Master Sergeant (Ret) Merrill Kenneth Clark, 76, of Milford, KS, passed away on February 15, 2017. Visitation will be held Thursday, February 23, 2017, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, 203 N. Washington St., Junction City, KS.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 24, 2017, 10:00 a.m. at the First Christian Church, 1429 Saint Marys Rd., Junction City, KS, with Pastor Ronnie Roberts officiating.
Interment with Military Honors will follow the services at 1:00 p.m. at the Kansas Veterans' Cemetery at Fort Riley, 5181 Wildcat Creek Rd., Manhattan, KS.
Memorials are suggested to The Gideons International, P.O. Box 1351, Junction City, KS, 66441-1351 and Samaritan's Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607.
Merrill was born at home to Miles Jarvis and Mary Jane (Tompkins) Clark in Simonds, Carlton County, New Brunswick, Canada. He was the fourth born in the family of 8 children. Growing up he worked on the family farm in Florenceville, New Brunswick. In the winter time he would log in the woods of New Brunswick. In the mid-1950’s Merrill worked with his father in the home building industry in Connecticut.
In 1957, He met Dalta Ferne Melvin and the two married June 18th, 1958.
He was managing a family owned service station in Bridgewater, Maine, when one Saturday, Merrill overheard an ad on the car radio for the United States Air Force. He went to Caribou, Maine, and enlisted on the following Monday in 1959. He attended Basic Military Training at Lackland A.F.B., Texas, and his first duty station was at Sheppard A.F.B. in Wichita Falls, Texas. Dalta joined him there, and that is where they met life-long friends Bob and Mary Ann Morris. While there, they discovered their first child, a son they named Brian Merrill, would be born in December of 1959. Three years afterwards in June of 1962, a daughter was born whom they named Brenda Marlene. In the fall of 1963, Merrill was transferred to Elmendorf A.F.B. in Anchorage, Alaska. While there in 1964, he and his family experienced “The Great Alaska Earthquake” on Good Friday, March 27th. In 1967, he and his family transferred to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he was support for the 101st Airborne Division. In 1968, Merrill received orders to go to Vietnam. He moved Dalta and the kids to Presque Isle, Maine, to be near extended family while he proudly served his country in its time of need. Upon his return, he was assigned to Loring A.F.B., Maine, which allowed him and his family to remain near relatives throughout the rest of his Air Force career.
After proudly serving 20 years and retiring as a Master Sergeant (E-7) in 1979, he took Dalta on a long promised vacation that would last years. They left Northern Maine for points to the south and west, visiting family across the country, and finally arriving in Anchorage, Alaska. While in Anchorage, an Air Force friend got him a job on a remote radar site.
Merrill later left that position and started Dalta Door Sales where he installed all manner of overhead and personal doors in many areas across the state and including above the Arctic Circle, remote islands, even the Anchorage Performing Arts Center. After closing the door sales business, Merrill and Dalta took over management of LaHonda Trailer Park, but in 1996 the owners of LaHonda changed their business plan.
Merrill and Dalta split ways with LaHonda and headed south ending up in Milford, Kansas, where their son Brian and his family lives. There Merrill owned and managed property; a mobile home park in Milford. Merrill’s daughter, Brenda, wasn’t far from him in Chanute, Kansas, with her husband who also retired from the Air Force and her daughter, Audrey.
Proud of their grandchildren, Merrill and Dalta went to their plays and sporting events. They also took care of a grandson, Jeremiah, until he was school aged.
In 2005, they sold the park and spent more time on the road in their motorhome. Merrill and Dalta visited many places. Yuma, Arizona was where they spent their winters. They also went to Alaska, Newfoundland, and Labrador, Canada accompanied by Daltas’ Sister Lorna and her husband Robert from New Brunswick.
Merrill and Dalta didn’t travel much as her health declined. They sold the motorhome, but Merrill still made his annual pilgrimage to Maine and New Brunswick to visit family. Family was so very important to him. In 1983, he headed up a plan to have Clark Family Reunions. They are observed every three years in New Brunswick.
Dalta passed away December 31st 2014 in Junction City, KS. In May of 2015, Merrill had done a diligent search, found a motorhome to his liking and purchased it. He brought it home and made it his own with upgrades and repairs. Merrill then traveled to the family reunion in July, then to Zephyrhills, Florida for January to April of 2016. In January 2017, he made the trip to Florida to his winter home and resided there until his passing.
He attended First Christian Church, where he will be remembered for his answer to the question, “How are you?”, which was always, “I’ll tell you, the very best”!
Merrill is survived by his loving family; his Son, Brian M. (Jan) Clark of Milford, KS; Daughter, Brenda M. (Rick) Audiss of Erie, KS; Three Granddaughters, Brianna Clark of Emporia, KS, Marissa (Mike) Carlyon of Junction City, KS, Audrey Audiss of Erie, KS; Three Grandsons, Jonathan Clark of Milford, KS, Jeremiah Clark of Milford, KS; Three Sisters, Joyce Bither of Presque Isle, ME, Shirley Delong of Bridgewater, ME, and Barbara Shaboo of Shelton, CT; Four Brothers, Junior (Joline) Clark of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada Derrick Clark of Shelton, CT, Wayne Clark of Fort Worth, TX, and Robert Clark of CT.
He was preceded in death by his Wife, Dalta Ferne Clark, Father, Miles Clark, and Mother, Mary Clark.
*** To leave a special online message for the family, please click on the "Share Memories" button above. ***