Merle Glen Grey, the son of Glen Gust and Hazel Minnie (Weideman) Grey, was born August 8, 1935 on a farm north of Palmer, Iowa. He was called to heaven Tuesday, December 8 at the age of 85 where he is now helping his Lord on the farm.
He attended country school through the eighth grade and graduated from Palmer High School in 1954. He enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served from September 1955 through September 1957.
When he returned from service, he did construction with Herb Wallner in the Palmer area where he worked from 1958 to 1963. Following his father’s death, he took on the farming operation near Palmer which he did until 1980. He had a traditional farm growing grain, cattle, pigs, sheep and a good number of other farm animals. He was a John Deere tractor man through and through–an interest that continued throughout his life. He worked as a custodian and maintenance person at the Good Samaritan in Manson, Iowa until 1987. He then went to work as a truck driver for Smithway Xpress out of Fort Dodge, Iowa. He retired in 2001.
On July 20, 1972 he married Alice (Hively) Benson and instantly became the father of twin daughters, Connie and Carolyn. He was devoted to them and their families and often helped with their home and garden projects where he shared a wealth of his knowledge.
They lived for many years on an acreage north of Manson and later moved into town and then to Pocahontas. He was living at his home in Pocahontas at the time of his death.
Merle enjoyed any kind of construction or fix-it projects and did a lot of remodeling and home improvement projects. He also enjoyed tending a garden with lots of flowers and vegetables that he would can or freeze. Even as macular degeneration reduced his eye sight, he never complained, but instead worked hard to do as much as he could for himself. He enjoyed fishing, watching John Wayne movies, collecting John Deere toys and memorabilia. He could strike up a conversation with anyone and could talk on the phone for hours with his family and long-time friends. Any trip down the road meant it was time to inspect the fields and determine the quality of the crops.
His greatest enjoyment was spending time with family. It may have been summer picnics at the lake or steak dinners downtown to celebrate a special occasion. He treasured the “Christmas couch photos” that provided many good memories. On his 85th birthday, he had the joy of giving his John Deere B to his great-grandsons.
If you look up “kindness” in the dictionary, there will be his photo. He will be remembered as a kind, caring and generous person. He believed in treating people with kindness and lived by the Golden Rule. He had a great sense of humor which he shared often with family, friends and caregivers.
He was a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church, Palmer, Iowa.
Preceding Merle in death were his parents; and a sister, Joyce Beneke (Robert).
Left with a favor for John Deere tractors and cherished memories are: daughters Connie Jo Reinert (Mike), Lost Island Lake, Iowa; and Carolyn Joy Ricklefs, Gilmore City, Iowa; his grandchildren: Justin Michael Reinert, Chicago, Illinois; Abby Jean Tucker (Brian), Manson; and his great-grandsons: Alan James Tucker and Lucas John Tucker. Also, Connie and Carolyn’s sister, Nancy Olson, Fort Atkinson, Wisc.; and their brother, Jeffrey Olson, Lewisville, Tenn. Also, his brothers Ken Grey (Liz), Manson, and John Grey, Pocahontas; and sister Doris Davis, Manson; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Palmer, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 12 at 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to service.
Burial with military rites at St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery, Palmer, Iowa. Pallbearers: his grandchildren, Abby and Brian Tucker; and nephews David Werner, Scott Bachman and Eric Grey. Honorary pallbearer: grandson, Justin Reinert.
Arrangements: Larson-Weishaar Funeral Home, Manson, Iowa
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