Cover photo for Merle Willis's Obituary
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1923 Merle 2018

Merle Willis

March 24, 1923 — March 5, 2018

Merle L. Willis 94, passed away on Monday, March 5, 2018. Merle graduated from Bellevue High School in 1940 and worked as a machinist for the Grand Trunk Railroad before enlisting in the U.S Navy in 1943, serving in WWII and the Korean conflict. Merle was a loving Husband, Father, Poppa, Uncle and friend to many. He was a skilled tool and die maker and a handyman, always tinkering with some project in his garage. He was a member of the VFW and the First Congregational Church in Charlotte. He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister Meda Ellen Thrall. Merle is survived by his beloved wife of almost 70 years, Arlene; daughters Joyce (Stan) Otto of Otsego, MI and Jan (John) Simonsen of Knoxville, TN; grandchildren Melissa McPherson of Hawkinsville, GA, Matthew (Elizabeth) McPherson of Otsego, MI, Christine (Darin) DeCator of Nunica, MI, and Paula (Greg) Falcon of Bryan, TX; 7 great grandchildren; brother-in-law Leo G. Thrall of Hale, MI; along with several nieces and nephews. Special thanks are extended to his loving caregiver Amanda Johnson-Hegel, the nurses at Oaklawn Wound Clinic in Marshall, and the doctors and staff at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. Memorial contributions may be made to the Guide Dog Foundation for the blind, 371 E. Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787 or Hospital Hospitality House, 1800 Henson, Kalamazoo, MI 49048.

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