Merlin L. Brown, 77, of Le Mars died suddenly, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004, at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City after a brief illness with acute leukemia.
Merlin Lyle Brown was born Dec. 8, 1926, on the family farm in Johnson Township, rural Plymouth County, the son of Elmer and Gertrude (Morehead) Brown. Merlin was baptized at the Adaville Evangelical United Brethren Church. He attended country school in Johnson Township and later graduated from Le Mars Central High School.
Merlin was united in marriage to Cleone Philips on Dec. 1, 1950, at the Adaville church. Shortly after their wedding, Merlin enlisted in the United States Army and served for two years at Camp Gordon, near Augusta, Ga., during the Korean Conflict. Following his honorable discharge in 1952, Merlin returned to the family farm in Johnson Township. He continued to farm until the mid 1960s when he embarked on a second career. Merlin attended Nettleton Business Training in Sioux City and upon completion of his accounting education began his career with Sioux City Federal Savings and Loan. Merlin retired with over 20 years with the bank in 1989. In 1997, Merlin and Cleone moved from the farm to Le Mars.
During his retirement years, Merlin enjoyed working part-time with Le Mars Ford Mercury shuttling cars back and forth to Le Mars. He enjoyed visiting with people and volunteering. For many years he was Santa at Plymouth Manor Care Center. Merlin had also discovered his talents baking cookies. He became known as the "cookie-man" to his family and friends.
Merlin was a life-long member of the Adaville church. He sang in the church choir for many years and had held several church positions throughout the years. He had also performed with the Le Mars Community Theater and was a 50-year member of the Plymouth County Farm Bureau.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Cleone of Le Mars; a son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Audrey Brown and their son, Clint of Merrill; a daughter, Krista Brown of Le Mars and her son, Tymond Brown stationed with the U.S. Navy at Norfolk, Va.; a son, Lansing Brown of Le Mars, a daughter Lisa Thimmesch of Mitchelville and her children, Terren and his wife Amanda Zachow of Hull and Joshua Keck of Washta; and Diane Johnson and her family, Rod and Janet Johnson of Ames, Robyn and Tim Royer of Waukee, Jeff, Elizabeth, Ashley, Keith, and Kayleen Johnson all of Waukee; eight great-grandchildren, Sydney Brown, Tierra Zackow, Xander Zackow, Joshua Johnson, Laura Johnson, Luke Johnson, Taylor Royer and Regan Royer; brother and sister-in-law, Kenneth and Eva Brown of Le Mars; and many friends.
Merlin was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Gertrude (Morehead) Brown.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Adaville United Methodist Church (21150 C-38), rural Merrill, with the Rev. Benjamin Meeks officiating. Interment with military honors provided by the Wasmer American Legion Post #241 will be in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery. Visitations will be after 5 p.m. today (Friday) at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with a 7 p.m. prayer service Friday at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Stephen Brown, Mark Brown, Kent Brown, Clint Brown, Tymond Brown, and Scott Mitchell.