HARTINGTON — Merlin C. Evans, 95, Hartington, died March 21, 2017, at the Hartington Care and Rehabilitation Center, Hartington.
Visitation was March 24 at the Wintz Funeral Home, Hartington, and continued Saturday at church, one hour prior to services.
Funeral Services were March 25 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Hartington, with the Rev. Amanda Talley officiating.
Burial was at the Hartington City Cemetery, with military honors by the Hartington VFW Post #5283 and the American Legion Riders.
Pallbearers were Gary Kruse, Andy Evans, George Haahr, Roger Haahr, Steve Grube and Adam Grube.
Merlin Charles Evans was born Oct. 9, 1921, in Hartington, to Charles and Annie (Newsom) Evans. He grew up in the Pearl Creek area southwest of Hartington and attended elementary school there. He attended Coleridge High School his freshman and sophomore years, and went to Randolph High School for the 11th and 12th grade, graduating in 1939. Merlin farmed the home place with his father from 1937-1942. They raised grain, specialized in livestock breeding and raising Duroc hogs and short-horn cattle until sale. He drove a gasoline wheel tractor and a three-ton truck. Merlin entered the U.S. Army Sept. 29, 1942, and served overseas for 33 months in North Africa, Italy, France, Austria and Germany. He was awarded five battle stars. He drove trucks, half-trucks and passenger cars under combat conditions. He drove a division chief of staff through front lines to vantage points for observing the progress of battles. He made road repairs and was responsible for the mechanical condition of the vehicles to prevent breakdown during combat. He was discharged Nov. 22, 1945. Merlin married Laverne Marie Haahr Oct. 9, 1946, in Hartington. They made their home in Hartington, where Merlin worked as a postal clerk until he became a mail carrier for 40 years. He drove the afternoon bus route for Hartington High School for many years, along with delivering flowers for Floral Designs. Merlin retired from the mail route and began working part-time for Kruse Hardware until he was 91 years old, working for Gary and Lisa Kruse for 21 years.
Merlin enjoyed the family trips they took and also loved his huge garden.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, the Hartington VFW Post #5283, the American Legion, and the AmVets.
He is survived by his wife Laverne, Hartington; two sons, Randy and wife, Cathy Evans, Hartington, and Michael Evans, Texas; a daughter, Sharon, and husband, Kevin Lammers, Hartington; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Merlin was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Josh Arthur; brothers, Rollie and Wendell Evans; and sister, Doris Evans.