Merle Tackema

| 02 Jan 2023 | 02:41

Merle Tackema of Wantage passed from his earthly life into his eternal home on Dec. 31, 2022. He was 79.

Born Sept. 23, 1943, in Opeinde, Netherlands, he immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1947, settling in Mount Vernon, Wash. Later, his family moved to Sussex, NJ.

Merle graduated from Sussex High School.

He was the owner of Merle Tackema Custom Building Contractor, building many homes in the Sussex-Wantage area.

Merle was a member of the Sussex Christian Reformed Church, serving as a deacon and elder. He also volunteered with World Renew, helping to rebuild homes in areas struck with weather-related disasters.

Merle served as a board member of the Sussex Christian School and took great joy in fishing, gardening and traveling.

He was predeceased by his parents, Harry and Katharine Tackema, and brother-in-law, Robert Aukema.

Merle was the beloved husband for 58 years of Tilly Tackema (nee Van Wieren). He is survived by his children, Diana Trudgen of Wantage; Harry Tackema and his wife, Carrie, of Wake Forest, N.C.; Jennifer Best and her husband, Jim, of Frankford; and Michael Tackema and his wife, Jennifer, of Fayetteville, N.C. He was cherished by 16 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and he adored all of them. He was the dear brother of Joan Aukema of Wantage and Rosina Byma and her husband, Richard, of Wantage. He also is survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visitation of shared condolences will be at the Sussex Christian Reformed Church, 49 Unionville Ave., Sussex, on Thursday, Jan. 5 from 2 to 4 and 5 to 7 p.m.

A funeral will be held on Friday, Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. in Sussex Christian Reformed Church. Interment will follow at Clove Cemetery, Wantage.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated in Merle’s memory to the Sussex Christian School, Northwest Christian School or Veritas Christian Academy.

Information and condolences may be found at