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Melvin M. Merz, 86, died Monday, Oct. 11, 2010, at Wheatridge Park Care Center in Liberal.

He was born May 29, 1924, to  John W. and Bertha E. Gernand Merz  in Deerfield.

He married Jimmie J. LaFon Oct. 7, 1949, in Deerfield. She survives.

He graduated Deerfield High School in 1941 and entered the U.S. Army in 1943, serving  in the 277th Port Company in New Guinea, Philippines and Luzon, discharges in 1946. He farmed with his brother for several years in Deerfield. In 1950, he began a 35- year career with Kansas Nebraska Natural Gas Company, working in the Lakin and Hooker, Okla., offices. He retired in 1984.

He was a member of the St. Johns Lutheran Church in Hooker, the Deerfield Lions Club, Pancake Campers, Santa Fe Trail Council  Boy Scouts of America, PIE and served on the steering committee for many years, volunteered for the Southwest Medical Center auxiliary for 12 years.

He enjoyed cooking, woodworking, tinkering and making Rice Crispy treats for his grandchildren.

He is also survived by  one son Steve Merz, Liberal; two daughters, Janet Freeman and husband Alan, Liberal, and Judy Armstrong and husband, Steve, Watauga, Texas; six grandchildren, Misty Dawn Cowley, Oklahoma City, Michael Armstrong, Keller, Texas,  Tiffany Merz, Austin, Texas, Preston Freeman, Manhattan, Heather Dawn Freeman, Manhattan, and Stasha Merz, U.S. Army Iraq; and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one son, Keith Merz, three brothers, Arnold, Johnny and Gilbert Merz;  three sisters, Ida Kopper, Edna Shertz and Laura Coerber; and one daughter-in-law, Teresa Merz.

o Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Liberal with Pastors Tom House and Andrew Wehling presiding.

Graveside service will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Deerfield Cemetery.

Friends may call from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday with the family receiving friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday at Miller Mortuary.

Memorials are suggested to Relay for Life or St. John’s Lutheran Church, in care of the mortuary.

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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