Gilbert E. Merkel 82 of Hillsboro, formerly of Harvel, passed away August 10, 2020 at Hillsboro Area Hospital.
He was born February 9, 1938 in Centralia, Illinois to Gilbert E. and Flossie (Wilkerson) Merkel.
He was a graduate of Nokomis High School in 1957.
He was a truck driver for over 32 years. He served in the U.S. Air Force as an Aircraft Mechanic and Engine Mechanic and was stationed at Clark Air Force base in the Philippines. He was a member of the Raymond, Harvel and Witt Christian Churches, and he was on the Harvel Fire Department.
He served as mayor of Harvel for five years and a member of the Harvel Village Board for six years.
He sang locally for churches and nursing homes with his family. He enjoyed wintering in Texas and loved to hunt and fish.
He married Fran Cachera and she preceded him in 1998. He married Donna Oller and she preceded him in 2005. He is survived by his wife Carolyn Franzen Sarsany.
Surviving are two daughters, Dawn (Byron) Davis of Lake in the Hills, Illinois, Lesia Mixon of Pulaski, Tennessee and one son, Gilbert (Jodi) Merkel of Harvel, Illinois, five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, step-children Becky Emmerson, Doug Oller, Jason (Jami) Sarsany, Lori (Tom) Weiss, Jackie (Mark) Everett, Lisa (Glenn) Lipe, Chris (Paul) Kolling and Michon (Zach) Pals, 24 step- grandchildren and 21 step-great grandchildren, one sister, Kathryn Pilger of O’Fallon Illinois.
He was preceded in death by his parents and wives Fran and Donna.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, August 14, 2020 at 2:00 PM at the Christian Church in Witt, Illinois with Rev. William Cox as officiant. Visitation will be at the church from 1:00 PM until time of the service.
Burial will be in Harvel Cemetery.
We are encouraging everyone to follow CDC guidelines with the use of masks and social distancing.
Memorials may be directed to Christian Church in Witt.
Hough & Sons Funeral Home in Hillsboro is charge of arrangements.
Condolences can be left at WWW.houghfuneralhome.com
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