 1957 graduate of Winona High School. He honorably served his country with the United States National Guard from 1959 to 1965.
Merf was united in marriage with Patricia “Pat” Walchak on August 6, 1960, at St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Winona. He owned and operated Merf’s Market on Sarnia Street for several years. He also worked as a meat department manager for various stores in the Winona area, his longest being with Red Owl in Goodview.
He was a faithful member of St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, where he served as an elder and on the Youth Board.
Merf loved his home along the Mississippi River, where he took great pride in caring for his yard, and he was able to enjoy fishing, going out on the pontoon boat, feeding the birds, and watching eagles. Merf and Pat enjoyed winters in Arizona for the past 14 years, and they were also able to travel throughout the U.S., Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. Merf’s greatest joy in life was his family, and he especially looked forward to attending the sporting events of his children and grandchildren.
Merf is lovingly survived by his wife, Pat, Winona; children, Dawn (Tom) McGowan, Cambridge, Minn., Steve (Avani) Ellinghuysen, Pleasanton, Calif., and Scott (Kelly) Ellinghuysen, Winona; grandchildren, Sean (Marjanae) McGowan, Matthew (Khine) McGowan, Daniel (Kathreen Smith) McGowan, Logan Ellinghuysen, Jaimin Ellinghuysen, and Jenna Ellinghuysen; great-grandson, Mason McGowan; sisters, Vernice “Tudy” (Reuben) Alitz, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and Irene Nerison, Osseo, Minn.; brother-in-law, Tom (Cherie) Walchak, Winona; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Ed and Marie Walchak; sister, Elaine Carlson; and brothers-in-law, Rockwell Carlson and Dennis Nerison.
Visitation will be held from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. with a devotional service at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home. Visitation will also be held from noon until the funeral service at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 20, 2018, at St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Reverend Richard A. Moore will officiate. Merf will be laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be his grandchildren.
Memorials may be directed to St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, or to the Winona Veterans Memorial Park.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Merf’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.