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Joseph “Joe” E. Merila, age 76, of Plymouth, died on Thursday, July 12, 2018 at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 10:30 AM at House of Hope Lutheran Church in New Hope. Visitation will be held on Tuesday evening from 4:00 until 7:00 PM at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral Home in Litchfield, MN and will continue one hour prior to the services at the church. Interment will be held in the Ripley Cemetery in Litchfield with military honors provided by the Litchfield Military Honor Guard.
Joseph Edward Merila, the son of Edward and Lydia (Anti) Merila, was born on November 5, 1941, in Kingston, MN. He attended school in Litchfield where he excelled at both baseball and basketball, Joe graduated from Litchfield High School in 1959. Following high school he served in the US Army in Korea post war. Upon his return, he became a journeyman carpenter. On June 13, 1964, Joe was united in marriage to Kathlyn (Kaye) Anderson at First Lutheran Church in Litchfield. They made their home for the past 44 years in Plymouth, in the home he built. Joe was self-employed and owned Joe Merila Construction until his retirement in 2012. He was a member of House of Hope Lutheran Church in New Hope. Joe loved being outdoors, fishing, hunting, and playing golf. His love of sports continued through his life and he continued to watch his grandkids develop as accomplished athletes.
He is survived by his children, Tracy (and Shaun) Sartin of Northbrook, IL, and Mark Merila of Maple Grove; grandchildren, Brooke Merila, Boston Merila, Brody Merila, Katherine “KK” Sartin and Cooper Sartin. He is also survived by his brothers Peter (and Phyllis) Merila of Richfield and Jim (and Elaine) Merila of Maple Grove; sisters Mary Jane Arens of Kingston and Coryliss (and Vernon) Simonson of Saskatchewan, Canada. He was preceded in death by his parents and wife Kaye.