Merlin Heck, 94, of Scranton, Iowa, passed away peacefully of natural causes at his home Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.
Funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, at Peace Lutheran Church in Glidden with Pastor Alan Miller officiating. Organist will be Becky Miller. Special music will be by granddaughter Corrin (Hale) Perry. Casket bearers will be Shawn Zeigler, Dave Heck, Seth Erickson, Marlin Hein, Larry Seyl and Jacob Wallace. Honorary casket bearers will be Jerry Seyl, Ron Seyl, Kevin Heck, Doug Crane, Evan Heck, Brett Irlmeier and Wayne Hart. Burial will be at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery near Lidderdale.
Friends may call between 5 and 7 p.m. Friday at Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Glidden where a prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Visitation at Peace Lutheran Church will be from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Glidden, and online condolences may be left for Merlin’s family at www.dahnandwoodhouse.com.
Merlin Heck was born June 3, 1926, to Henry and Ida (Hahne) Heck in Coleridge, Nebraska. He attended elementary country school in Coleridge until the age of 10. His family then moved to Fort Lupton, Colorado, where he continued his education and graduated from high school at age 16 in 1943. At age 17, he along with his extended family, moved to Lidderdale, Iowa. Some belongings had to be moved by way of one railroad car. He continued farming later with his parents in 1946 by Lake City. On the Hahne side, out of 42 grandchildren, he was the last one remaining. On the Heck side, he was also the last remaining of 23 grandchildren.
He married Betty Hart of Lanesboro on Aug. 19, 1949. They lived in rural Lake City until 1955 when they moved onto his present homestead of 65 years north of Ralston. Together they had four children. They enjoyed life on the farm, spending time with family and camping trips. Betty passed away on June 25, 1983, at age 52. They were married 33 years.
On March 9, 1985, Merlin married Darlene (Schleisman) Clark in Scottsdale, Arizona. They also made their home north of Ralston. They were members of the Royal Rovers camping group and enjoyed camping. Merlin was the last wagon master before they disbanded. They wintered in Arizona for 15 years. Darlene passed away Nov. 5, 2014. They were married 29 years.
Merlin was a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church. He held numerous offices including vice president, treasurer and Sunday school board. Along with farming, he was well known for hauling cobs from the surrounding area for 30 years. He actively participated in farming until 2014 at the age of 88. He loved horses, being in parades with his big paint horse and surrey or watching parades and being involved in the Lake City rodeo. He had fun playing slow-pitch softball and was one of the Ralston team pitchers. He also played Senior ball in Arizona. He enjoyed the fun competition of the game of euchre. He was well known for his humorous annual Christmas letters for 15 years.
Merlin is survived by son Gary (Barb) Heck of Urbandale; two daughters: Deborah Young of Carroll and Becky (Kevin) Hale of Spirit Lake; nine grandchildren: Shawn (Andrea), Joshua (Kristen) and Travis (Samantha) Zeigler, Danielle (David) Rapkin, Dave (Katie) Heck, Mackensey (Seth) Snyder-Erickson, Corrin (Nate) Perry, Jordan (Paul) Hale-Mason and Kiley Hale; three great-grandsons: Jaiden and Isaiah Zeigler and Ezra Perry; sister-in-law Darie Heck of Colorado; three stepdaughters: Linda (Henry) Seay of Mountain Home, Arkansas, Peggy (Jim) Irlmeier of Glidden and Amy (Rich) Wallace of Carroll; stepson Dan (Monica) Clark of Glidden; eight step-granchildren: Samantha (John) Erickson-Viggers, Brad (Amanda) Douglas, Brett (Deb) Irlmeier, Melissa (Tony) Nguyen, Jacob and Megan Wallace, Katie (Jon) Augustus and Abby Clark; and six step-great-grandchildren: Elizabeth and Allie Douglas, Kali Irlmeier, Tyler and Zachary Nguyen, and Ayla Augustus.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Betty; daughter Vicki (Mark) Zeigler; grandson Ryan Peterson; his second wife, Darlene; sisters and husbands Hilda (Don) Crane and Lucille (Victor) Seyl; brothers and sister-in-law Harold (Jessie) Heck and Clarence Heck; and many nieces, nephews and other extended family.