Gregory Scott “Greg” Merchlewitz, age 57, of Winona, Minn., passed away on Tuesday, January 7, 2014, at Winona Health, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born on December 21, 1956, in Winona, Minn., to Robert P. “Bobby” and Delores “Tootsie” (Schmidtknecht) Merchlewitz. Greg was a graduate of Cotter High School in Winona.
One of Greg’s first jobs was driving hearse for his father’s business, Winona Hearse Service. He had a great love and appreciation for the outdoors – especially fishing, hunting, trapping, and his interest in exotic animals and pets. If you were ever looking for Greg and couldn’t find him along the shores of the Mississippi River, you would have to hop in your boat and head to Sam Gordy’s Slough in the Mississippi backwaters – that is where you would find him.
Greg had many talents – he was an excellent gardener and landscaper – his yard was always perfect! He used his artistic gifts to create oil paintings of wildlife, and he enjoyed his many fish mountings. He even remodeled the inside of his house to look like a log cabin by harvesting and finishing all of the wood by himself.
Greg loved anything that was loud and fast – MotoCross Racing, motorcycles, speedboating, taking his Craig Craft out on the river, and in recent years, he acquired a 1923 Ford T-Bucket that he enjoyed driving around town - no one could miss its bright yellow color and flames.
Family was very important to Greg and he loved spending time with them – whether that was being goofy with his nieces and nephews, or watching “Rocky” movies with his sister. After his father’s death in 2008, he became an excellent and attentive caregiver to his mother. He will be remembered as a colorful soul who liked to have a good time, and who had a childlike attitude and approach to life.
Greg is lovingly survived by his mother, Delores “Tootsie” Merchlewitz, Winona, Minn.; brother, Paul (Cindy) Merchlewitz, Andover, Minn.; sister, Lisa Merchlewitz, Winona, Minn.; fiancée and loving companion, Kristi Klinger, Winona; nieces and nephews, Megan and Ryan Merchlewitz and Zachary and Allison Bailey; a great-niece, Peyton; his beloved dog, Dirk; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; as well as other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Robert “Bobby” Merchlewitz.
Visitation and funeral services were held on Friday, January 10, 2014, at Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home. Deacon Justin Green officiated.
The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be considered to a favorite charity.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Greg’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.
Entrusted to Our Care – Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home.