Memorial service for Merl H. Thelen, 71, of Norfolk will be held at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at Stonacek Funeral Chapel in Norfolk. Officiating the service will be Rev. Terry Buol. Visitation will be held 2 hours prior to service time on Wednesday. Merl died on Thursday, March 17, 2022 at Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk as a result of a vehicle accident. Stonacek Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Merl was born on May 30, 1950 in Osmond, Nebraska to Harold and Edna (Beckmann) Thelen. Merl attended grade school in Bloomfield, graduated from Bloomfield High School in 1968. He graduated from Tech School in Omaha to be a mechanic. After Tech school, Merl worked for himself as a mechanic in Norfolk. Merl married Linda (Juracek) in 1972 in Norfolk, NE. After they married Merl later worked for Harley Tejkl as a farm hand, before being offered a job with Vern Dall Ford as a shop foreman. Before retiring Merl was a mechanic with the Norfolk City Street Division, he hauled mail from Norfolk to Omaha, he was a computer technician and also drove truck on the side as part owner and operator of Thelen Trucking. The couple moved to Niobrara in 2011, where they owned and operated the Riverside Café. The couple then decided to move back to Norfolk in January 2015 and he kept driving truck part time until retiring in 2018. Merl enjoyed hunting, fishing, putting out set lines, pulling practical jokes, dancing, taking his grand dogs for a joy ride at night, playing cards, and being with his buddies for a couple of beers at night. He was a member of the Eagles Club, as well as a volunteer ambulance driver for Niobrara.

Survivors include the love of his life Linda Thelen of Norfolk; children Todd Thelen (Erica Peek) of Norfolk, Tyler Thelen (Caitlin Wiley) of Norfolk, daughter by choice Missy Terry (George Wiedel) of Kearney; grandchildren Brittani Thelen (Jake Betzen) of Norfolk, Tucker Thelen of Osmond, Suttyn Thelen of Norfolk, Katarina and Caleb Miller of Osmond, Braylon and Kellen Mauler of Kearney, Greyson Wiedel of Kearney and Great-Grand children Kyleigh and Paxtyn Thelen of Norfolk. Brother Lyle Thelen of Creighton, sisters Norma (Lyle) McDonald of Plainview, Janice Kirschenman of Yankton, and RuthAnn Sullivan of Yankton. Merl was preceded in death by his Parents Harold and Edna, and father-figure Loal Gieselman. Condolences may be expressed to the family on-line at

To plant a tree in memory of Services Thelen as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.