Mass of Christian Burial was June 21 at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville for Leonard R. Merdan, 76, of Albany, who passed away June 16, 2022, at the St. Cloud Hospital with his wife and children at his side.  Burial will take place at St. John the Baptist Parish Cemetery in Collegeville at a later date.

Lenny was born Nov. 21, 1945, in Collegeville Township, Stearns County, to Andrew and Frances (Reisinger) Merdan. He was a 1963 graduate of St. Cloud Technical High School and later graduated from St. Cloud Vocational Technical College from the carpentry program. In 1969, he competed and received an International Carpentry Apprenticeship Award in Chicago. Lenny began his carpentry career with Avon Lumber Yard (Lumber One) as their first carpenter and then as a foreman. In 1983, Lenny Merdan Construction was created. Later, in 1993, he began working for his son’s company, Merdan Custom Builders Incorporated, where he continued working until his passing.  

He married Janet Skluzacek Aug. 20, 1966, and together they had six children.  Since 1967, Lenny resided in Avon, having built six custom homes for their growing family before building a home and woodshop in Albany in 2004.  

Lenny was an active member in the Stearns County Pioneer Club. During the annual Pioneer Days event, he held numerous demonstrations in the woodshop, helped out in nearly every corner and enjoyed observing all the running equipment of the past. He was also a member of the Central Minnesota Woodworkers Association and Mid-Minnesota Association of Woodturners.

In recent years, Lenny spent his time pursuing his passion of fine wood working projects. Lenny created everything from jewelry boxes, spinner tops, intricate bowls and detailed vehicle models. He loved to share his work and talk about the steps to produce each project and the types of wood he utilized, especially with his grandchildren.

 As a childhood member of the St. John the Baptist Church, he performed the duties of a mass server, continuing his membership and pursuit of the Catholic faith throughout his life.

Lenny is survived by his wife, Janet; children Kenneth (Bridget) Merdan, Dean (Susan) Merdan, Curtis (Laura) Merdan, Lyle, Taunya (Trevor) Poser and MaryAlice (Peter) Faust; 12 grandchildren Addison and Nolan Merdan, Elizabeth and Nicholas Merdan, Abigail and Clara Merdan, Cole and Brooke Poser, Riley, Lane, Trace and Tyler Faust; brothers and sisters Chuck (Sandy), Lillian Edelbrock, Betty Lipinski, Marlene Thielman, Nell (Roger) Bechtold, Marita (Don) Schwinghammer and Imelda (Don) Allen; brothers-in-law Ed Koska and Larry Koltes; sister-in-law Kay Merdan and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Judy and Carol and brother Robert.

Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.

Arrangements were made by the Wenner Funeral Home of Cold Spring.

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