Merlin W. Westenberger, 94


Merlin W. Westenberger, 94, of Nokomis, died on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at 2:59 a.m. at Prairie Rose Health Care Center in Pana.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 8, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Nokomis. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery in Nokomis. Stiehl-Dawson Funeral Home in Nokomis is assisting the family with arrangements.

Mr. Westenberger was born on June 22, 1925, in St. Louis, MO, to Ben and Elizabeth (Scharf) Westenberger. He married Rita Catgenova on Jan. 12, 1946, in Decatur, and she preceded him in death on June 25, 2001.

He served his country in the U.S. Coast Guard.

When Mr. Westenberger first arrived in town, he worked in the family grocery store in Ohlman. He then worked as a mechanic for Johnson’s Chevrolet in Nokomis. After his time at the dealership, he went to work for coal mines in Nokomis, Farmersville and Coffeen, retiring after 25 years of service.

He was a member of the UMWA and Waples-Bauer Post 94 Nokomis American Legion, VFW, and was a Democrat precinct committeeman.

Mr. Westenberger is survived by his daughter, Penny DeWerff of Nokomis; daughter-in-law, Julie Westenberger; grandchildren, Dr. Michele (Sam) Wood of O’Fallon, MO, Stephanie (James Kropid) Flowers of Springfield, Jacob Westenberger of Colorado Springs, CO, and Dominique Westenberger of Ft. Collins, CO; great-grandchildren, Adrienne (Chris) Brady, Aaron Lipe and Jack and Isabella Wood; great-great-grandson, Caiden Brady; sister, Gloria Mueller of Wentzville, MO; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his son, Dr. Pete Westenberger in 2004; son-in-law, John “Jeff” DeWerff; and siblings, Bernice, Marie, Ben Jr., Vernon and Donald.

Online condolences to the family may be left at


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