Merlen R. Schnakenberg

March 29, 1937 – June 2, 2022


Merlen Ray Schnakenberg was born March 29, 1937, in Sedan, Nuckolls County. He departed this life on June 2, 2022, at the age of 85 years.

Merlen grew up in Sedan, attending grade school at St. Peter Lutheran Church and graduating from Davenport High School in 1955. He remained in the Sedan/Davenport area working for various farmers in the area, drove truck hauling cattle to Omaha and St. Joseph stockyards and Bergt Bros. Sand & Gravel Company.

On Oct. 21, 1962, he was united in marriage with Rosemary (Elvers) Bartling and became a family with her three children, Nicky, Daniel and Kristine Bartling. Four more children were added, Shelly, Jodi, Jani and Jamie. Merlen was a farmer and a livestock producer. He later started working for Ray Mausoleum Co. in Deshler. He retired completely from farming and raising livestock in 1995 and served more than 25 years with Ray Mausoleum Co. and later Mausoleums by Reinke until he fully retired in 2006.

Merlen and Rose didn’t have an empty calendar with their children’s school events spanning from 1964-1990 and this devotion to their family continued with their grandchildren’s events. He enjoyed road trips, being the narrator for who lived there or what was relevant about the location. While Saturdays were all about Husker football for Rose, Merlen was as an avid Husker volleyball fan. He did attend a game in person and loved his Husker volleyball.

Merlen was preceded in death by his parents, George and Edna (Getz) Schnakenberg; his wife of 53 years, Rosemary; sister, Leela Mae Crockett and husband, David; sisters-in-law, JoAnn Schnakenberg and Elvira Schnakenberg; grandson, Taylor Bartling; nephew, David “Dick” Crockett; and nieces, Linda (Crockett) Faulk, Michelle (Schnakenberg) Hale and Terrie (Anderson) Pester.

He is survived by his three sons, Nicky Bartling of Deshler, Daniel (Jill) Bartling of Aurora and Jamie (Kim) Schnakenberg of Wahoo; four daughters, Kristine (Mike) Ellingson of Crete, Shelly Schnakenberg of Phillips, Jodi (Robert) Else of Belvidere, and Jani (Kevin) Cottam of Hebron; 14 grandchildren, Trevor and Pierce Bartling, Natasha Ellingson, Sara Meyer, Jessica McBride, Eric Ellingson, Seth Schnakenberg, Spenser Else, Ethan Hudson, Sydney and Cambrie Cottam, Josie, Jaclyn and Jonas Schnakenberg; 10 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Harlan Schnakenberg of Deshler and Larry (Grace) Schnakenberg of Tucson, Arizona; in-laws, Berta and Wayne Lomax of Crete, Roger and Debbie Jo Elvers of Auburn, California, and  Don Elvers and fiancee, Terri, of Wichita, Kansas. He was Uncle Mert to many nieces and nephews.

Services were June 10, in Deshler, with a private family inurnment following. Condolences may be left for the family online at