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.