Merle Woerdehoff, 94, of Edgewood, Iowa, passed away on Monday, January 20, 2020, at the Edgewood Convalescent Home in Edgewood. He was born on May 21, 1925, on the family farm in Petersburg to Bernard “Ben” and Henrietta (Klosterman) Woerdehoff. He began his education in the Petersburg Catholic School. The family moved to Edgewood in 1936, where Merle graduated with the Edgewood High School class of 1943.
In August 1943, Merle was drafted into the Army to honorably serve his country during World War II. He saw heavy combat for 28 months with little word from home in the jungles of New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, and the Philippines. He was discharged in January 1946.
On June 26, 1946, Merle was united in marriage to Norma Schultz at St. Mark’s Church in Edgewood. One daughter was blessed to this union on May 10, 1948.
Merle worked as an electrician with his father-in-law, Bert Schultz, from 1946 to 1947, when he purchased the Shell Dealership that took him successfully to his retirement in 1990. His commitment to his customers and his community was something he took great pride in. He didn’t think twice when a customer called after-hours needing fuel or help and would drop whatever he was doing to serve their needs. Through the years he was an active member of the Edgewood Commercial Club, served on the board of directors of the Delaware County Fish and Game Association, was a volunteer for the Edgewood Fire Department serving as assistant fire chief, and was a 75-year member of the American Legion Post #512, proudly receiving his Quilt of Honor in 2016.
Merle was an avid outdoorsman, loving to fish and hunt with his family and friends. He also enjoyed playing cards, traveling, and countryside road trips. Merle was a devoted husband, dad, and grandpa … a man of quiet integrity who never complained and always found the positive in everything in his life.
Survivors of this gentle man include his daughter, Jacqueline “Jackie” Dee (Warren) Coates of Manchester; five grandchildren, Pam Greer of California, David (Lisa) Coates of Ohio, Crystal (Paul) McMullen of Ryan, Missi Coates Thede, and Corey (Melissa) Coates of Manchester; 11 great-grandchildren; six great-great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Merle was preceded in death by his wife, Norma in 2012; his parents, Ben and Henrietta Woerdehoff; two brothers, John and Cyril Woerdehoff; and four sisters, Stella (in infancy), Vera Seward, Lola Kies, and Elva Woerdehoff.
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