PINE RIVER - Merril Nelson, age 86, of Pine River, passed away Tuesday, June 3, 2008, at his home where he had been cared for by his loving daughters. He was born March 27, 1922, in Clear Lake, Iowa, to George and Agnes (Hanson) Nelson. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a gunner known as "Dead Eye Dick." He married Vivian Pitlick on April 19, 1946.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; brother, Leonard; twin brother, Marlin; and sister, Marcella.
Merrill enjoyed a long and productive career as a plumber and steamfitter with Local Union 11. He continued his contribution to his community by serving as commander of the Pine River VFW for 25 years, serving on the Jenkins VFW Board, First Lutheran Church Board, Barclay Township Board, Pine River City Council, Pine River Sanitary District Board, Pine River Chamber and Pine River Lions Club.
Merril was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting and fishing and was a worldwide traveler, enjoying many trips with his family.
He is survived by daughters, Brenda Anderson, Linda Olson (Ivan); five grandchildren, Jilline Blanchard (Howard), Andrew Anderson (Amie), Dr. Josie Helmbrecht (Mike), Kalvin Olson (Judy), Keith Olson (Tammy); 10 great-grandchildren, Ashley and Austen Anderson, Jessica, Brianna and Camilla Blanchard, Lydia and Lexi Olson, Ethan and Emmit Olson and A.J. Helmbrecht.
Services will be 2 p.m. on Friday, June 6, at First Lutheran Church, Pine River, with Pastor Bonnie Lomen officiating. Burial will follow at Pine Ridge Cemetery, Pine River. Visitation will be Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River, and one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River.
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