In Memory of

Merlin 'Mert' Ballantyne

January 17, 1931 - July 5, 2014
Merlin was born January 17th, 1931 in Cherokee to Walter and Gladys (Leonard) Ballantyne. He graduated from Wilson High School in Cherokee in 1950. In 1952, Merlin joined the United States Army and was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. After honorably completing his service in 1954, he returned to Cherokee where he opened a business selling and repairing home appliances. On October 2nd, 1955 he married Ruth Helen Reiter in Cherokee. Merlin continued to work in the appliance repair business for nearly 50 years. In retirement, he moved to Davenport, Iowa where he lived with his son, Bryon. Over the years, he enjoyed spending his time in a variety of activities including traveling and camping trips with family, woodworking and remodeling projects, and later tending a vegetable garden. Most recently, he volunteered his time several days a week at two hospitals in the Davenport area. Most of all, Merlin loved spending time with family and friends. He is survived by his three children, Bryon Ballantyne of Davenport, IA, Merleen Hanson of Slayton, MN, and Betheen Groepper of Williamsburg, IA; grandchildren, Tony Hanson, Aaron Hanson, Cassea Groepper, and Grayson Groepper. He was preceded in death by his mother in 1973; father in 1987; and his wife, Ruth in 2009.
Memorial services will be held at 1:30 P.M. Saturday, August 9, 2014, at the Crossroads Christian Church in Cherokee, Iowa
Pastor Gregg Johnson
A Graveside service with family and friends present will be held at 1:00 P.M. at Oak Hill Cemetery in Cherokee, IA, prior to the memorial service. Military rites will be provided by the Cherokee V.F.W. L.A. Wescott Post 2253.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“Uncle 'Mert'.....I called him Mert the Turtle.....he was so much fun! Going to see him and Aunt Ruth in the summertime at Grandma's was a memory I will cherish until I see them again. I loved them both so much!!!”
- Zoe A. Zaiser
Friday, July 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“I offer my prayerful support to you all with the passing of Mert into his Eternal Life. Among us he was a faithful and ever friendly man of character. He takes these credentials - and many more - into an Eternal Life with his Lord. ”
- Fr. Gene E. Sitzmann
Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“Thank you for the kind words and memories of Dad. He was a kind, gentle soul that loved to spend time with family and friends. He is very much missed. I am grateful to my brother, Bryon, for having him come to live with him for the last 6 years after Mom died. He took good care of him and Dad loved living there. He enjoyed walking his dog, volunteering at the hospital, and relaxing with family. ”
- Betheen Groepper
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“I was so very sorry to hear about merlin. He was a volunteer with us and we had such a great time with him. His sense of humor was great and he was such a nice man. We will miss him terribly.”
- Cheri Miller RN
Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“Ruth and Merlene: I am so sorry to hear about the lost of Mert. What a great man!! He will be missed by many! You are in my prayers!”
- Michelle Murphy
Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“You and your family have my sincere sympathies! I knew Merlin because he was a good friend to My Uncle Harold and Aunt Judy! So sorry for your loss!”
- Luci A Ferrin
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“My condolences to the family. I volunteered with Merlin at Genesis East Hospital. He was a wonderful man and he will be missed by all his volunteer family.”
- Jim Strauss
Monday, July 7, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“My sympathy to you children, Mert and Ruth was wonderful people. They are together again.
- Barb Evans
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