Merlyn M. Kons, Age 81, a cancer survivor, has passed away from congestive heart failure at his home in Ogdensburg, WI on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 surrounded by his family. He was born March 31, 1930 in Darboy, Wisconsin to the late Jacob and Anna (Heimmerman) Kons. Merlyn went to work at the Combined Locks Paper Mill, spending his free time riding his motorcycle and roller skating where he met Marie R. Charneski at the Skateland Roller Rink in Green Bay where they had many skate dancing dates. On July 4, 1955 they were united in marriage at All Saints Catholic Church, Denmark, blessed with 56 years of marriage and 8 children. In January of 1966, Merlyn retired from the mill to pursue his dream of becoming a full time musician playing the accordion and organ with his wife Marie by his side on the drums. Merlyn performed throughout Wisconsin appearing many times on the Dick Rogers and Alvin Styczynski TV Shows, also nationwide including 4 years at Wichita, KS German Fest with fellow musician Myron Floren. He also had the pleasure of performing with fellow musicians Frankie Yankovic, Romy Gosz among many others. Merlyn spent many years as an active member of the Wisconsin Orchestra Leaders Association being voted Band Leader of the Year in 1980 and held several different office positions including President in 1984-1986. In 1995, Merlyn became a Charter Member of the Wisconsin Polka Hall of Fame. In 1971, Merlyn moved his family from Appleton to a farm in rural Ogdensburg and became a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Manawa. He enjoyed his motorcycle, old cars, and fishing with his children. After retirement he enjoyed performing at the Polka Jam in Winneconne. Merlyn will be deeply missed by his loving wife Marie, Odgensburg; children: Christine (Mike) Young, Manawa; Helen (Joseph) Kosmerchock, New London; Linda (Jack) Schuelke, Bear Creek; Paul (Dawn) Kons, Ogdensburg; Lucy (Thomas) Raschke, Bear Creek; Patrick (fiancee Deb Thorne) Kons, Manawa; 17 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren; brothers: Hugo (Sharon) Kons, Appleton; Leander Kons, Chilton; Gerald (Jean) Kons, Crystal Lake, IL; Jacob (Lucia) Kons, Richardson, Tx; Alex (Bing) Kons, Phillipines; brothers-in-Law: LeRoy Matuszak, Appleton; Geraldus WillemsVanDijk, New London; sisters-in-Law LaVerne Kons, Menasha; Dorothy Kons, Neenah; Verna Bringe, Green Bay; Patricia Stutleen, Green Bay; Catherine Hirsch, Orlando, FL; Mary Charneski, Green Bay; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Merlyn was preceded in death by his parents: Jacob and Anna Kons, children: George and Marleen; great grandson Trenton Schuelke; siblings: Gregory, Norman, Bernard Kons, Eileen WillemsVanDijk, Diane Matuszak, Kathleen Oriedo; in-laws Betty and Rosemary Kons; parents-in-law: Francis and Emily Charneski; in-laws: Chester and Norman (Sparky) Charneski, Roger Bringe, Matthew and Ginger Schaeffer, and William Hirsch. The Funeral Mass for Merlyn was held on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manawa with Fr. Brian Belongia officiating. Friends called at the Cline-Hanson-Dahlke Funeral Home in Manawa on Sunday, August 28, 2011 from 3-6 p.m. and on Monday at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established.