By The Mercury

Mercelus Chester Biesenthal, 84, of rural Wheaton, died Saturday at Wamego Health Center. He was a life-long resident of the area.

The family provided some of the following information.

Mercelus was born June 2, 1929, on the family farm, south of Wheaton. He was the son of August and Ida Marten Biesenthal. He attended Fox grade school, Lutheran Parochial School until eighth grade, and graduated from Westmoreland Rural High School in 1947. Mercelus then proudly served his country in the United States Army, stationed in Korea during the Korean Conflict.

He married Lavona Figge on Aug. 23, 1953, in Wheaton. She survives at their home.

Mercelus was a farmer and stockman. He ran a dairy operation for many years and loved the land. He was well known for his farm’s grassland and crops and took great pride in his operation.

He was a member of the Manhattan VFW, operated the township road grader for many years, and was a member of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Wheaton. Mercelus loved to play cards, would stop and visit with anyone, enjoyed having company, and adored his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his daughter, Kaylene Plummer and her husband, Jack of Westmoreland; his sons, Rodney Biesenthal and his wife, Linda, of Onaga, and Byron Biesenthal and his wife, Betty, Wheaton; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Mercelus was preceded in death by his parents; an infant son, Ronald Dean; a granddaughter, Kayla; a grandson-in-law, Kealan German; and his brothers, Elroy, Lester and Cleason.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Thursday at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Wheaton. The Rev. Terry DeGiovanni will be officiating. Burial will follow in Fairview (Fox) Cemetery, south of Wheaton. Mr. Biesenthal will lie in state on Wednesday starting at 2 p.m. at Campanella-Evans Mortuary in Wamego, where the family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. A prayer service will be at 7 p.m. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Wamego Area Veterans Memorial or St. Luke Lutheran Church, and those may be sent in care of the mortuary. Online condolences may be made at

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