Merle & Jan Wiese
2017 - Spirit Award
A passion for car racing and restoring cars brought Merle and Jan Wiese together. They were married on Aug. 3, 2001. The couple resides on a farm near Lake Park where Merle raises hogs and Jan works at Pure Fishing in Spirit Lake.
They both grew up loving music. When someone told them about the Rock the Roof concerts in the Roof Garden at Arnolds Park they decided to drive over and check out the last one of that summer season several years ago. “We had a great time and came back the next summer when the first show opened,” Merle recalled. “It looked like fun so we decided to join and become lifetime members of IRRMA,” added Jan.
The couple soon began year upon year of volunteering for the betterment of IRRMA. “We get to do so many things,” said Jan. They work at IRRMA events and concerts all year long. Among their specialties are selling tickets, security, counting gate receipts and helping with many chores during Hall of Fame Induction weekend. They were both spotted during the flash mob dances a couple of summers. “Whatever they ask us to do, we do it if we are able,” Merle noted.
Since owning and restoring classic cars are the couple’s hobbies, Merle especially enjoys lining up the classic cars that appear every Thursday night at Rock the Roof. He checks them in and lines them up along Lake Street in front of the Roof Garden and makes all the owners feel welcome. “I am glad I have the opportunity to talk with other classic car owners,” stated Merle. “We see old cars, old friends and make new friends. It doesn’t get any better than that.” Jan continued, “We have gotten to meet many great musicians and enjoy the music tremendously.” When told they were to receive a Spirit Award, the couple was totally surprised and pleased. “We consider it an honor. We are doing everything we love to do. We were ecstatic when they told us. It is unbelievable.”
“We encourage everybody to get involved with IRRMA. It is a great way to get acquainted in the community. IRRMA is known throughout Northwest Iowa and you make new friends from far and near,” Merle concluded.
The couple’s commitment to IRRMA and their countless hours of volunteering are indicative of what the Spirit Award is all about. Merle and Jan Wiese are truly worthy recipients of this award during the Hall of Fame Induction of 2017.