Obituary of Leon Allan Merkle
Leon Allan Merkle was born on August 11, 1954, at the Monroe Hospital in Monroe, Michigan. He was the youngest of three sons born to the union of Donald Lee Merkle and Dorothy Ruth (Noble) Merkle – Guczwa. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church also graduating from their grade school in 1967. He continued his education at Jefferson and then Monroe High School.
Leon married the love of his life the former, Brenda Kay (Gonyon) Frederick at the Chapel of Trinity Lutheran Church on January 15, 1976. The couple were blessed with a daughter, Lisa and Leon cared for Brenda’s children: Christene and Joe as if they were his own. For many years, Leon, was employed as a Laborer for Local 465. He worked on numerous construction projects throughout Southeast Michigan including the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Power Plant. After an auto accident forced a medical retirement from the Union, Leon and Brenda moved to Northern Michigan purchasing a farm in Marion in October of 1992. He loved taking care of the livestock and working the ground. He was especially proud of his John Deere tractor. Eventually the couple moved from the farm to Cadillac, Michigan for a few years prior to returning back to Monroe in 2004.
For several years, Leon performed landscaping for local residents and businesses, working alongside his friend, Ron Johnson. With his love for the outdoors, Leon always found a way to stay busy. For many years he enjoyed fishing and boating, snowmobiling and motorcycling, and hunting and camping. He loved to have a good time and was often the life of the party with a Miller Hi-Life in his hand.
In 2012, Leon truly found his life’s calling when he joined the family business at Merkle Funeral Service. As a Family Services Assistant, Leon took on many responsibilities to help families in their time of need. From painstakingly maintaining the funeral home landscaping and facilities to working gatherings and services, he was always a familiar and comforting face to grieving families. He was well-liked and well-respected by his fellow teammates and well-loved by those he served. When declining health required that he step away from a position he loved he always vowed to return so he could continue to make a difference.
Leon Allan Merkle, age 69, of Monroe passed away at 10:25am on Wednesday; January 31, 2024, at his home. He had fought a valiant fight the past few years with Parkinsons Disease. Surrounded by his loving family he had been under the care of hospice. His passing was preceded by his father: Donald Merkle; his mother: Dorothy Guczwa – Merkle; his paternal grandparents: William and Florence Merkle; and a grandson: Jordan Frederick.
To cherish his memory, he leaves his beloved wife of forty-eight years: Brenda Kay Merkle of Monroe; a daughter: Lisa Merkle of Marion, Michigan; two stepchildren: Christene Frederick of Monroe and Joe Frederick of Cadillac, Michigan; two brothers: Larry W. (Marilyn S.) Merkle and Ronald (Brenda) Merkle both of Monroe; two grandchildren: Chelsey Slevoski (Justin Davis) of Leroy, Michigan and Jarid Frederick of Reed City, Michigan; two great grandchildren: Paisley and Daisy Davis; two nieces: Jodi (Chris) Gelso and Brandi (Bill) Foley both of Monroe; two nephews: Brian S. (Tammy) Merkle and Michael (Penny) Merkle both of Monroe; nine great nieces and nephews; and a host of cousins.
Friends may gather from 3:00pm until 8:00pm on Monday; February 5, 2024, at Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe; 14567 South Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan 48161 (734) 241-7070. A Celebration of His Life will take place at 11:00am on Tuesday; February 6, 2024, also at Merkle’s. Reverend B.J. McDaniel pastor of One Way Christian Fellowship will officiate. Procession will follow to LaSalle Township Cemetery for burial.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the wishes of the family. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.