Shirley Margaret Merten, age 78, of Austin, died peacefully on Monday, August 22, 2011 at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester. Shirley was born September 18, 1932 in LeMars, Iowa to Isidore and Mary Ann (Kemp) Lieb at her parents farm home. She moved to Zimmerman, Minnesota and graduated from Elk River High School in 1950. After graduation, Shirley moved to Austin. Her first job was working at State Farm Insurance for Clayton Meyer. Shirley met one of her best friends, Mary Lou Merten (Rysavy) who introduced her to the love of her life-Francis Merten. They were united in marriage on July 14, 1952 at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Austin. After a honeymoon in St. Louis, Missouri, they settled in at the home farm and started a family. Shirley and Francis were blessed with eight beautiful children who took over the love of farming. Shirley was a member of St. Edward's Catholic Church, unit member and former choir member. She was an avid reader. Shirley had a great interest in the farm and raising crops. She kept the books throughout the years until she retired in 1995. Nothing was more important to Shirley than her faith, family and the farm. She worked hard to instill this in all of her children. Shirley was kind, loving and beautiful inside and out. She will be dearly missed. Shirley was very instrumental in keeping the family close. She was the glue that held the family together-always a pillar of strength. Survivors include her husband, Francis Merten, Austin; children, Debbie (Charles) Voogd, Austin, Tony (Renee) Merten, Austin, Michael (Diana) Merten, Austin, Joseph (Jill) Merten, Austin, Mary (David) Kline, Lyle, Julie (Todd) Enger, Lyle, Jennifer Bumgarner (special friend, Mike), Austin; 18 grandchildren; ten great grandchildren; sister, Lorraine Meyer, Austin. She is preceded in death by her parents, Isidore and Mary Ann Lieb; sister, Alice Mae Danner; brother, Fred Lieb; beloved son, Peter F. Merten; brothers-in-law, Norbert Landherr, Donald Rysavy and Clayton Meyer; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Peter and Lucy Merten. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated 11:00 am on Friday, August 26, 2011 at St. Edward's Catholic Church with Father Jim Steffes officiating. There will be a 4 pm rosary and a 6:30 pm wake service on Thursday at Mayer Funeral Home where friends may call from 4-7 pm and also one hour before the service at the church on Friday. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. The honorary casket bearers will be Matthew Voogd, Chuck Voogd, David Kline, Todd Enger, Ryan Bell. The casket bearers will be Michael James Merten, Peter F. Merten, Andrew Merten, Brian Merten, Thomas Merten, John Kline, Michael Kline, Joseph Bumgarner, Benjamin Bumgarner, Nicholas Enger.