Karl Merritt (1938-2014)

Karl Merritt (1938-2014)Karl Francis Merritt, 76 , of North Manchester, Indiana, died Sunday, November 23, 2014. He was born September 18, 1938 in Huntington, Indiana to Herschel and Mary Ellen (Burkhart) Merritt.

Karl married Bonnie Dee Freed in North Manchester on August 15, 1959. He graduated from Central High School in 1956 and from Manchester College in 1960, with a B.S. in Health and Physical Education. In 1964 he received his Masters Degree from Indiana University. Karl taught and coached two years at Laketon High School and fifteen years at Manchester High School, where he coached basketball, baseball, golf, and football. He then worked twenty years at Manchester College as an administrator and basketball coach. At the college, he served as the Student Union Director, Conference Coordinator, and Alumni Director, where he enjoyed leading many alumni trips. He retired from the education field in 1996. He was the Public Address Announcer at Manchester College for football and men and women's basketball for over 30 years. In 2000, Karl began working part-time for Grandstaff-Hentgen Bender Chapel.

Karl was an active member of the Manchester Church of the Brethren. He also was a member, past president, and Paul Harris Fellow of the Manchester Rotary Club, and wrote the Rotary Newsletter, the Turning Wheel, for over 40 years. He served on the Wabash County Hospital Foundation Board, the North Central Region Historic Landmarks Board, and the North Manchester Historical Society Board, serving as Secretary for many years. He was a past president of the Manchester Shepherd's Center, and along with Bonnie Dee coordinated travel excursions for the Shepherd's Center and the Historical Society. Karl also served four years on the Manchester Community School Board, four years on the Town Council, several terms as a member of the North Manchester Traffic Commission, the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the Wabash County United Fund Board of Directors. He was instrumental in developing the Manchester University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999. Karl earned a Manchester College Alumni Service Award in 1984. In 2003, Karl and his wife Bonnie Dee were awarded the North Manchester Citizens of the Year. On June 28, 2014, he was awarded a Manchester Community Schools Distinguished Alumni Award.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Bonnie Dee Merritt of North Manchester, two children, Kirk (Christine) Merritt and twin granddaughters Katherine Florence and Elizabeth Haru of Powell, Ohio, and Kristene Deeann Merritt Miller and granddaughter McKenna Liegh of Worthington, Ohio; four sisters, Donna Merritt, Martha (Vern) Pursifull, Rebecca Merritt, and Bethany Merritt. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be 3:00 pm Sunday, November 30, 2014 at Manchester Church of the Brethren, 1306 Beckley Street, North Manchester, Indiana 46962 with Rev Kurt Borgmann officiating. Burial will be in Oaklawn Cemetery, North Manchester, at a later date. Friends may call 3-7 pm Saturday, November 29, 2014, at the church and one hour prior to the service Sunday, at the church.

Arrangements by Grandstaff-Hentgen Bender Chapel, 207 W. Main Street, North Manchester, Indiana.

Preferred memorial is the Karl F. and Bonnie Dee Merritt Scholarship Endowment at the Community Foundation of Wabash County, 218 E. Main Street, North Manchester, IN 46962. The scholarship endowment will be used at Manchester University for a student majoring in either physical education with a coaching emphasis, or elementary education. Memorials also may be given to Manchester Church of the Brethren Vocal Music or Video Departments, 1306 Beckley St., North Manchester, IN 46962.