Doyle Walker Merckling, 79, son of Wayne and Sylvia (Walker) Merckling, was born Dec. 7, 1933, at Isadora, Mo. He left this life to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Oct. 9, 2013.
Doyle was preceded in death by his parents; an infant son, Victor Lynn; a sister, Bonnie Burch; wife, Dolly Ruth (Hicks) Merckling, mother of Jerry, Marty, Bob and Sherri; and wife, Marie (Faul) Merckling, mother of Amy.
He is survived by three sons, Jerry Akers of Raymondville, Mo., Marty Merckling of Houston, Mo., and Bob Merckling of Springfield, Mo.; two daughters, Sherri Gale of Willow Springs, Mo., and Amy Merckling of Nixa, Mo.; brothers, Eddie, Norman and Dorman Merckling of Raymondville, Mo.; sisters, Gail Lee of Raymondville, Mo., Bettie Jones of Rolla, Mo., and Judy York of House Springs, Mo.; 10 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
The Merckling family moved to the Raymondville area in 1941 from northeast Missouri. He often told of the family believing they had landed in “paradise” the day they drove their old car down from the cold, hard winter of northeast Missouri. He was only eight, but recalled that it was a spring-like day once they got here.
He attended Possum Trot Elementary as a child and was obviously a star player, as he told it, in the sport of Stink Base. None of us are really sure how that game was played nor why it hasn’t become a national sport.
He graduated from Houston High School in 1952, and was then drafted into the U.S. Army. He was soon married to his first wife, Lorene Qualls, unto which a son, Victor Lynn, was born. Vicky had health problems and passed away at less than six months old. Although his marriage to Lorene didn’t last, he remained friends with her his entire life.
At this time in life, he traveled throughout the United States, including a time spent in California with his good friend, Howard Steffens. He often told of the good times he had there.
In 1961, Doyle married Dolly Ruth Hicks and also gained an eight-year-old son, Jerry Akers. To this union was born Marty, Bob and Sherri. He spent these years in the family dozing business, eventually taking over the business when his father retired. He spent many days breaking and riding horses, including his favorite horse, Apache.
While the days were spent with horses, the nights were always spent coon hunting. Everyone who knew him heard his stories of his favorite “Grand Night Champion” Walker coonhound, Rave. He spent more time with “Ole Rave” and his hunting buddies, Clarence, Basil, Billy, Tom, Slick, Gene and especially Lawrence Clayton, than with his family at home.
Things always got pretty tense at home right before coon season opened when they had to keep all their coon skins they had gotten early, frozen and hidden. He always laughed about the “poor hunters that got caught by the game wardens.” These were good times.
A few years later, in 1974, he lost his wife, Dolly, to cancer. This was a very hard time in his life. If not for the help and support of his family and friends he would never have made it.
He was saved and baptized as a young man, but had a special experience during this time while sitting in a semi truck in St. Paul, Minn. He was a changed man after that and was always excited to tell his story and to help others become saved. This he did until his final days.
Doyle remained in the trucking business for the next several years while enjoying watching his kids play ball and spending time with his family.
He married Geraldine Marie Faul in 1978, to which a daughter, Amy Marie, was born. With the other kids mostly grown and working with him or going to college, Amy was the light of his life and kept him younger than his years.
He remained in the trucking business and also farmed with his sons until his health deteriorated. He spent his last years enjoying his grandkids, messing with horses and mostly doing things that everyone told him he shouldn’t be doing at his age.
He loved his family; he loved his savior; he fought the long, hard fight, never quitting and never giving up. He was a true inspiration to everyone who knew him.
Services were 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at Evans Funeral Home. Burial was in the Boone Creek Cemetery. Dr. Terry Holder, Trevor Merckling and Bob Merckling officiated. Pallbearers were Jerry Akers, Bob Merckling, Marty Merckling, Trevor Merckling, Justyn Merckling, Dustyn Merckling and Ashley Akers.
Memorials may be made to the Doyle Merckling Memorial Fund c/o Evans Funeral Home. Services were under the direction of Evans Funeral Home. Online condolences may be sent to www.evansfh.com.