August 2, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

Benedict “Jim” Mergen

Mass of Christian Burial was July 31, 2023, at St. Boniface Catholic Church, in Cold Spring, for Benedict “Jim” Mergen, 90, who died July 27 at Quiet Oaks Hospice House. 

Jim was born March 3, 1933, in Farming, to John and Gertrude (Holthaus) Mergen, the last of eight children. He was raised in Farming and graduated with the Albany class of 1950 and then from St. Cloud State with a teaching certificate in physical education. He married Darlene Machtmes in 1960, and they had three children, Randy, Dean and Debbie. 

Jim taught at Ortley, South Dakota, and then went on to work with the Veterans Administration as a recreational therapist in St. Cloud. He moved to New Jersey and then to Austin, Texas, retiring as an analyst for the VA. Jim was a member of the Knights of Columbus. 

As a lifelong baseball fan, he played with the Farming Flames in his younger years and was later inducted into the hall of fame. He then played softball in New Jersey, Texas, Minnesota and Arizona, where he pitched his last game at age 85. When too old to play baseball, he helped organize the Farming Flames golf tournament for over 12 years as well as the local dupas golf tournament and Mergen family golf tournament. Jim was a lifetime member of Optimist International, sheriff of the town of San LeAnna, Texas, and served a two-year term as mayor. Upon retirement he returned to Minnesota and would spend time between Cold Spring and Sun City, Arizona. 

He is remembered lovingly by his wife of 62 years, Darlene; children, Randy, Dean (Betty), Debbie (Bobby) Powell; 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. 

He is preceded in death by his parents and seven siblings. 

Services were with the Wenner Funeral Home in Cold Spring.



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