NEOSHO, Mo. — Fred Keith Merrell, 89 passed away April 27, 2011. at Medicalodge of Neosho, Missouri. He had battled Parkinson Disease for over 10 years with patience and determination.
He was born June 12, 1921, in Blackfoot, the youngest son of Isaac George and Carrie Elmina Merrell.
After graduating from Blackfoot High School and Blackfoot Seminary, he worked in the Portland, Ore., shipyards. He could run a large wheelbarrow of hot armor plating up the ramp of the ship faster than anyone else and was given the nickname “Dobbin”. It was in Portland that he met and married Arlene Damstrom on July 4, 1943., Their marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. Ten days after their marriage, Fred was drafted in the U.S. Army, serving as a medic at the Baxter General Hospital in Spokane, Wash.
When the war was over and he was honorably discharged, they returned to his home in Blackfoot and started farming. Fred also worked for Smith’s Bakery, White Star Laundry and retired from Westinghouse, NRF, INL after 23 years of service in the stockroom.
Fred spent all his life enjoying hobbies with Arlene consisting of raising and showing Arabian horses, Jersey cows and miniature horses. He was an artist with his hands, creating works of art in leather and wood. He was creative making do and making things run. He wrote “I try and do whatever is needed to be done around our small farm, the Tiny Acres, a Jack of All Trades and Master of None, but I sure enjoy life and doing what I do.”
Fred and Arlene enjoyed 49 years of marriage. After his wife passed away in 1993, he met a wonderful companion, Charlcie Cates. They spent 13 years together in Blackfoot and then in 2006 moved to Neosho, M where they met new friends and enjoyed living near Charlcie’s family for the past 4 ½ years.
He was proud of his posterity, Karen (Leo) Drake, Kathy Merrell, Candy (Greg) High, Randy (Nancy) Merrell, Rod (Christy) Merrell, 17 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 6, 2011, at the Blackfoot LDS Stake Center.
The family will meet with friends and family from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 5, 2011, at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 S. Shilling Ave., Blackfoot, and again for one hour prior to services at the Blackfoot Idaho LDS Stake Center, 1650 Highland Drive, Blackfoot.
Interment will be in the Grove City Cemetery.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.hawkerfuneralhome.com .
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