Leonard (Lenny) Ralph Merdan, age 76

Leonard (Lenny) Ralph Merdan

November 21,1945 - June 16, 2022

Visitation:  St. John the Baptist Parish Center, Collegeville, MN;

Service:  St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, MN

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10am on Tuesday, June 21st at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville for Leonard R. Merdan, age 76, of Albany, MN who passed away on Thursday, June 16th at the St. Cloud Hospital with his wife and children at his side.  Burial will take place at St. John the Baptist Parish Cemetery in Collegeville at a later date.

Visitation will be from 4pm – 8pm on Monday, June 20th at the parish center in Collegeville and again from 9am-10am on Tuesday at the Abbey. Arrangements were made by the Wenner Funeral Home, Cold Spring, MN.

Lenny was born November 21, 1945 in Collegeville Township in Stearns County, Minnesota to Andrew and Frances (Reisinger) Merdan. He was a 1963 graduate of St. Cloud Technical High School and later graduated from St. Cloud Vocational Technical College from the Carpentry program.  In 1969, he competed and received an International Carpentry Apprenticeship Award in Chicago.  Lenny began his carpentry career with Avon Lumber Yard (Lumber One) as their first carpenter and then as a foreman.  In 1983 Lenny Merdan Construction was created.  Later 1993, he began working for his son’s company, Merdan Custom Builders Incorporated, where he continued until his passing. 

He married Janet Skluzacek on August 20, 1966 and together had six children.  Since 1967 Lenny resided in Avon, MN having built six custom homes for their growing family before building a home and woodshop in Albany in 2004. 

Lenny was an active member in the Stearns County Pioneer Club.  During the annual Pioneer Days event he held numerous demonstrations in the woodshop, helped out in nearly every corner and enjoyed observing all the running equipment of the past.  He was also a member of the Central MN Woodworkers Association and Mid-MN Association of Woodturners.

In recent years Lenny spent his time pursuing his passion of fine wood working projects.  Lenny created everything from jewelry boxes, spinner tops, intricate bowls, and detailed vehicle models.   He loved to share his works and talk about the steps to produce each project and the types of wood he utilized, especially with his grandchildren.
As a childhood member of the St. John the Baptist Church, he performed the duties of a mass server - continuing his membership and pursuit of the Catholic faith throughout his life.

Lenny is survived by his wife, Janet; children, Kenneth (Bridget) Merdan, Dean (Susan) Merdan, Curtis (Laura) Merdan, Lyle, Taunya (Trevor) Poser, MaryAlice (Peter) Faust; 12 grandchildren:  Addison and Nolan Merdan, Elizabeth and Nicholas Merdan, Abigail and Clara Merdan, Cole and Brooke Poser, Riley, Lane, Trace and Tyler Faust; brothers and sisters, Chuck (Sandy), Lillian Edelbrock, Betty Lipinski, Marlene Thielman, Nell (Roger) Bechtold, Marita (Don) Schwinghammer and Imelda (Don) Allen, brothers in law Ed Koska and Larry Koltes and sister in law, Kay Merdan and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Judy and Carol; and brother, Robert.

Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.