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Friday, July 9, 2021
4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)
Merle Ehler Henke, 81 of Devils Lake, ND passed away at Sanford Hospital Bismarck, ND on July 1, 2021.
A memorial service for Merle will be held on Saturday July 10, 2021 at 11:00 AM at St Peter's Lutheran Church in Devils Lake, with lunch following the service. A gathering of family and friends will be held Friday July, 9, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at Gilbertson Funeral Home , Devils Lake. Merle will be laid to rest in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, rural Mandan ND at a later date.
Merle Ehler Henke was born in Hannover, ND in Oliver County on March 14, 1940 to Cora (Wolff) and Harold Henke. He grew up on the family farm and went to school in Hannover and Center. Merle graduated from Center High School and served in the United States Army as a military police officer. After serving in the Army, Merle returned to Hannover to help with the family farm. He worked for Harold Schafer at the Gold Seal Company while attending college in Bismarck. He also attended Lake Region State College and Minot State University graduating with a degree in social studies.
After working at the Gold Seal Company, Merle began a 32-year career in law enforcement working for the Bismarck Police Department, Rugby Police Department, Devils Lake Police Department and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation/Attorney General office as a special investigator for 24 years. While employed with the ND BCI, Merle attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He retired from the Devils Lake Regional office in 1994.
Merle married Nicole Gullickson in 1963 and they moved to Devils Lake. Merle worked for the Devils Lake Police Department and Nicole was a teacher at the North Dakota School for the Deaf. They had two children, daughter Karla and son Shannon. Nicole died in 2013 after a 6-year battle with Cancer. Merle provided her with loving and continuous care until her death. Merle was an active member of St. Peters Lutheran Church in Devils Lake, serving on numerous board positions and he loved the fellowship the church and his Lord provided.
Merle loved living in Devils Lake on his hobby farm. He enjoyed raising a few horses and cattle. He helped teach his children how to raise and show the livestock and was an instructor in the Ramsey Riders 4-H Club. Some of Merle's favorite things was his North Dakota Stockmen's Association livestock brand, the song “You Are My Sunshine” and when Nicci made his favorite apple pie, he would quote "Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze”. Merle loved his life, but his children and grandchildren were the most important thing to him.
Loving family members that survive Merle are his children and grandchildren, daughter, Karla Henke of Peachtree City , GA and her daughters, Ariana and Alejandro Truijillo, and Erika and Austin Bain of Sigonella Naval Air Station; son, Shannon and Christine Henke of Bismarck, ND and his children, daughter Mallorie and Charles Emory of Mandan,ND and son, Samuel Henke of Mandan, ND; step children, Kylen Mayer of Mandan, ND; Preston Mayer of Mandan, ND; and Abby Mayer of Bismarck, ND; foster daughter, Sharon Spotted Horse of Fort Totten, ND; sisters-in law Verlaine Gullickson of Fargo, ND and Joyce Henke of Hannover, ND; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Merle was preceded in death by his wife; parents; sister, Eunice and brother, Howard: sister-in-law, Gloria Albers; and brother-in-Law, Leslie Gullickson.
In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to be sent to the Nicci and Merle Henke Endowment Fund that he established after Nicci's death at Lake Region State College 1801 College Dr. N Devils Lake, ND 58301-1598.