Obituary for Merle Mortland
Merle Dean Mortland, 86, unexpectedly passed away on April 4, 2017, with his wife and two of his children at his bedside. He was born in Emmetsburg, Iowa, to Earl and Laura (Ferguson) Mortland on January 23, 1931. In 1949, he graduated from Estherville High School in Iowa. Merle enlisted in the Air Force in 1951. During this time, he and his high school sweetheart, Marge Nelson, were married on September 5, 1953, in Inglewood, California. They spent their honeymoon traveling back to Travis Air Force Base where he was stationed. He was honorably discharged in 1954, after completing his four years of service. Merle earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State College in 1958. In 1966, he earned a Master of Science Degree in Engineering Administration from Southern Methodist University. He retired from the Department of Defense after 21 years of service. Merle also spent time over the last 40 years buying and selling houses, which he took pride in and thoroughly enjoyed.
Merle loved children and humanity itself. This was shown in the work he did throughout his life. He was a mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization, a volunteer at the Dallas County Independent School District, a substitute teacher for the Irving Independent School district, and a Committee Chairman for Boys Scouts of America in Fort Worth. He and his wife were members of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Together they volunteered and built houses in El Salvador through Habitat for Humanity. Merle enjoyed planting flowers, feeding all the birds and critters that frequented his backyard, spending time with his family and friends, playing games, swimming, reading, telling jokes and traveling the world with his wife.
He is preceded in death by his parents; brother Lee and two sisters; Marjorie Haneline and Marie Peterson. Left to cherish Merle’s memory is his wife of almost 65 years Marge; son Lance; daughter Debra and husband Gene; daughter Cherie and husband Curtis; daughter Darci and husband Larry; two brothers Dale and Roger and four wonderful grandchildren Seene, Chaz, Amy and Richard, whom he cherished. Each had a special place in his heart. The time he spent with them meant the world to him and made him feel blessed to have them in his life.
The family would like to give a special thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Irving for the excellent care they gave to Merle.
A Memorial Service to celebrate his life will be held 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 27, 2017, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2505 W. Northgate Dr. in Irving. An Inurnment with Military Honors will be held at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery at a later date, yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to The Arbor Day Foundation, The Salvation Army or a charity of your choice. Updates for the Inurnment date and time, condolences and links to both memorials can be found on the funeral home website at www.brownmem.com.
(2 Corinthians 5:8)
Rejoice with us in knowing that, “to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord.”