Merlin Bennett, 83, of Sigourney, died Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, at Keokuk County Health Center in Sigourney.
Merlin was born July 28, 1934, in Newton, to Merlin C. and Vera I. (Forest) Bennett. He grew up in Newton and Des Moines and moved to Sigourney with his family in 1950. Merlin graduated from Sigourney High School in 1952 and attended Parsons College before serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict. In 1956, he married Patricia Buckles. The couple had three children: Merlin Douglas, LuAnn and LaVonne. They later were divorced. Merlin was a draftsman at Collins Radio, owned and operated the stockyards on North Shuffleton Street and raised cattle with Gerald Wohler. He was a rural mail carrier for 31 years, retiring in 1999. He then met his longtime companion, Doris Baird, and they enjoyed many years dancing and spending time together.
Merlin was a member of the Elks Lodge in Cedar Rapids and Sigourney United Methodist Church. He lived life to the fullest and never met a stranger.
Survivors include two daughters, LuAnn Moses of Urbandale and LaVonne (Michael) Bloem of Sigourney; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and his companion, Doris Baird of Cedar Rapids.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and son, Merlin Douglas Bennett.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Sigourney United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Shannon Pascual officiating. Burial will be in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Sigourney. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at the church.
A memorial fund has been established for Keokuk County Hospice or Sigourney United Methodist Church.
Powell Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Sigourney is caring for Merlin and his family.
Tributes may be left at www.powellfuneralhomes.com.