Merlyn Ray Howard

Merlyn Ray Howard, 89, formerly of Slayton, passed away Tuesday morning, February 17, 2009 at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne.  A memorial service is planned for Saturday March 21, 2009 at the Good Samaritan Chapel in Jackson at 2p.m. with Chaplin Kathy Brandt officiating.  Burial will take place on Saturday March 28, 2009 at the Park Lawn Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.

Merlyn Ray Howard was born on July 6, 1919 on the family farm near Windom, the son of Denton and Beryl (McMorris) Howard, Jr.  He spent his childhood years in Pine City, Glyndon, Lakeland, Windom and Currie where he attended Currie Public Schools.  After school Merlyn went to Oregon to visit some of his relatives and ended up joining the National Guard in November of 1940, soon after he was inducted into the U.S. Army at Ft. Lewis, Washington.  During his time in the Army Merlyn saw combat in the Pacific Theater, specifically at Biak, Mindanao, New Guinea and various other islands in the Pacific.  During his service on Biak Island Merlyn was awarded The Bronze Star for meritorious service.  After his discharge from the Army, Merlyn was united in Marriage to Norma Leach on July 5, 1949.  After marriage Norma and Merlyn made their home in Slayton.  In 1961 he was united in marriage to June Williams.  After marriage they made their home in Kansas City Missouri where Merlyn owned and operated an auto shop.  They stayed in Kansas City until June’s passing in 2001.  In 2002 Merlyn moved to Jackson to live with his sister Margery.  In 2004 Merlyn entered the Jackson Good Samaritan Center before moving to the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne in 2007.  Merlyn passed away at the Minnesota Veterans Home on February 17, 2009 at the age of 89 years, seven months, and eleven days.


In his younger years Merlyn was very adventurous, traveling the countryside from boxcar to boxcar.  Merlyn loved to pass the time reading as well as sitting on the lake in his boat fishing.  Merlyn also enjoyed hunting, as well as his annual trips to the Black Hills and to Northern Minnesota.  Merlyn was known for his kind heart; his love of dogs getting the best of him on numerous occasions, he couldn’t say no to a stray or wild dog.


Merlyn is survived by his daughter Lori (Harry) Colby of State Center, Iowa; his step-son Jack Williams of Springfield, Missouri; numerous grandchildren and many nieces and nephews as well as a sister Margery Silvernale of Jackson, Minnesota.


Merlyn was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 40 years June, and a daughter Cheri Lynn who passed away in 1976.

2 thoughts on “Merlyn Ray Howard”

  1. Gary Baker says:

    I visit Merlyn in the vet home in Luverne, and listen to a lot of stories, but toward the end we got to talking about Jesus more, I remember one time I told Merlyn that Jesus loved him, even thought he was weak, he said I love Jesus too, and was looking forward to going home to be with Jesus. So too whom it may concern, you have my sympathy, I will miss visiting with him, but it was hard to see him that way toward the end too. Gary

  2. Debbie Lyn Ledford says:

    I Worked with Merlyn at the Missouri Fish Market in Kansas City for several years. He was a very trustworthy person and a good friend.
    I enjoyed working with him and his company, he called me a couple of times after he moved to Minnesota and we lost touch with him. I am sorry to find that he passed on to a better place before I was able to talk to him again. He will be missed. Debbie Lyn Ledford

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