Funeral Services will be 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 22, 2020, at East Fairview Mennonite Church, Milford, with Pastors Kyle and Brad Roth officiating. Interment is in East Fairview Cemetery, held privately by the family prior to the funeral. Visitation is Friday, 1-8:00 p.m. at Lauber Funeral Home, Milford with family receiving relatives and friends from 6-8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Pallbearers are: Jarrett Bohling, Jon Stutzman, Mike Riley, Brandel Hauder, Tim Smith and Ross Brom. Honorary Pallbearers are: Eric, Justin and Joel Riley, Travis Fougeron, Ryan Mients, Jason Bohling, Jordan Stutzman, Matt and Adam Roth. Memorials may be directed to the family for later designation.
Merle Morris Stutzman was born October 24, 1926, in Milford, Nebraska to Bert and Elsie (Yeackley) Stutzman and passed away peacefully Thursday, February 20, 2020, at Tabatha Care Center in Crete at the age of 93.
As a young boy, Merle attended Milford Public School and went through the eighth grade. He accepted Christ as his personal savior and was baptized at East Fairview Mennonite Church where he was a life-long member. Merle worked in construction helping pour concrete for Gooch Mills in Lincoln for several years before being united in marriage to Arlene Roth on August 12, 1948. To this union six children were born: Peg, Kath, Audrey, Jeff, Marcy and Cindy. Together they lived on various farms near Milford, settling on the homeplace east of Milford. Merle truly loved farming-growing crops, raising livestock and liked to ride horses. He also drove the feed truck for the Milford Cooperative, where he enjoyed delivering feed and visiting with customers. Merle and Arlene moved into town in 1995 and continued his farming, often helping his son Jeff with mowing and harvesting. In his early days, Merle enjoyed playing horseshoes, shuffleboard softball and in later years bowling, dominoes and card playing. After his wife’s death in 2015, he would often be seen visiting shut-ins as well as family and friends. Merle was a very hard worker and cared deeply for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He would often be seen attending his son and grandchildren’s athletic and school activities.
He is survived by his children and spouses, Peg and Jeff Mapel, Kath and Bob Riley, Audrey and Dale Wehenkel, all of Milford, Jeff and Jeanne Stutzman, Friend, Marcy and Steve Fougeron and Cindy and Craig Eberspacher, all of Milford; 17 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; sister, JoAnn Stutzman, Fort Collins, CO, and a brother, Richard Stutzman, Lincoln, sister-in-law, Donna Roth, Seward, Lucille Stauffer, Crete, nieces, nephews, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Merle was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Arlene in 2015, two granddaughters, Jill Stutzman, Courtney Poehlman, sisters, Belva Petersen and Lois Riley, brothers-in-law, Willis Roth, Vern Stauffer, Ferman Riley, Ellis Stutzman and Pete Petersen.
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