Merrill Leroy Cady, as well as his twin sister, Maxine, were born on February 5, 1931, in Burke, SD to Boyd and Maude (McKenney) Cady. Merrill and Maxine were the second and third children in their family. He attended Viola Center in Audubon County and graduated in 1949. Merrill joined the Army in 1951, and was a Korean war veteran.
On December 7, 1953 in Carroll, Iowa, Merrill married the love of his life, Martha Jane Durbin. They were stationed in Salt Lake City, Utah and Baltimore, Maryland. After his discharge from the service, they moved to Sac City, Iowa in 1954, and became members of the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ, where Merrill was baptized. Merrill served in many capacities of leadership in the Church, including Chairman of the Board, Elder and Deacon. Merrill was a member of the Lions Club, VFW, American Legion, Odd Fellows Lodge, and was a Big Brother.
On Martha’s birthday on December 24, 1956, daughter, Kathy Jane, was born, becoming Martha’s birthday present, and Merrill’s Christmas present. The day after Merrill’s birthday on February 6, 1959, came a daughter, Karen Lynn. On October 16, 1963, their family was complete with the birth of little Kelly Ann.
Merrill farmed for many years in Sac City. After he stopped farming in 1978, he began working as a “counter man” for Big A, now known as CarQuest. Because he was the “older man” at the auto parts store, many customers regarded him as the owner since Leonard Simpson and Stan Kramer, the owners, were so much younger than Merrill!
Merrill loved to spend time with family and friends. His hobbies included fishing, golfing, mowing lawns, and playing cards. In fact, many people joked about the fact that he was so good at card playing, he never sorted his cards. This drove Martha crazy since she typically was his card playing partner, and she was such a stickler for organization!
As the three girls married, along came grandchildren: Kiera, Brian, Randy, Scott, Ariel and Alex. Merrill loved his grandchildren and delighted in teasing them with his counting fingers trick. You see, when he was farming, he had an accident (one of many!) when his index finger was removed from his left hand. He often asked the grandchildren to count the fingers on his left hand, and pretended to count the missing digit, coming up with 5 fingers every time!
Merrill was a man of his word. He had been living with daughter, Karen, in Oklahoma for the past year and a half. A couple of weeks ago, he told Karen that he wanted to return to Iowa to die. Karen and Kelly (who flew from Florida to Oklahoma), along with Karen’s special friend, Ray, relocated Merrill to the Black Hawk Life Care Center in Lake View, Iowa. Merrill met with Dr. Pek, and told Dr. Pek that he had come back to Iowa to die. Of course, Dr. Pek did not believe him, saying that he had lots of time, but Merrill, stubborn to the core, proved to Dr. Pek that he meant what he said, and passed away two weeks later on August 14, 2017, very peacefully, surrounded by family and friends.
Left to cherish his memory are his daughters, Kathy (Steve) Gerdes of Normal, IL; Karen Jackson (Ray Shelton, special friend), of Edmond, OK; and Kelly (Tony) Lomelino of St. Cloud, FL; six grandchildren: Kiera Winslow, Brian Jackson, Randy Sturridge, Scott Jackson, Ariel Carmean, and Alex Jackson, as well as four great grandchildren; two brothers: Richard (Marilyn) Cady and Harley (Marcia) Cady, and one sister, Norene Williams.
He has been preceded in death by his wife, Martha, his parents and his twin sister, Maxine Lovell Shaw.
In Lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to the First Christian Church, Sac City, IA.