Merle was born June 28, 1942 in Coleridge, Neb., the son of Merle R. and Opal L. (Coulter) Loftis Sr. He attended Coleridge High School. He drove for Schusters Trucking in Le Mars until retiring in 2008.
He married Mary L. Shanks Sept. 30, 1971, in New Orleans, La.
He was a member of the Cherokee Ridge Runners. He enjoyed fishing and camping with his K-9 companion "Duke."
Survivors include two sons: Jeff and Sarah White and Rick and Laura White, both of Hutchinson, Kan.; five daughters: Teresa and her husband, Sam Driver and Tonja Loftis, all of Independence, Mo., Bonnie Erickson and her fiance, Tim Thompson of St. Louis, Mo., Shirley and her husband, Troy Mesenbrink of Sioux City, Loretta and her husband, Rex Kelly of Pleasant Hill, Mo.; two sisters: LaVonne and her husband, Kenny McDonald of Jackson, Neb., and Cheryl and her husband, Ron Tauge of Murphy, N.C.; 18 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary on Nov. 19, 2007, in Le Mars, and a granddaughter, Ocean Loftis Bunch.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Becker-Hunt Funeral Home in South Sioux City, Neb., with the Rev. Randall B. Knuth officiating. Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the City Cemetery in Coleridge, Neb. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until service time Saturday at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Jeff and Rick White, Rex Kelly, James Barnyord, Kevin Criddle and Jason Williams.