Merle Anthony Ocken

March 29, 1947 ~ August 15, 2020 (age 73)


Merle Anthony Ocken, 73, of DeWitt, Iowa, died Saturday morning, August 15, 2020, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City.

He was born March 29, 1947, in Templeton to Lawrence and Mary (Baumhover) Ocken.  Merle graduated from Kuemper High School in Carroll and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University in 1970.  He married Nancy Ann Scranton on August 29, 1970, at Church of the Visitation in Camanche.  Merle spent most of his working life as Facilities Director for Searle Pharmaceuticals in Skokie, Illinois, until retirement. 

Merle enjoyed reading, woodworking, and spending time with his friends and family.  He was also an avid golfer.  He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and Springbrook Country Club.  Merle also served in various offices of the DeWitt Chamber and Development Company, DeWitt Noon Lions Club, LincolnWay Community Foundation and was instrumental in the planning of the new DeWitt Public Library. 

Surviving are his loving wife of nearly 50 years, Nancy; sons and daughters-in-law, Andrew and Ann Ocken of Elburn, Illinois, and Jeffrey and Bethany Ocken of Windsor, Colorado; grandchildren, Elizabeth and Matthew Ocken and Lydia and Marian Ocken; siblings, Alice (Wayne) Rupiper of Roselle, Janice (Harlan) Wolterman of Bellevue, Nebraska, Robert (Lynn) Ocken of Cedar Rapids; a brother-in-law, Keith (Diane) Irlbeck of Northfield, Minnesota; nieces and nephews.

Preceding Merle in death were his parents;  siblings, Lawrence Ocken, Lavonne Ocken, Leonette Irlbeck, Joleen Irlbeck and Ronald Ocken and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, William and Arlene Scranton.

The family will receive relatives and friends at Schultz Funeral Home, DeWitt from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 18, 2020.  A private Graveside Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, DeWitt.  Interment will follow.  In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family requests that contributions be made to the LincolnWay Foundation, DeWitt Public Library or the tree fund at Springbook Country Club.

To send flowers to Merle's family, please visit our floral store.


August 18, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Schultz Funeral Homes
722 8th Street
DeWitt, IA 52742

Private Committal

St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery
DeWitt, IA 52751

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