Gary L. Merriman, age 69 of Beardstown, passed away Sunday, April 30, 2017 at his home.
 
            He was born July 12, 1947 to Harvey C. and Katherine L. Cook Merriman. He married Barbara E. Thomas on February 14, 1982 at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beardstown. He is survived by his wife of 35 years; two sons Gary Thomas “Tom” (wife Danielle) Merriman of Beardstown and Clinton C. Merriman (friend Lisa Helms) of Springfield, MO; and one ornery, curly haired granddaughter Lilliana Grace Merriman of Beardstown.
 
            Gary, otherwise known as “Butch” to his family, is survived by two sisters, Maxine Hester of Beardstown and Linda (husband Keith) Knott of Kankakee; one brother Kenny (wife Becky) Merriman of Beardstown; three brothers-in-law Dr. R. Thomas Loyd of Arlington, VA, Marty (wife Teresa) Thomas of Goodyear, AZ, and Brett (wife Eve) Thomas of Tampa, FL; two sisters-in-law Sandi Spurbeck of Virginia, IL and Jennie (husband Allan) Prather of Cherryvale, KS; and numerous nieces and nephews.
 
            He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother-in-law Gene Hester, and sister-in-law Carol Ann Loyd.
 
            Gary retired from Cargill in 2012 after 22 years of service. He had previously been employed at Bohn Aluminum from 1986 to 1990, and Fiat Allis in Springfield from 1970 to 1985 prior to their closures. He served in the U.S. Navy from October 1966 until June 1970 on the USS Wright (Command Post Afloat). He graduated from Beardstown High School in the class of 1966.
 
            Gary was an avid gardener and kept his family, friends, and neighbors supplied with his fresh produce. He took great pride in keeping his yard and home in pristine condition. His favorite pastime was taking motorcycle trips with his wife as he loved the open road. His most cherished memories were of spending time on the Illinois River with his grandpa Velmer Cook, hunting and fishing. He passed on his love of the outdoors to his two sons and they enjoyed duck and deer hunting, and bank pole fishing on many occasions.
 
            Military Services will be held at noon on Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Guthrie-Pierce VFW Post #1239 in Beardstown, with a meal to follow. Visitation will be held from 5-8 PM on Thursday at Colwell Memorial Home in Beardstown.
 
            In lieu of flowers, memorials have been suggested to Cass/Schuyler Area Hospice or Hope Blooms. A private funeral service will be held at a later date. Interment will be in the great outdoors.
 
Condolences may be left online at www.colwellmemorialhome.com or on Facebook at Colwell Memorial Home.

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Gary Merriman