119 Third Street Southwest ~ Rugby, North Dakota ~ 58368-1797
Chapel of the Cross ~ Towner, North Dakota
Jon M. Stork - President / Licensed Director

Phone: 701.776.6381 ~ 701.537.5130
Fax: 701.776.5916
email: afhrugbytowner@gondtc.com


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Arlen P. Merbach

Arlen Peter Merbach,85 of Towner, North Dakota passed away February 14, 2018 at the Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby, North Dakota. He was born November 25, 1932 in Drake, North Dakota home of his parents, Carl and Bertha (Janz) Merbach.

Arlen was reared in the home of his parents first in Drake then the family moved to Towner in 1936.  Arlen received his education in the Towner School, graduating from Towner High School, the class of 1950.  On June 19, 1956, he was united in marriage to Shirley Sandow at Zion Lutheran Church in Towner. The couple made their home and raised their home and raised 3 children in Towner.  He owned and operated a grocery store in Towner before being elected as the Clerk of Court in McHenry County in 1963. When the county judge retired he took over the position of County Judge.  After the court districts were realigned by the State, he then resumed the duties of the Clerk of Court.  In 1997, after 34 years of dedication to the County, he retired. Arlen and Shirley enjoyed card parties and camping with their friends.  Arlen enjoyed spending his free time fishing, hunting and adding to his arrowhead collection.  Shirley died December 28, 1996.

Arlen cherished spending time with his grandchildren, Taylor Hovland, Daniel and Nicolle Mickelson. He was always interested in what was going on in their lives and gave guidance when asked. He was a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church and a volunteer fireman for 22 years. In 2000, Arlen developed a special friendship with, an admiration for and companionship alongside Betty Ring, that only grew deeper as time went by.

He is survived by his children, Dale Merbach of Towner, Jayne (Rich) Hovland and Tammy (Dave) Mickelson, all of Bismarck; three grandchildren; one sister, Darlene Jorgensen of Grand Forks; Betty Ring of Towner; other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years; siblings Leila Merbach and Carl Merbach Jr.; and his parents.

Memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, February 20th at the Zion Lutheran Church in Towner, with spring burial in the Union Cemetery, Towner.   Pastor Linda Wimmer and Mr. Wally Fretland, officiates.   

Posted Condolences:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the whole family. 
Florence Merbach, Tonya, Mike, Marlo, Malcolm, Shannon, & Jos`I

I met Arlen, through Betty as newly married a new addition to the Ring family, I became blessed to know him. Arlen,helped me so much for at the time  of my fathers deat, he and Betty entered our home prior to his funeral. He said in his strong voice I don't suppose there is a girl in here that needs a hug. That brought me to my knees. I so needed that hug, you see my father too was a very big hugger. I loved him from that day on, believe me I don't love easy and much harder to love. He was there for several more funerals, and many celebrating times, always a constant, with twinkling eyes, a small smile and always the hug I needed. He and Betty we're there to welcome our daughter into our home,and lives. there for her travels to Minot to get her hair done to delivering a pizza they all shared when she spent the night in Towner with grandma. Just this past spring they came to Minot to watch her at her track meet when mom and dad could not even be there. I think along w  ith my s  pecial memories the most poignant to me was when our daughter Ayri said," I never have had a grandpa, but that was always okay because I had Arlen." The words of our babes. Please know that all those special memories you hold dear can be wrapped up in the shape of a heart and brought forward when you need those special words, a hug or just because. Make sure you put them back carefully because then we all have them forever.
My prayers and thoughts to you all.  jacinta Ring... AKA, Lyndens wife.

Condolences to Arlen's family and to Betty Ring. Arlen was a kind man who I remember always having a smile on his face and was a pleasure to visit with him when I worked at the Ranch House as a kid.

Dear Jayne,Tammy and Dale,
Please accept our sincere sympathy on the loss of your Dad, he was such a special person, always good for a laugh.  Your Parents were good friends of ours, and you 3 were very special Kids to us.  May God bless you and give you strength and peace in the days ahead.
Love and sympathy,
Bob and Mary Muhs

We are sorry for your loss. We know the hole that's left upon losing our own fathers.
There's not a day when you won't miss your dad and grandpa and friend. Lean on the sweet memories.  Those memories, beautiful and many, will fill that hole as much as you let it by trusting in God.
Faith in God and gratitude for a significant life well lived will heal and allow you to flourish in Love, a love Arlen taught all he met.
Much love and prayers,
God Bless,
The Mike and Julie Liffrig Family



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