The funeral service for Merle Hamilton, 92, of Minneota, formerly of Tracy, will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the Tracy United Methodist Church in Tracy with Ethanie Schmidt leading the service. Visitation will be Friday from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. at Tracy United Methodist Church. Visitation will continue from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the church. Interment will take place at the Tracy City Cemetery.
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Merle Francis Hamilton was born on October 13, 1926 on the home farm in Holly Township, MN to Walter Lee and Alice Ferne (Witter) Hamilton. He attended country school in Holly Township and graduated from Tracy High School in 1945. He married LaVonne Kuehl, September 8, 1949 at the Methodist Parsonage in Lake Benton, Minnesota. Together they farmed and raised their eight children on the family farm southeast of Tracy until November 1991, when they retired to Park Street in Tracy. He became a resident of Minneota Manor on March 13, 2013 and resided there until his death.
Merle was baptized and confirmed in the Methodist Faith and was a member of the Tracy United Methodist church, faithfully serving in various capacities through the years. During his youth, he was active in 4-H and FFA; and shared that interest and involvement with his children. Merle loved the outdoors and was a faithful steward of the land as a dairy, swine, and crop farmer, and he continued to assist other farmers even after he retired. Deer hunting with his sons was something he looked forward to each fall. Once in town, he was active in the Lions Club, Meals on Wheels, and various church projects. He was a distributor of Nikken and Shaklee. He was a consistent blood donor and often called upon to donate because of his rare blood type. Merle loved to square dance, often dancing three times a week, and rarely missing a set. He was a member of numerous square dance clubs in southwestern Minnesota, attended many state conventions and even called dances through the more than thirty years he and LaVonne and later, Millie danced. He loved working with his hands, making many woodworking projects and quilts that treasured by family and friends. His hands also played many a card game, teaching his children and grandchildren to play hearts, pinochle, and buck euchre.
Twenty years ago, Merle was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and died peacefully, on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the Minneota Manor at the age of 92 years, 6 months. Much appreciation goes to the staff at the Minneota Manor and Prairie Home Hospice for their wonderful care these past years.
Merle is survived by his eight children Dorothy Radermacher, Lino Lakes; Judy (James) Hoffmann, Marshall; Francis “Hammer” (Gini Roberts), Dovray; Elaine Fischer (LeRoy Johnson), Isanti; Marlin (Vera), Jeffers; Jayne Dinse, Owatonna; Steven (Lisa Schlichte), Lamberton; & Jeffrey (Donna) Hamilton, Sioux Falls, SD. He is also survived by twelve grandchildren; Maria (Dave) Masten, Eric (Nicole) Radermacher, Jennifer (Ben) Hexum, Janelle (Dale) Verschelde, Wayne (Rachel) Hamilton, Cory (Erin) Hamilton, Jenna (Peter) Koenig, Monica (Brian) Hagen, Juliana (Paul) Sammon, and Elizabeth, Nathan and Margeaux Belanger; and sixteen great-grandchildren Delaney, Nick, Karsten, Andrew, Devin, Derek, Carolyn, Joe, Melanie, Lyla, Adelynn, Emery, Delia, Lauren, Georgia and Pauliana. Sisters Lois (Jack) Bishop, Karen Flesner, and sister-in-law Marvel Beiser, many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He is preceded in death by wife, LaVonne; special friend Mildred Knoll, parents Walter & Ferne Hamilton; sister and brother-in-law Phyllis and William Beiser, brother David Hamilton, son-in-laws Ron Radermacher, Bill Fischer, and Dwain Dinse.
Blessed be his memory.