He was born Jan. 21, 1932 in Staplehurst to Martin and Alvina (Fritz) Ocken. Merv was baptized in Staplehurst and confirmed at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in York.
He grew up on a farm west of York, attended country school, and then graduated from York High School with the class of 1950. On Sept. 7, 1951 he was united in marriage to Donna Robinson. They celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in 2013. To this union four children were born: Marsha Towle, Kathy Wyatt, Michael Ocken and Amy Burruss.
Merv was drafted in to the Army in 1952, serving 14 months during the Korean Conflict. After returning from Korea he was a longtime Waco area farmer and then worked as a Regional Sales manager for Wilson Hybrids. He was a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Waco. Merv loved his country and fellow Legionnaires, serving as Post Commander for five terms. He was a 21-year member of Legion Post #49 and the V.F.W. Post #4755 in Seward.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Donna of Waco; his four children, Marsha (Tom) Towle of Garland, Kathy (Doug) Wyatt of Lincoln, Mike (Mignon) Ocken of York and Amy (Mickey) Burruss of Clarks.
His grandchildren include: Trevor Towle, T.J. (Faith) Towle, Kyle (Raissa) Towle, Ashley (Brian) Siegman, Taylor Wyatt, Tobin Wyatt and Sara Baer, Zach (Madison) Ocken, Logan Ocken, Michaela (Cody) Miller, Lorinda Ocken and Brandon Burruss.
Great-grandchildren include: Lilly, Connor, and Hunter Towle, Griffin Towle, Scarlett Towle, Reagan (Nolan) Siegman, Kaden Heilbrun and Kaylii Miller. Also surviving is his sister-in-law, Betty Ocken and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; twin brother, Merlin; and a daughter-in-law, Cheryl Ocken.
Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 at Peace Lutheran Church in Waco. Interment with military honors will follow at Utica Cemetery in Utica.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 1 – 9 p.m. and on Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. with family greeting friends Wednesday evening from 7 – 9 p.m. at the mortuary. Memorials may be directed to the family for Parkinson Research.