He was born Oct. 8, 1925, to Davis and Dovie Bates Merrell in Polk County, where he lived the majority of his life.
He served in World War II and most notably fought at the Battle of the Bulge.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Jo Wilson Merrell; brother, Truit Merrell; and sisters: Lela Thomas, Ethel Rymer, and Tincy Eldridge.
He was a loving, playful, and gentle man of upstanding character who loved the Lord Jesus. Everyone who knew him counted it a privilege and he left a blessing wherever he went. He will be sorely missed.
Survivors include his brother, W.D. and wife, Azalea; daughters: Nancy Jo and Peggy Merrell; granddaughter, Krista and her husband, Geoff Bebout; and granddaughter, Alicia and her husband, Jim, and their sons: Jacob and Ben Defenderfer; and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be held 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 2, 2011, in the South Chapel of Bordwine Funeral Home with the Rev. Greg McCosh officiating.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday prior to the service.
Family and friends will assemble at the funeral home at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 3, 2011, and proceed to Green Hill Cemetery for the 11 a.m., committal service with military honors.
Geoff Bebout, Jim Defender, Ray Priest, Russell Arms, Scott Messer and Roger Farley will be serving as pallbearers. Elgin Durham, Toby Tate, Jim Key, Harry Thomas and Benjamin Defenderfer will serve as honorary pallbearers.
If you are unable to attend, you may sign the guest registry at www.bordwinefuneralhome.com.