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OBIT: Barbara “Barb” J. Merkle

Barb died shortly after her father on Sunday, April 14, 2024, at her home in Ankeny. She was 59.

A memorial service for Barb and her father, Chuck, will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 19, 2024 at the Lu Verne United Methodist Church. Burial will be held in the Lu Verne Township Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 2024 at the Lu Verne United Methodist Church.

Barbara Jo Ann Merkle was born October 20, 1964, in Britt; the daughter of Charles and Linda (Schnetzer) Merkle. She grew up in the Lu Verne area and graduated from Lu Verne High School.

Following high school, she started on a journey that led her to the Des Moines area, where she attended American Institute of Business. There, she pursued a career as a project manager. Her most recent job was with Optum, and she eventually made her home in Ankeny.

Barb had a zest for life and a variety of interests that brought her joy. She loved shopping and had a passion for horses and enjoyed spending time around them whenever she could. She was also an avid fan of the singer Donny Osmond and had the pleasure of seeing him perform in Vegas twice, creating unforgettable memories.

Barb also shared a special bond with her mother, with whom she enjoyed traveling. Last summer, they took on a trip to Colorado, creating cherished memories together. Barb had a remarkable gift for connecting with others. She never met a stranger and could strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. One of Barb’s greatest delights was her love for children. She had a natural affinity for little ones, and they were drawn to her like a magnet. Barb had been attending Hope Lutheran Church in Ankeny.

Barb died shortly after her father on Sunday, April 14, 2024, at her home in Ankeny. She was 59.

She is survived by her mom, Linda of Lu Verne; siblings, Randy (Colleen) Merkle of Polk City, Ami (Bobby) Liebsch of Jesup; niece and nephew, Emily Merkle of Tulsa, OK, Matthew Merkle of Tempe, AZ; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

Preceding her in death is her father, Chuck.

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