Merle L. Willis
Merle L. Willis, 94, passed away on Monday, March 5, 2018. He was born March 24, 1923 in Bellevue to Guy and Mary Pearl (Cosgrove) Willis. 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 WW II and the Korean conflict.
He married Arlene (Hendershot) April 16, 1948. Over the years they lived in Battle Creek and Charlotte, retiring to the cottage he built on Marble Lake in Quincy. He and his wife enjoyed traveling and spent winters in Florida for over 20 years.
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.
Merle is survived by his beloved wife of almost 70 years, Arlene; daughters, Joyce (Stan) Otto of Otsego, and Jan (John) Simonsen of Knoxville, Tenn.; grandchildren, Melissa McPherson of Hawkinsville, Ga., Matthew (Elizabeth) McPherson of Otsego, Christine (Darin) DeCator of Nunica, Mich., and Paula (Greg) Falcon of Bryan, Texas; 7 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Leo G. Thrall of Hale, Mich.; and several nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister Meda Ellen Thrall.
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.
A celebration of life will be held at later date.