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BLOOMINGTON — Merle I. Toepke, 88, of Bloomington died at 8:44 a.m. Sunday (Dec. 4, 2005) at Heritage Manor in Normal.

Visitation will be from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington. The funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the church, the Rev. Allen Steinbeck officiating. Interment will be at Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington. Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church in his memory. Kibler-Smith Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

Merle was born June 28, 1917, in Bloomington, a son of Herman Ludwig and the late Erna Peplow Toepke. He was a lifelong resident of Bloomington and was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and the 4-H Club. Merle enjoyed helping his neighbors with yard work. Whether mowing grass or shoveling snow, he enjoyed the work.

He was an avid card player and Cubs fan. Merle was employed by the former Funk Seed Co. as a security officer for many years and also by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Additionally, he helped his brother, Carl, with his farm for many years. He married Mary Arndel on Feb. 23, 1975. She preceded him in death.

Merle is survived by four brothers, Earl Toepke of Normal; Harold (Marilyn) Toepke of Pekin; Melvin (Anita) Toepke of Peoria; and Lyle (Kaz) Toepke of Honolulu, Hawaii; stepdaughter, Marlene (Jim) Parmlee of Washington; stepson, Darrel (Betty) Arndel of Kentucky; and another stepdaughter in Kentucky.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; three brothers; three sisters; and a stepson, James Arndel.

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