Merlyn L. Saathoff, 95, of Sterling, passed away Monday, November 20, 2023 at Gold Crest Retirement Center in Adams with his family by his side.  He was born January 12, 1928 on the family farm south of Sterling to William and Erna (Rathe) Saathoff.

Survivors include his daughter, Kathy (Ted) Heise; son, Steve (Wendy) Saathoff; daughter-in-law, Laurie Saathoff; eight grandchildren, Julie Saathoff, Andy (Kharissa) Saathoff, Jake (McKenzie) Saathoff, Tessa (Richard) Smith, Stephanie Saathoff, Aaron Robinson, Rob (Claudia) Heise, and Michael (Jola) Heise; 12 great-grandchildren, Braely, Luke, Sawyer, Briggs, Brock, Maelyn, and Terryn Saathoff, Jalen Smith, Eliot and Poppy Heise, and Otis and Vesa Heise; sister, Joann Phillips; nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 61 years, Donna Beth (Bartels) Saathoff, who died on December 15, 2016; son, Paul Saathoff, who died on March 18, 2013; grandson, Luke Saathoff, who died on January 4, 2007.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, November 25, 2023 at Immanual Lutheran Church of rural Sterling with Pastor Marcel Kohlmeyer officiating. Interment will be at the North St. John Cemetery of Sterling with military rites conducted by Harm Sangen Post #140 of the Sterling American Legion. The body will lie in state at the Zink-Fox Funeral Home on Friday, November 24, 2023 from noon until 8:00 P.M.  The family will greet relatives and friends from 4:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. on Friday at the funeral home.  In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to Immanuel Lutheran Church of rural Sterling.    Arrangements entrusted to Zink-Fox Funeral Home of Sterling.