Merlin Davis, age 81, of Storm Lake, died Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake.
Merlin Clarence Davis was born on Jan. 26, 1931, in Storm Lake, the son of G. Wayne and Lovicy (Clever) Davis. In 1955, he was baptized and confirmed at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Storm Lake, where he remained a devoted member. Merlin attended elementary school in Newell, and graduated from Truesdale High School. Following his graduation, he attended Buena Vista College.
On Jan. 6, 1951, Merlin enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served his country proudly during the Korean Conflict. He served in the Korean Theater of Operations and was honorably discharged on Nov. 16, 1954.
On June 16, 1956, Merlin was united in marriage to Phyllis Jean Sampers at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Storm Lake. This union was blessed with eight children: Amy, Douglas, Bradley, Letha, Diane, Jane, William and Karl.
Merlin was a member of the Alta VFW Post 6172. He worked as an over the road trucker, who loved his country. The outdoors brought Merlin much enjoyment from travelling (49 states), camping (experiencing national parks and historical sites), family vacations, to fishing with his kids and grandkids. He loved history and family genealogy, western novels, music (playing accordion and piano), square dancing and playing cards. Additionally, Merlin enjoyed people, as he was a friend to many a stranger. He loved his family and cherished the time he spent with them. His humor was evident as he was a gentle "teaser" to his grandchildren.
Merlin was preceded in death by his parents, G. Wayne and Lovicy Davis; brother, Eldon Davis; brother-in-law, Harold Sliefert; father- and mother-in-law, Joseph and Christina Sampers; brothers- and sisters-in-law: Marjorie (Richard) Andrews; Donald (Joan) Sampers; David Sampers and Francis Sampers.
Those left to cherish Merlin's memory include his wife of 56 years, Phyllis of Storm Lake; his children: Amy Welch of Gretna, Nebraska; Douglas (Lynette) Davis of Overland Park, Kansas; Bradley (Denice) Davis of Idaho Falls, Idaho; Letha (Lance) Grigsby of Omaha, Neb.; Diane (Mark) Sahr of Minnetrista, Minn.; Jane (Herb) Besaw of Storm Lake; William (Kim) Davis of Bremerton, Wash.; Karl (Kelly) Davis of Omaha, Neb.; grandchildren: Laurie (Adam) Maley; Joseph Welch; Brian Welch; Courtney Davis; Scott Davis; Marika Davis; Kasey Davis; Caden Davis; Elizabeth Grigsby; Ian Grigsby; Jennifer Grigsby; Jayson Sahr; Jenna (Bradley) Werner; Callie Besaw; Kyle Besaw; Stefan Lewis; Joseph Davis; Andrew Davis; Alexa Davis; Levi Davis; three sisters: Phyllis (Everett) Lenhart of Hartley, Iowa; Vivian Sliefert of Storm Lake; Margaret (Leonard) Brummer of Storm Lake; sister-in-law, Ruth Davis of Storm Lake; brothers- and sisters-in-law: Robert (Pam) Sampers of Alta; Su Sampers of Cedar Rapids; Joyce (Garry) Olson of Storm Lake; Beverly Jorgensen and her special friend, John Rogers of Lake Forest, California; Mark (Camille) Sampers of Burnsville, Minn.; extended family and many friends.