Merle Sehi, 83

Sehi Merle Obit Photo

Merle J. Sehi, 83 of Elgin, died unexpectedly at his home on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 21,2023 at Rural St. John’s Catholic Church, rural Clearwater, NE with Rev. John Norman officiating. Interment followed at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, rural Clearwater. Visitation was Monday night at the church with a 7 p.m. wake service. 

Levander Funeral Home of Elgin, NE is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at


Merle John Sehi, son of Albert J. and Erma (Zegers) Sehi, was born March 29, 1939 on the family farm near Deloit, NE. He was baptized and confirmed at rural St. John’s Catholic Church and graduated from Clearwater High School with the class of 1957. He attended Chadron State College and earned his degree in education from Wayne State College.

On August 4, 1960, Merle was united in marriage to Lois Ann Saltz at rural St. John’s Catholic Church. They returned to the Deloit area where they both taught school at rural schools in Antelope, Wheeler and Holt counties. They were blessed with three children: Tim, Renee and Brett. Merle taught school at several school districts in the area including District 60, 14, 100 and the longest tenure at District 146 near Goose Lake. He had a passion for teaching his students and found unique and creative ways to keep their interest and arrange their school programs.

Along with teaching, Merle farmed, raised hogs and grew his cattle herd from nothing to be a reputation herd, often bringing top dollar at the Norfolk sale. He, along with his good friends Leonard Kerkman and Phillip Thiele, were instrumental in starting the Clearwater Rodeo. The trio also won the first Wild Cow event held at the Clearwater Rodeo. 

Merle was a life-long member of rural St. John’s Catholic Church. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his younger years, and spent many years playing poker with his neighborhood friends in the Sandhills, taking turns hosting at each other’s houses. He always enjoyed giving a hard time to his family, friends and anyone else when he had the opportunity. In later years, he enjoyed spending time with his special friend Pat Evans, stopping by the Elgin One Stop to visit friends and driving around to “make sure people were working.”

Merle is survived by his special friend Pat Evans of Elgin; two children: Tim Sehi (Lori Ratigan) of Omaha; Renee (Michael) Riesberg of Waukee, IA; grandchildren: Megan (Chris) Beckman of Elgin; Laci (CJ) Fries of Sioux City, IA; Tyler Sehi and Dylan Sehi of Omaha; great-grandchildren: Cora, Connor, Ainsley and Maisy Beckman; Skylar and Kaleb Fries; step-children: Amy (Lynn) Selting of Elgin; Andy (Ashley) Evans and Matt (PJ) Evans of Norfolk; Robbie Evans, Brian (Abby) Evans, and Jay (Kristen) Evans, all of Elgin; step-grandchildren: Liz Selting (fiancé Collin Martinsen), Ally and Michael Selting; Paula, Ashley (fiancé Zach Schindler), Hunter, Sierra, Kayden and Rylee Evans; Ashton, Gage and Maddie Evans; Victoria and Libby Evans; Harper, Jackson and Kayson Evans; two sisters: Pat (John) Hruby of Elgin and Kathy Dubas of Fullerton; along with nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. 

He was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Erma Sehi; wife Lois Sehi in 1995; son Brett Sehi in 2010; grandson Kyle John Riesberg in 2020; along with other family.