Merlin Harms - May 28, 2011
Merlin Harms was born on Jan. 25, 1929 in Jefferson County, Nebraska. He was the fifth of eight children born to Peter and Anna Thiessen Harms.
Hard times fell upon the family during the depression and they moved to Kansas when Merl was an infant where they had family. In 1935 they returned to the rural Paxton, Neb. area. Merl attended school in Paxton and graduated high school from Tabor Academy in Hillsboro, Kan. in 1947.
Merl was married to Delores Wiebe on Feb. 6, 1949. They moved to Washington D.C. on a Mennonite Brethren mission and helped in an orphanage. They eventually returned to Perkins County to farm south of Elsie, Neb.
In 1956 Merl moved his young family to Denver. He attended night classes to learn the heating and air conditioning trade. He delivered milk and repaired televisions to help support the family. He later worked for Distributors Inc., and Ward Electric.
While in the Denver area the family was actively involved in the Garden Park Mennonite Brethren Church and later the Southern Gables Evangelical Free Church.
In 2007 Merl and Delores returned to Perkins County and lived at the Westview Retirement in Grant. His health had begun to fail and he moved to the Golden Ours Convalescent Home in 2010 where he died on Saturday , May 28, 2011. He had reached the age of 82.
Merl was always active in his church. He had a passion for gospel music. He was a choir leader, played the trumpet, and gospel quartet could be heard on the radio, at home and in the car. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, gardening, and mountain climbing. He was an accomplished photographer and took many pictures of outdoor settings, windmills, and his grandchildren. He also enjoyed his coin collection.
Merl served on the Child Evangelism Fellowship Mission Board. He served on many overseas missions. He especially enjoyed the trips to Belize and Honduras with his brother, Dale. Merl and Delores also had the privilege of traveling and seeing much of the United States and five of the seven continents.
In addition to his parents, Merl was preceded in death by his sister Irene Sperling and three brothers, Herb, Lee, and Eldon Harms.
He is survived by his wife of over 62 years, Delores; two daughters Cynthia and husband Bill Wright of rural Madrid, Neb. and Ronda and husband Dennis Hutt of Grant; three grandsons, Scott Elam, Gabriel and James Wright; four granddaughters, Staci and husband John Thompson, Janelle and husband Gregg Uehling, Valerie and husband Adam Uthlaut, and Andrea and husband Richard Bazan; four great-grandsons, Evan, Corbin, Carson, and Owen; four great-granddaughters, Addison, Charlize, Lila, and Lorena; three brothers, Melvin and wife Ann, Dale and wife Loretta, and Jerry and wife Carolyn; two sisters-in-law, Lillian and Irene Harms; many other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, May 31 at the Grant Evangelical Free Church with Pastors Russ Gaar, Orval Janzen, and Bill Wright officiating.
Burial was in the Madrid Cemetery.
A memorial has been established to Child Evangelism Fellowship of Colorado and Youth Challege in Venango.
Bullock-Long Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.