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Merle Ray WilsonAugust 29, 1930 ~ November 28, 2017 (age 87)
Merle Ray Wilson, 87, of Hackensack, MN died Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at his home.
Merle was born August 29, 1930 in Clarion, IA to Willard and Thelma (Thompson) Wilson. He was raised in Clarion and attended Clarion High School, participating in football and heavyweight wrestling. He graduated in 1948 and attended the Helsinki Olympics the same year. He attended two years of college; then served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1954 during the Korean War and was on the Navy wrestling team. Upon honorable discharge, he was decorated by the Secretary of the Navy. In 1958, he married Sharon Froegel, a union that lasted 57 years. The couple made their home in Park Rapids, MN, moving to Hackensack in 1984. Merle had retired from Northwestern Bell in 1983 after 27 years of service.
Merle enjoyed gathering maple syrup, hunting, fishing, and family time, especially time spent with his grandchildren and a great-grandchild. He built his own homes; and was the owner/operator of Wilson Trailer Court. He was active in the Park Rapids American Legion Post and Telephone Pioneers.
Survivors include three sons, all of whom became Eagle Scouts, Mike (Sue) Wilson, Tim (Julie) Wilson, Rich (Emily) Wilson; one daughter, Rose (Jim) Clack, who was a 1st Class Girl Scout; 10 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; two brothers, Dean Wilson, and Darell Wilson.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon; and sister, Velva Mae Wright.
Funeral services with full military honors will be on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 1:00 PM with visitation beginning at 11:30 AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hackensack with Fr. Timothy Lange officiating. Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery in Longville, MN. Arrangements are being made with Dennis Funeral Home of Walker (www.dennisfuneralhome.com).